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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
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The Carnegie Hall Season in Review: Vocal Recitals

Vocal recitals at Carnegie Hall in 2010–2011 ranged from 13th-century songs about food and drink, right up to the present day with world premieres of new pieces.

The season began with a recital by English tenor Mark Padmore accompanied by fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout in late October with a program that included Schumann's Dichterliebe and Liederkreis. November saw recitals by singers at very different points of their careers. Tenor Nicholas Phan—accompanied by pianist Myra Huang—made his Carnegie Hall debut in Weill Recital Hall. Phan was one of three artists—along with pianist Jonathan Biss and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato—featured in our new online series, The Carnegie Hall Debut. Later that month, Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel was accompanied by Malcolm Martineau in a wide-ranging program that included a warm tribute to Welsh-American baritone John Charles Thomas.

Blog 2010-2011 Season Review Chamber Vocal Phan
Tenor Nicholas Phan—accompanied by Myra Huang—made his solo recital debut in Weill Recital Hall in November 2010. | Photo by Christopher Smith. 

In December, Dutch mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn was accompanied by Joseph Breinl in a program that included Brahms, Strauss, and Rachmaninoff. Although not strictly a vocal recital, Measha Brueggergosman's performances of Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and Wagner's "Im Treibhaus" during the Risør Chamber Music Festival concerts in December also deserve a mention.

Renée Fleming returned to the Hall in the New Year and gave the audience a glimpse into the musical culture of fin-de-siècle Vienna with its enfant terrible Schoenberg, its wunderkind Korngold, and Zemlinsky—the man who taught them both.

February was a month of vocal diversity that began with baritone Edward Parks performing Schubert's Winterreise, accompanied by Ken Noda. Brueggergosman returned that month—this time accompanied by Justus Zeyen—with a program of songs based on her recent recording, Night and Dreams. Anne Sofie von Otter joined composer-in-residence Brad Mehldau for a recital that included the New York premiere of Mehldau's expanded version of Love Songs, originally written for von Otter as a Carnegie Hall commission in 2008. Dmitri Hvorostovsky sang works by Liszt, Fauré, Taneyev, and Tchaikovsky, accompanied by Ivari Ilja. Finally, the Orlando Consort delighted the Weill Recital Hall audience with a program of songs on the theme of food and wine. The Playbill for that evening included medieval recipes like "Orange Omelet for Pimps and Harlots."

Blog 2010-2011 Season Review Chamber Vocal Orlando Consort
The Orlando Consort delighted the audience with a program of songs on the theme of food and wine in February 2011 | Photo by Julien Jourdes. 

In March, Joyce DiDonato made her solo recital debut in the "big hall,” accompanied by David Zobel. DiDonato—another of the stars of our The Carnegie Hall Debut series—performed the world premiere of Jake Heggie's The Breaking Waves. Soprano JessicaRivera—with pianist Molly Morkoski, and Ensemble Meme conducted by Donato Cabrera—performed another world premiere that month: Mark Gray's Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels).

In April, soprano Dorothea Röschmann and countertenor David Daniels joined forces with early-music ensemble Juilliard415 for an evening of highlights from operas and oratorios by Handel, the Baroque era’s most illustrious composer. Later in the month, the stellar vocal quartet of Sylvia Schwartz, Bernarda Fink, Michael Schade, and Thomas Quasthoff turned Carnegie Hall into a considerably larger version of a 19th-century German parlor or music room as they sang songs by Schumann and Brahms. The month ended with the New York recital debut of Belgian soprano Sophie Karthäuser, who was accompanied by Eugene Asti.

Kate Royal's concert on May 20 with Christopher Glynn—when she performed her program A Lesson in Love—rounded out another extraordinary vocal recital season at Carnegie Hall.

For 2011–2012 vocal recital highlights, check out these pages:
Chamber Sessions II
Great Artists II
Great Singers I
Great Singers II: Jula Goldwurm Pure Voice Series
Great Singers II: Evenings of Song
Early Music in Weill Recital HallBaroque Unlimited
Off the Beaten Track
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