Recital with Llyr Williams

The Queen's Hall

Five Stars
"The lexicon of the English language cannot possibly do justice to the exquisite beauty and wisdom of musicianship displayed in Saturday's recital; however, I shall do my best...

Mezzo-Soprano Jamie Barton - BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and Song Prize Winner 2013 , accompanied by the celebrated pianist Llyr Williams, gave a mesmerising performance, albeit to an undeservedly low audience. With a programme of lesser known romantic works, she began with Spanish composer Joaquin Turina's 'Homage a Lope Vega'. From the second she began to sing the audience was captivated with her rich, full bodied yet buoyant voice as she brought to life a tale of unrequited love under a starlit Mediterranean sky.

Schubert's 'Gretchen am Spinnrade' (Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel) saw the lovelorn theme continue, with Williams' unrelenting urgency in the accompaniment underpinning our protagonist's crazed longing for her lover.

The astounding synchronisation between these two musicians was most evident in Dvorak's Gipsy Songs. Though both Barton and Williams are each brilliantly accomplished and fantastically intelligent artists, their fusion was utterly transcendent to the sum of the parts in this cycle. The subtleties of rubato were as astonishing yet natural as the pull of the moon on the tide and their spellbinding music-making almost made sense of the entire cosmos.

Barton wonderfully evokes the spirit of whatever she sings without having to 'act'; it is evident that the dreams and passions of those of whom she sings flow through her blood intertwined with the music. She is an honest and profound communicator, and one who touches the hearts as well as the ears of those who listen to her in a truly special way."
Miranda Heggie, The Herald Scotland


Beth Stewart