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Finally, the concert closed with Three Songs, three poems on women, love, and romance, set to music for tenor, saxophone, and piano. Summum Bonum by Robert Browning is a poem about the joys found in the 'kiss of one girl'. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes, by Francis William Bourdillon, is about the end of love. 'She Walks in Beauty' by George Gordon (Lord Byron) was the last poem and song of this concert. They were all sung ardently by Alex Richardson, tenor, with Elizabeth Wolynec on piano, and Brian Horner on saxophone, in a breathtaking performance. The richness of the tenor's voice combined with the strength of the instrumentalists made these art songs a resonant finale to the concert. Tenor Alex Richardson recently won the Laureen Butler Vocal Competition at El Paso Opera. He is recipient of the Richard Tucker Foundation Grant at Santa Fe Opera. He is on the roster of the Marilyn Horne Foundation and has an upcoming recital and residency for the Marilyn Foundation in Huntsville, Alabama.

Johnson designed his concert as a tribute to Mother's Day, adding beautiful touches which made the performance a unique experience. At one point during the concert, he called the mothers of the performers up to the stage to receive flowers. The texts of the three poems were included in full in the program. In addition, he wrote his own program notes: 'Notes on the Notes', in which he explains the context and history of his compositions. For M Zachary Johnson, this was more than a Carnegie concert; it was a beautifully conceived celebration.

Copyright © 31 May 2007 Anna L Franco, New York City, USA




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