Monday, October 19, 2015


Art Song Canberra
Christina Wilson, mezzo-soprano
Alan Hicks, piano
Wesley Music Centre, Forrest
Sunday 18 October 2015

Review by Len Power

Once again, Art Song Canberra produced a memorable afternoon of beautiful music with their concert, ‘Love And Harmony Combine’.  The husband and wife team of Christina Wilson, mezzo-soprano, and Alan Hicks, piano, sang and played a fine selection of songs by Nigel Butterley, Robert and Clara Schumann, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Francis Poulenc and David Matthews.

After commencing with a joyous song by Nigel Butterley from his ‘Six Blake Songs’, Christina Wilson established an immediate rapport with the audience with her personable and interesting introduction to a selection of songs from Liebesfrühling (Love’s Spring) by Robert and Clara Schumann.  This group of songs displayed the full range and colour of Christina Wilson’s voice.  Her singing of ‘Er ist gekommen’ showed great control over a wide range of emotions.

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ ‘Four Last Songs’ require fine acting as well as strong singing and Christina Wilson’s performance of these songs was the highlight of the concert.

‘Le Travail du Peintre’ by Francis Poulenc was given a thoughtful presentation with a video slideshow of works by the seven painters represented in the songs.  Christina Wilson’s singing clearly brought out the subtle variation in the painters’ styles, as detailed by Poulenc’s music.

The final work was ‘The Book Of Hours’ by David Matthews comprising six poems by Rainer Maria Rilke with English versions by Babette Deutsch.  It was musically very interesting but the meaning behind the text was hard to follow.  It was, however, beautifully sung by Christina Wilson.

Accompanist, Alan Hicks, gave brilliant support throughout the concert to Christina Wilson with his sensitive playing.

The selection of songs for this concert with a relationship theme gave the audience a wide range of music styles to listen to and enjoy.  The beautiful voice of Christina Wilson, her relaxed and, at times, humorous interaction with the audience and the fine playing of Alan Hicks provided a very pleasant afternoon’s entertainment.

Len Power’s reviews can also be heard in Artsound FM 92.7’s ‘Artcetera’ program on Saturday mornings from 9.00am.