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  Nr. 25 - April 2000
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Music Review: Barrett Cobb in New York

by Jeffrey Carson, April 2000
If you are on Paros in June and love music, no doubt you have heard with pleasure one of the many recitals that Barrett Cobb has given us during her yearly month here, accompanied on piano by her husband, the conductor and professor Harry Saltzman. Well, this year my wife and I were fortunate enough to be in New York City on February 22 for her recital in Saint Georges Church on Manhattan’s Stuyvesant Square with good seats in a full house.

The church, mostly Gothic in style and quite attractive, was especially conducive to her rich mezzo soprano. The appreciative house was full and the performance showed Barrett at the top of her form, which means expert in technique, dramatic in expression, and lovely in tone. Her chest tones were deeply resonant and her high notes clear and thrilling.

The program of songs, lieder, and arias was extremely ambitious and effective. In a décolleté russet gown, she began the evening’s first half with Purcell, continued with a Schubert group (Goethes Erlkönig was harrowing), and concluded with Rossini; the sensitive pianist was Hank Hammett. The second half, enhanced by the virtuoso piano of Dale Dietert, essayed Schumann, Ives (insouciantly American and in blessed English), and Richard Strauss. We on Paros are used to hearing Barrett conclude with a sprinkling of lighter pieces, befitting the fragrant breezes of Paros’s summer evenings; this program, though extremely serious, was equally joyful. Properly, on Paros she is more entrancing and in New York more exhilarating.

Barrett mentioned to us that she is considering doing some of these pieces for us when she comes to Paros, if the right situation can be found. Our anticipation is considerable.
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