Susan Graham's Barbican concert praised in The Times
20th December 2004: The Times
has given Susan Graham's Barbican concert a 4-star review and plenty of praise. The performance, which took place on Friday 17th December with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Yan Pascal Tortelier, saw Graham performing Ravel's Shéhérazade
and Debussy's Le livre de Baudelaire
as orchestrated by John Adams both of which (together with Chausson's Poème de l'amour et de la mer
) have been recorded this week for release in spring 2005.
John Allison of The Times
wrote, 'the temperature rose with the mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, a superb interpreter of French music who gave one of the most intense accounts imaginable of Ravel's Shéhérazade
. Few singers sound quite so involved here, yet if these three songs sometimes resembled operatic soliloquies they also had the restraint that is essential in Ravel. The yearning here is more exotic that in Elgar or Payne [the other, orchestra works in the concert], and Graham spun seamless phrases with Arabian Nights-like enchantment. Her warm tone was matched by an atmospheric accompaniment from the orchestra to voluptuous effect.
'In Le Livre de Baudelaire
, John Adams' arrangements of four Debussy songs, Graham phrased with caressing lightness.'