Toni Walsh (mezzo soprano)/Alison Young (piano)
TONI WALSH (mezzo soprano) introduced a section of her recital in the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre last week with a reference to mothers to whom we could all relate "either at the giving or receiving end". The songs about mothers were Stanford's The Bold Unbiddable Child, Larchet's Wee Hughie and T. C. Kelly's The Mother (a setting of the poem by Padraig Pearse). Whatever about mothers, these are not songs that everyone finds it easy to relate to nevertheless, it was only in the first two of these that the singer approached that special tone of voice and subtle flexibility of delivery that one expects in a song recital.
Even excerpts from operas need to be scaled down. Mozart's Come Scoglio (cosi fan tutti) and Mascagni's Voi lo sapete (Cavalleria Rusticana) were projected with enough power to defeat an orchestra, uncalled for in the circumstances.
Toni Walsh's accent, in the Italian, French and Spanish songs, was, little help to the listener anxious to learn more about the content of the songs, and Alison Young (piano) could have done more to differentiate between the various national styles.