American Exiles: Andrew Kennedy, Great Hall, Queen’s University
Tenor’s gallant efforts light up truly taxing programme
Tenor Andrew Kennedy provided the final concert in BBC Radio Three’s American Exiles series with a stimulating set of recitals focusing attention on the variety of music which flowed from composers who, either through choice or through imposition, ended up in the United States.
Kennedy has an impressive reputation and a confidently operatic voice.
A tell-tale cough just after the opening of the recital, however, implied that he was having perhaps some vocal difficulties on this occasion.
It was noticeable that at several points throughout what was a taxing programme, his top register sounded a little strained unless he was à pleine voix, and that meant that every so often he had to revert to his falsetto voice. Not a crime but unexpected nonetheless.
It did not by any means obscure the fact that Kennedy was a persuasive advocate of all the songs he presented during the performance.
He has a warm stage presence and a fine sense of diction.
Although the Great Hall is an attractive venue, it has an acoustic which favours instrumental and choral music rather than the clarity of solo voice.
Joseph Middleton was an outstanding accompanist throughout, providing musical and sensitive support with a formidable pianistic technique.