Blenheim Music Circle

Phoebe Woollam reviews t enor Borja Gόmez-Ferrer and pianist James Williams

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Blenheim Concerts


The next concert is on Sunday 8th May 2011
at 3.30 pm in the Chiswick Catholic Centre.

Haruko Motohashi – violin and Masachi Nishiyama - piano
Programme will include works by Brahms, Mozart, Prokofiev, Elgar and McDowall

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The tenor Borja Gόmez-Ferrer and his pianist James Williams opened the concert at the Catholic Centre last Sunday with an impressive performance of Schumann’s Dichterleibe. Their interpretation was thoughtful and they communicated the text well. There were some remarkably beautiful moments.

Throughout the performance the voice was well projected, although there were times when it was not quite “weighty” enough; particularly in Im Rhein im hilegen Strome, Ich grolle nicht and in the last song Die alten, bösen Lieder, all which require more power and drama in the lower register of the voice.

James Williams coped well with the difficult piano and managed to produce some extremely delicate textures. The postludes in Und wűssten’s die Blumen, die kleinen and Die alten, bösen Lieder were notable for their technical brilliance.

Celia Harper’s Songs of Gloucestershire are beautiful settings of poems by FW Harvey, a “soldier poet” who fought in the First World War. This was an accomplished performance by both artists. The timbre of the voice was well suited to these haunting songs but, although the humour of the fifth song was well conveyed, the essential darkness of the poems was not always communicated to the audience.

The four movements of Poem in the Form of Songs by Joaquίn Turina opened with a flamboyant, and brilliantly played piano solo, and continued with three melancholy love songs.

The afternoon ended with four more love songs, this time by Francesco Paolo Tosti. Borja Gόmez-Ferrer clearly felt completely at home here and sang with confidence and great beauty. He has an exceptional voice and I feel sure we will hear more of him. James Williams is a first class pianist and a sensitive accompanist. The whole afternoon was a wonderful experience.

Phoebe Woollam

March 15, 2011