An encore from baritone William Sharp
The last Baltimore Symphony program showcased American music, including Aaron Copland's nostalgic "Old American Songs" with soloist William Sharp. I heard (and read) grumblings after the performance I attended about difficulty hearing the baritone in Meyerhoff Hall.
I heard grumblings after Renee Fleming sang there, too, one more reason why I chalk it up to the acoustics, not the vocalists. I don't think Meyerhoff is so great for solo violin, either, by the way. That said, I had no trouble getting the impact of Sharp's performance, even if a few words were swallowed up by the accompanying orchestral fabric.
I have always been impressed with his interpretive vibrancy, his ability to connect deeply with both words and music. I'd say his students at Peabody are damn lucky.
I thought a little encore from the baritone would be in order, especially for the benefit of anyone who didn't hear the BSO program -- or didn't hear him well enough at one of the performances. Here's a song by ...
Paul Bowles, an unjustly neglected composer, with a text by Tennessee Williams: "Heavenly Grass." This recording easily captures the many qualities that make Sharp such an admirable artist: