Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Two weeks ago Donald Gramm, singing with the Metropolitan Opera at Wolf Trap, demonstrated his supremacy in the world of opera. Tuesday night in a recital at the University of Maryland, Gramm made it clear that he is as much at home with, and quite as much a master of, songs as opera.
His program of familiar material was balanced in a way that made it all sound welcome again. Handel arias, done with fluent ease and admirable ornaments, preceded serenades by Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, Schubert and Brahms. Gramm has an ideal way of adding the perfect touch of drama to his songs without inappropriately suggesting the opera stage.
Before closing the evening with some of the top songs of Charles Ives, Gramm sang John Duke's settings about three of Edward Arlington Robinson's men: Richard Cory, Luke Havergal and Miniver Cheevy. He sings these with model style and a rich array of textures. The music for Richard Cory, however, is a sad mistake. The poem is a grim tragedy with no place for the laughter that Duke's flippant version evokes.
As Gramm told his audience, most of whom heard Jan De Gaetani singing Ives on Sunday night, there is plenty of reason for all singers to program these songs with their wide range of variety and styles. They are tailor-made for Gramm's flawless enunciation and manner. Donald Hassard's playing took splendid care of the piano's end of things.