|Emma Dogliani |
and Kate Conway
In the two half hour slots the trio tackled serious arias from George Frideric Handel's (1685-1759) 'Alcina' and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's (1756-1791) 'La Clemenza di Tito' (which she will be singing later this year with Midsummer Opera) but balanced them against ''O sole mio' (hence the ice cream) by Giovanni Capurro (1859-1920) and Eduardo di Capua (1865-1917), and 'Funiculì, Funiculà' (in Neapolitan then English for audience participation) by Peppino Turco (1846-1903) and Luigi Denza (1846-1922). For the most part the violin (Conway) provided the tune or counter tune to soprano (Dogliani), with Voldman on keyboard filling in for the rest of the orchestra.
As a change from the obvious there were two voice-violin duets. A canonic instrumental duet (No. 2) by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) was rescored with the violin leading, and 'Sous le dôme épais' ('The Flower Duet'), from the opera 'Lakmé' by Léo Delibes (1836-1891), had Conway playing Mallika's line. For the 'Lakmé' the two ladies walked around the audience lit by a spotlight on what looked like a broom handle held by the sound guy – while a bit Heath Robinson it fitted in with the old fashioned ambience of playing at home to friends and family.
The only wrinkle was that because the violin was amplified her sound came from the same direction no matter where she stood. The amplification also had the effect of making her sound a little woolly due to the tiny delay between her actual sound and the amplified one, and I suspect that the amplification was not equal at all frequencies, which also could have also affected the violin's tone.
Conway got a solo and chose 'Légende Op. 17' by Henryk Wieniawski (1835-1880). A slight hiccup occurred when she lost her place but she smoothly and professionally apologised and carried on – and indeed was much more relaxed afterwards. This was so delightfully done that it could almost have been done on purpose to put the audience at ease.
A few sadder songs later the group finished on Georges Bizet's (1838-1875) 'Habanera' ('L'amour est un oiseau rebelle') from 'Carmen' – a song that Dogliani was trying out. 'Habanera' is normally sung by a beefy mezzo voice so Dogliani's soprano gave a new lighter sound to this traditional number. Nevertheless she gave it lots of welly making it the showstopper ending to the concert.
Whether serious or funny, the personalities of the two ladies provided the entertainment, their obvious enjoyment and skill, and the solid accompaniment by Voldman carried the event along. It would have been nice to have heard a piano solo too – but perhaps that is on the cards for next time. Indeed with such a variety of tastes anything could happen... three4 next play Rich Mix in January.
Reviewed by Hilary Glover
Elsewhere on this blog:
- Astounding debut: Javier Camarena at Rosenblatt Recitals - concert review
- Opera undressed: Otello at ENO - opera review
- Bravura: Vivaldi's Griselda, Opera Settecento at Cadogan Hall - concert review
- Rare and enticing: Purcell's The Indian Queen at the Wigmore Hall - concert review
- A discovery & a delight: Etienne Mouline from Ensemble Correspondances and Sebastien Dauce - CD review
- Silver Clarity: The Voice of Isobel Baillie - CD review
- Fine revival: Handel's Xerxes at London Coliseum - Opera review
- Different musics: Duke Quartet and London Chamber Music Collective at Kings Place Festival - concert review
- Birthday boy: Peter Maxwell Davies at the Proms - concert review
- Classical works, folk roots: Kings PLace Festival - concert review
- Chanson d'Avril: Nicole Cabell - CD review