Reviews/Previews We got a sneak peek at Kara Cornell’s recital, “Gems of The Region” last night, and we can’t stress enough that you need to see and hear this recital!!
First of all, the combination of Kara and Michael is simply magical. Both are artists at the very top of their game – Kara’s earthy mezzo is glorious in itself, but when you pair that with a performance presence that inhabits the texts utterly, and draws you into their very meaning, it transcends art. Michael’s deft touch at the keyboard draws out such delicate nuances and shadings in the music – watching these two artists collaborate is thrilling and exhilarating.
Another big draw – the selection of music is stunning. Featuring local composers Frederic Sharaf, Steve Murray, Josh Rodriguez and Dean Coughtry, this recital presents some truly remarkable works conceived in our own area! What a rich talent pool we have here in upstate New York! Particularly evocative in our hearing last night was a homespun tune “Horse-Winged Cowboy” by Schoharie resident Coughtry, featuring a whimsical text from a cow’s point of view; and a set of jazz pieces (“Night”, “Golden Girl”, “There’s Still Time” and “All That You Meant To Me”) by local violinist Josh Rodriguez. Rodriguez’ gifts as a composer for voice are prodigious – he plumbs every nuance of his texts and sets them with great sophistication and elegance for the voice. If you are a sucker for a love song, you’ll feast on a set of love songs by Frederic Sharaf, which bloom with deep passion and unabashed romanticism.
Do yourself a favor and do not miss this recital. It is simply wonderful. And it’s so important to support living composers and living, vibrant art. Many of these compositions are world premieres, and the composers will be attending the concert as well.
Hope to see you there!