Georgian Star Commands at Carnegie Hall
Otar Taktakishvili: Selected Songs
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Selected Songs
Gabriel Fauré: Selected Songs
Henri Duparc: Selected Songs
Manuel de Falla: Siete canciones populares espanolas, G. 40
Anita Rachvelishvili (mezzo-soprano), David Aladashvili (piano)
The holiday season made for an intimate audience at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, but this did not prevent the rising star Georgian mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili from commanding the room with an intriguing program of songs taken from four national traditions. Paired in an astonishingly synergetic interaction with her superb accompanist David Aladashvili, it was a great treat to hear such mastery up close. Known to New York audiences primarily for her Metropolitan Opera performances as Carmen (the famous seguidilla featured as one of the concert’s encores) and Konchakovna in Borodin’s Prince Igor, these selections allowed for greater introspection and nuance.
It is hard to focus on which selection was the most appealing, but for me it was Henri Duparc’s Extase that best captured the singer’s purring low notes. Rachmaninoff’s Russian romances, particularly Sing Not to Me, Beautiful Maiden, suggested an appealing hint of the exotic already introduced by the Georgian songs of Otar Taktakishvili, which opened the evening. At its end, Manuel de Falla’s set of Spanish songs allowed for the exploration of an appealing energy.
The concert was given as a charity benefit for young musicians. We can only hope New York’s musical public will take greater note of this outstanding young artist as she looks forward to many more triumphs.
Paul du Quenoy