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Haydn, Hahn, Stenhammer, Sibelius, Mahler & Montsalvatge

Karina Lucas – mezzo soprano / Simon Lane - piano

St Gabriel's London SW1

20 June 2007


Haydn – Ariana a Naxos

Hahn – A Chloris; Reverie, Trois jours de vendange

Stenhammer – Flickan kom fran sin alsklings mote; Flickan knyter I Johannenatten

Sibelius – Varen Flykter hastigt; Den fortsa kyssen; Flickan kom fran sin alsklings mote

Mahler – 5 Ruckert Lieder

Montsalvatge – Cinco Canciones Negras


This was my first visit to one of “The Seven Series” concerts in St Gabriel's Church, Pimlico and it proved a very enjoyable one,with a welcoming atmosphere. A beautifully proportioned Victorian church, the mellow acoustics were perfectly suited to showing off its fine, and superbly maintained, 19th century Steinway piano with its very distinctive timbre to set off the glowing mezzo of Karina Lucas., a graduate of the National Opera School with wide operatic experience.


Her very well constructed programme opened with Haydn's cantata Ariadne a Naxos which reflects the changing mood of the princess as she finds herself abandoned. A momentary lapse in concentration was swiftly covered, but it seemed to take a bit of heat out of the fury that is essential to this piece.


Next came a group of songs by Reynaldo Hahn which were absolutely spot on: impressive French diction combined with subtly expressed feelings, and a chance to show off the upper range of her voice. These were swiftly followed by a Swedish interlude. Again, the mood of the pieces was faithfully captured, and it was interesting to compare the rival settings of Runeberg's well known poem.


Lucas and Lane opened the second half of their recital with Mahler's Ruckert Lieder, unfolding these tender love songs with gentle care, although as with the Swedish songs) fewer words were distinguishable than one would wish – and it would have been useful to have the original texts as well as the translations provided.


Finally they ended with Montsalvatge's bravura Canciones Negras which seem to be enjoying something of a vogue of late. Here the performance was spirited, and the contrast between the songs was well marked – the crazed calm of Chevere toying with his knife was particularly well done.


A singer and a pianist well looking out for – they are both scheduled to feature in the Park Lane Group's Wigmore Hall recital on 5 th November.


Serena Fenwick



see Karina Lucas in Park Lane Group 2007



Haydn's Ariana a Naxos & Montsalvatge's Cinco Canciones Negras will be included in mezzo Clara Mouriz's Wigmore Hall recital on 5th July