Saturday, August 18, 2012

"Stories from the Garden" in Review



It was a pleasure listening to Brendan-Keefe Au's concert tonight. Throughout an evening's programme of familiar and more musically challenging art songs, the voice remained warm, sweet and unforced. Although not a big sound, his detailed musicality and charisma made us all want to listen intently.

Pianist Choi Haye-Seon was also a pleasure to hear, her playing being rich in colours and detail, all the while supporting the soloist almost seamlessly. I thought that Brendan's usage of head voice to sing the high notes are somewhat unusual, but it seems to be a style that is comfortable and natural to him, not to mention that its well-integrated with his chest voice, which made it convincing to the audience as well. I was most impressed by the Britten arrangement of folksongs at the end, where Brendan held his own despite an accompaniment that was tonally and temperamentally at opposing ends with the vocal line.

It was a quiet, laidback evening of musical appreciation. There were no musical histrionics or anything overtly dramatic to be expected or delivered, only a subtle, classy and competent presentation of the finer side of vocal music. 

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