“Beautifully lyrical music….”
Michael Lampard, baritone
Karen Smithies, piano
Jo St. Leon, viola
Baha’i Centre, Hobart
The great Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti was also a poet of note.
His poetry, highly personal and biographical, was the inspiration for the three
composers represented in this recital.
Dmitri Shostakovich composed “Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarroti
(1975)” in the last year of his life. This is tough but ultimately rewarding music,
full of anger and foreboding.
Michael Lampard exhibited a passionate commitment in these performances,
rightly sacrificing some beauty of tone in order to reach for the heart of
this dark music. Interestingly, he also chose to sing the original Italian verses
rather than the Russian translation.
Peter Maxwell Davies’ “Tondo di Michelangelo (2007)” received an Australian
premiere. These 8 songs, often harsh, angular and declamatory, make great
demands on the vocal chords and Lampard attacked them with gusto, as did his
accompanist Karen Smithies. I can’t say I much enjoyed the result, though I much
admired the artistry of the performers.
Tasmanian composer Matthew Dewey’s “Il Tempo Passa” was
commissioned by Michael Lampard and received world premiere performances
at the Sunday and Monday concerts. This beautifully lyrical music was balm
indeed after edgy intensity of the other works on the program.
Four songs interspersed with two attractive interludes for viola and piano; the
style was accessible but fresh, the influences ranging from Messiaen to English
folk song. Lampard, Smithies and Jo St. Leon performed superbly.