The culmination of a short masterclass series with renowned mezzo Colette McGahon, in which promising young singers sing a selection of Schubert songs accompanied by Gail Evans and Daniel O’Neill.
Generously supported by the Esme Mitchell Trust.
To the young performers
“What a wealth of promising talent was displayed by the young performers”
The songs of composer Franz Schubert are an important part of the repertoire of singers of all ages. This was proven this past weekend at the Belfast Music Society’s International Festival of Chamber Music during two concerts devoted to the art of singing. On Saturday morning, young participants in a series of master classes with mezzo-soprano Colette McGahon gave a song recital of some of Schubert’s best-known works. In some ways these songs, though found in the repertoires of singers of all age the world over are ideally suited to performance by young singers. Schubert himself was a young man when he wrote his songs. Indeed he was young when writing all of his music, having lived only to age 31. There’s great drama and emotion in the songs, and each of the young singers put this across very effectively, clearly understanding the German texts and the story behind the notes.
At times, I could have wished for clearer diction. German is a language of hard endings and slender vowels. I couldn’t help but feel that if these texts had been in English, the singers would have been more meticulous about d’s and t’s. However, there was great beauty in the voices, and for the most part, wonderful control. University-level singers Sarah Richmond and Maeve Duddy showed special poise and promise.