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At Tanglewood's Seiji Ozawa Hall in Lenox, a concert of Stravinsky's vocal music on 14 August proved an insightful counterpoint to Celis's ballet. The resonant, beautiful voices of the Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Fellows launched a three hour marathon with the mystical Russian Credo. The virile, rich bass voice of Charles Temkey was a standout in the anti-war satire How the Mushrooms Went to War. Stefan Reed revealed an agile, high, light tenor sound in the lovely Pastorale (1907). Violinist Katherine Bormann displayed lovely tone, patrician phrasing, and strong technique in the Divertimento for Violin and Piano -- a 1932 transcription of music from Stravinsky's ballet The Fairy's Kiss, based on themes by Tchaikovsky. The opulent Verdian soprano voice of Michelle Johnson embraced Two Poems of Konstantin Bal'mont.

2005 Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Fellow Charles Temkey performs in a masterclass for BSO Music Director James Levine. Photo © 2005 Walter H Scott
2005 Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Fellow Charles Temkey performs in a masterclass for BSO Music Director James Levine. Photo © 2005 Walter H Scott

The elegant Cat's Cradle Songs (1915) were a winning showcase for the wonderfully rich mezzo-soprano of Abigail Fischer whose plush vocal quality is similar to Frederica von Stade. The dulcet vocal beauty and textual clarity of tenor Michael Kelly was stunning in the narrative of Jesus from Ricercar II (1952) -- atonal music that is truly moving. Mezzo-soprano Helene Couture brought warmth and passion to three Shakespeare settings. Stravinsky's austere 1968 orchestral settings of two lieder by Hugo Wolf were sung with shining tone and dramatic conviction by baritone Alexander Hurd. Conducting Fellow Steven Jarvi worked orchestral magic with the student ensemble. Faculty member Jay Wadenpfuhl led the TMC Vocal Women in a superb, stirring rendition of Four Russian Peasant Songs (1954) for a light up the sky finale!

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Copyright © 4 September 2005 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA

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