Yesterday’s lunch-hour recital of the Rhodesian Academy of Music brought Judith Conradie Watt (soprano) back to the concert platform after several years’ absence. A warm reception testified to her popularity.
Vocally, the rest has done her no harm. I cannot recall hearing her in better voice – it was bright, well projected and tonally clean in every register, as her varied programme showed. Add this to her charm of presence, and her popularity is easily understood.
The Elizabethan love songs with which she has opened ideally suited her unfussy delivery. They indicated, though, that she has some difficulty in sustaining notes for long without beginning to warble, and that when approaching it from below, she often hits her notes slightly flat.
In the group of lieder by Brahms, her main shortcomings seemed firstly a tendency to shape the phrases rather blandly, without much ebb and swell, and secondly an inability to darken her voice sufficiently when the sense of the words and music demanded some inwardness of feeling.
None the less, her singing of this group gave considerable pleasure, and left one fully conscious of the beauty of the songs
I believe Miss Conradie Watt can come to terms with her technical difficulties, and I look forward to her futher appearances