Two remarkable young American musicians who have been studying and performing lately in Vienna preented an unusually satisfying recital of German Lieder yesterday afternoon in the Renwick Gallery.
Mezzo mary Ann Hart possesses a beautiful high mezzo-soprano which she used with great skill and finesse. The voice, which is ideally placed, was handled expressively in songs by Schumann, Hugo Wolf and Richard Strauss. At the peaks of the concert, as in Wohl's "Kennst du das Land," and "Wohl kenn' ich Euren Stand," and again in "Heimliche Aufferdorung" by Strauss, Hart touched heights in rapturous song.
Seh needs to add nothing to her singing except more of those things she already does so well. Her German is flawless, but such vital words as "dahin, kennst and moecht" make less than their full impact when the initial consonant is slighted. There can be greater passion in Schumann's "Mit Myrthen und Rosen," far more energy in "Fussreise." But Hart is an exceptional young artist who sounds destined for a highly artistic future. It would not be a surprise if, in that future, she raised her voice to that of a full soprano. It often sounds imminent.
Playing for the young mezzo, Philip Highfill provided intensely musical support, full of all the right accent and style, frequently approaching the manner of the very few best pianists for singers to be heard today.