Tenor Michael Hume, with pianist William Huckaby and guitarist David Starobin, presented a recital of exceptional artistry at the Terrace Theater Saturday night.
In every nuance of Arthur Farwell's romantic "Five Songs to Dickinson," Hume combined a refined musicianship with the stage presence of an experienced actor. His voice was light, expressive and pleasing in the middle ranges, but in the louder, higher passages his sound suddenly became constricted and colorless. It is a credit to Hume's interpretive skills, and to a wise selection of songs, that these unexpected intrusions did not dominate the recital.
From the bitter accents of "Wrath" to the gnawing trills of "Envy" in Robert Beaser's intriguing cycle "The Seven Deadly Sins," William Huckaby's accompaniment created theatrical frames for the voice. For sensitivity, wit and sheer excitement, Huckaby is the equal of any accompanist performing today.
J.S. Bach's trenchant demand for a fee and Schubert's painful loneliness span the emotions expressed in Dominick Argento's remarkable "Letters From Composers." David Starobin's guitar accompaniment was masterly.
Benjamin Britten's "Canticle III: Still Falls the Rain," with fine French horn obbligato by Kaitilin B. Mahony, a set of Britten folk songs with guitar, and five Poulenc songs were all well performed, but one group could have easily been omitted to keep the program to a reasonable length.