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November 2003 - Nr. 11


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Newton Donates Works
No Growth w/o Reforms
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New Waterway
VW Designer

A "Liederabend" in Hamilton

by George Fischer

October 15th was a special night in Hamilton: four great vocalists, sponsored by the German Consulate and supported by the Canadian-German Festival and Opera Ontario, offered an evening of song at the Centenary United Church. Just a week earlier these vocalists performed in ‘The Barber of Seville’ in Hamilton Place. Now they focused on the Lieder composed by Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler, Berg, and Richard Strauss.

From the beginning, the audience was spellbound as baritone Aaron St. Clair Nicholson presented Schubert’s Lieder based on the poetry of Heine, Uhland, and Rückert. He clinched his performance with Goethe’s ‘Erlkönig’.

Melissa Schiel, a contralto, chose the five Rückertlieder by Mahler. The songs are quite brief, but vary in theme from gentle love to a sense of withdrawal and a final surrender of the self to the universal force that transcends life and death.

Michael Colvin focused on songs from Schubert’s ‘Die schöne Müllerin’. These songs evoked images of a time long past, when hiking along brooks and fields of flowers was the experience common to many people, young and old. Michael Colvin, a tenor, bridged that time gap with an intensely personalized interpretation.

The program concluded with a selection of songs by Berg and Strauss, delivered by one of Canada’s top sopranos, Shannon Mercer. It was a solid, professional presentation that left the audience in awe.

All vocalists performed their songs flawlessly in German - from memory. Pianist Leslie De’Ath accompanied the vocalists. It was an evening of great art, performed by great Canadian talents.


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