Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
To sing for a convention of the National Association of Teachers of Singing must put all singers to the test, and the teachers, to whom every singer owes an unpayable debt, are out at Maryland University this week.
Sunday night Jan De Gaetani honored them with a recital of high musical values, the kind of program that used to be heard regularly each season but which is, these days, alas, becoming increasingly hard to find. Her songs were Maurice Ravel's "Histories naturelles," eight by Charles Ives. De Gaetani has played a signal role in performing both of the last two composers in concert and on recordings.
With superb pianism by Gilbert Kalish, De Gaetani sang with extreme musicality. In the contemporary techniques of Rochberg, this is no easy feat. His final song required her to shriek out the highest notes in her voice. Whatever the challenges, she overrode them in triumph.
Her Ravel songs were intimate to a fault. To the first rows in the Tawes Theater they may have been a delight, but at a middle distance, the effect was simply too muted. Her Ives is a delight, but her Rachmaninov would profit from a touch of the portamento that enhances her Rochberg.