This year's United Nations Concert, marking the 33rd anniversary of the founding of the U.N., brought representatives of over 130 countries to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Saturday. Introduced from adjacent boxes, emissaries from both Egypt and Israel were warmly greeted by the audience.
The National Symphony Orchestra was to have played under the leadership of Mstislav Rostropovich. But the orchestra's continuing strike left the entire evening up to the glorious soprano voice of Clamma Dale, who had been engaged to appear as a soloist with the orchestra.
In what seemed an extremely narrow choice of repertoire for so cosmopolitan and international an audience, Dale sang Beethoven's "Ah, Perfido!" followed by Schumann's introspective cycle. "Women's Love and Lift," four songs by Richard Strauss and the seven popular Spanish Songs by Manuel de Falla.
However, the elegant singer won solid applause for her penetration into the quiet recesses of the Schumann songs, to many of which she brought real beauty. Her Strauss still seems somewhat superficial, but for the Falla cycle she found a wonderful languorous tone that suited them ideally.
Neil Stannard played well for Dale, without ever reaching deeply into the sonorous beauties available to him.