The latest in the excellent series of Resonance concerts at Pitt St was THE LOVE OF A POET featuring baritone Alexander Knight and Chris Cartner on piano in a thrilling concert, eloquently played. If you like Schumann and the German Romantics this concert was for you. It certainly helped that the acoustics in this inner city Uniting Church were warm and flattering.
There were no programmes or surtitles per se, the audience sat ‘in the round’ in the church’s configuration and a screen was used which featured English translations and beautiful landscapes as illustrations.
Each piece in the concert was introduced by one of the two gentlemen.
Knight was in glorious voice, at times lyrical and moving, at other times powerful and punchy.
First up was Robert Schumann’s Traumerei (from his Kinderszenen) which was both haunting and lyrical and given a fragile, delicate playing by Cartner.
In der Fremde followed with a forest landscape. Cartner accompanying on piano with passionate rippling overtones.
Widmung was next with its prominent central section in E. A love song , it was given a heart felt, passionate and yearning performance . Romance in F#, op.28 no. 2 then followed, a magical whirling, flowing performance by Cartner. It was exquisite and full of melancholy and featured a repetition of various musical themes.
The second half consisted of Dicherliebe (“The love of a poet”) sixteen songs of various moods and themes. Some pieces were as short as thirty seconds, yet all came together to paint an an extraordinary picture /portrait of ‘the love of a poet’.
The cycle was inspired by dreams, fairy-tales and the natural world Some were extremely Romantic, other pieces were passionate, proud and defiant. Some looked at nature the Rhine river (you could hear its flowing), some at helpless, passionate love.
For some of the pieces Cartner’s playing was fast and furious, dashing and breathless, for others it was slower and more lyrical. Knight’s singing was glorious throughout.
The Dicherliebe sequence was a glorious way to conclude this very special concert.
Running time- one hour without interval.
LOVE OF A POET was performed one time only, on the 1st April , at the Pitt Street Uniting Church, previously having played venues at Lavender Bay and Annandale.
For more about Resonance, visit http://www.resonance.net.au/