Another successful Master’s Recital

The Master’s Recital at Grant Hall Wednesday afternoon had a lot on its plate. From Debussy to “West Side Story,” all went startlingly well.

Masters in vocal performance student Paula Bowers was accompanied on the piano by Natalia Rivera, a Conservatory professor.

The first piece, by Claude Debussy, was titled “Ariettes oubliées” (1885-87). It was sung in French, and Bowers performed the piece well. To those with a basic knowledge of French, the song could be understood fairly well.

The same could be said of the next pieces by Richard Strauss, all four of which were sung in German. Bowers did an admirable job of enunciating the words.

Bowers was much more animated during these pieces. Even if the audience couldn’t understand the language, there were still moments of humor to be gleaned.

Rivera played the piano beautifully throughout, supporting Bowers and her performance quite well.

After intermission, Bowers and Rivera performed Samuel Barber’s “The Hermit Songs, Op. 29” (1953). The piece consisted of nine movements of varying length. Bowers’ articulation in this piece improved as she progressed.

The next piece, “Mister Snow” by the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein duo, was performed a bit differently. It is a rather humorous piece, and Bowers exemplified that spirit in her movements and inflections. The audience responded quite well.

Continuing on in the program was “Somewhere” from Steven Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story.” The piece was a bit short, as was the following “Show Me” from Lerner and Loewe’s “My Fair Lady.” While these pieces were interesting, they had nowhere near the emotional impact of the previous pieces.

At the end of the performance, Bowers returned to the stage and said she wanted the audience to remember this afternoon.

“You’re going to carry it in your heart,” she said.

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