Art-Song Recital Sophisticated, Refined
by Judith Mintel, for the Thomas Wikman website
The audience was so attentive and respectful that you could hear the proverbial pin drop in the hall throughout the concert.
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The piano accompaniment by Mr. Wikman was sensitive and artistic to the highest degree. He supplied plenty of
forward motion yet allowed the singer time to breathe -- all the while wrapping the audience in a mood of time past that
was irresistible. He conjured the moon and the pure night air in the middle of the day, allowing the soprano
seduction to occur naturally and without warning.
Wikman's playing was full of amazing contradictions: he was assertive and ever-present, but never dominated Holliday's
singing. He took the lead or followed the singer as the music demanded.
Tchaikovsky was an indifferent pianist and wrote his song accompaniments without regard for facility of execution.
There are fiendishly difficult passages requiring crossed hands and interlaced fingers that are awkward to play though
they sound wonderful. Wikman made all this seem effortless and natural.
This recital can make you forget that you are living in the 21st century. If you let it, it will transport you back
in history to the time of Enrico Caruso and Dame Nellie Melba -- the Golden Years of vocalism, when popular entertainment
was not the TV.
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