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<<  -- 4 --  Jennifer Paull    A musical enchantress


Her approach to music was the same. All detail, no matter how trivial, when it touched the composer and how he felt when he was writing; the caprices of the period in politics, fashion or mood; all were relevant to her portrayal of the characters about which she spoke and sang.

One came away from her recitals the richer for her artistry and learning. Her scholarship and knowledge were immense. The audience at the Berlin Festival went wild. There was a standing ovation that lasted twenty minutes, and was truly deserved.

There stood the High Priestess of contemporary music in an Art Nouveau setting on the stage. The Muse, for whom Luciano Berio had composed Sequenza lll, could be a chameleon, not just an expert in one genre of interpretation and style.

Yet Cathy had shown the world for the first time that laughing, sighing, shouting, sighing, speaking, whispering, crying, moaning, and all sorts of vocal gymnastics, were colours she possessed, and knew how to use.

Donald Fagen sang the following in Your Gold Teeth, a song recording by Steely Dan in the 1970's.

Tobacco they grow in Peking
In the Year of the Locust you'll see a sad thing
Even Cathy Berberian knows there's one roulade she can't sing

He was wrong!

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Copyright © 6 March 2002 Jennifer Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland






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