South African baritone Louis Berkman, overseas bound, last night gave a drawing room recital at the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. Chitrin.
Mr. Berkman sings with an engaging mixture of earnestness and enthusiasm and clearly enjoys exploiting his big voice wherever possible.
He was most successful where the music was conceived on a large scale or was dramatic in quality, as was the aria from Mendelssohn’s “Elijah”.
The humorous aspects of Mozart’s “Non plu andra” were conveyed with obvious pleasure.
Four of Beethoven’s “Gellert Songs” were sung with evident feeling, and Esther Lacey’s intelligent accompaniment was here notably beautiful.
The Lieder group sounded impersonal, as though insufficient thought had been given to their musical and literary content, and they indicated that Mr. Berkman had some difficulty in holding a smooth degato line in quieter singing. Intonation, too, was not always under control.
The Negro spirituals went well, but the three early Italian and German arias sounded defenceless under rather heavy treatment. Mr. Berkman left the impression that more discipline will be required before he realizes his full promise.