University of York Song Day 2022University of York Song Day, National Centre for Early Music & Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, York, February 19th 2022
This year’s York Song Day was curated by classical pianist Christopher Glynn and I was thrilled to be a part of it. It took place a day after Storm Eunice and it was a tricky journey over the top of the Pennines, with strong winds and snow falling on the way. But there was a lovely warm atmosphere waiting for us on arrival in York and it was brilliant to see so many audience members come out to enjoy the events throughout the day.
I was delighted to meet and work with brilliant vocal students from The University of York in a masterclass alongside Chris at National Centre for Early Music. In the evening we headed over to the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall to perform a programme of Richard Strauss songs with Chris on the piano, and lovely sopranos Rowan Pierce and Siân Dicker. We performed a full programme of Richard Strauss Lieder with songs covering nearly 80 years of his life. Our final piece all-together was the Der Rosenkavalier trio, Hab’ mir’s Gelobt (I Made A Vow) – Heaven, and we had clear skies all the way home!
“Kathryn Rudge began with three songs from Op 10, composed in 1894 and his first to be published. She entered straight into the mood of Zueignung (Dedication), giving its powerful melody a strong line. She never let our attention wander after that either.
Glynn brought bold colourings to Nichts (Nothing), which she amplified, before a wonderfully contemplative Die Nacht (Night), calm, hovering, treasuring the moment. It was a gem.
She later returned with Schlagende Herzen (Beating hearts), capturing the nervous essence of young love with its repeated ‘kling-klangs’. There was no doubt about the depth of her feeling in Sehnsucht (Yearning), and her approach to the final word, Paradise, at the end of Das Rosenband (Rose Garland) was exquisite, once again making time stand still.
These were the work of a singer in her prime, one who knows exactly how to hold an audience in thrall. Spellbinding stuff, the voice beautifully focused throughout its range, right to the very top.”