The Inessa Galante recital at Sydney’s City Recital Hall was a knockout. What a voice this woman has. Perfect technique; the sound is always produced dead centre of the voice, the resonance is never allowed to drop and the sound is shimmering from the top of the range to the bottom; from the softest pp to the big climaxes. And nothing is an effort; never a note but warm sound.
Only the stalls seats were filled in the recital hall and the audience seemed to be classical vocal music aficionados, so perhaps she does not have the fame that she deserves in Australia. I have been enjoying her opera recordings for years.
Effortlessly negotiated and executed
She started the concert with Italian baroque repertoire, Handel, Albinoni, Giordani and effortlessly negotiated the difficult roulades and executed expert ornamentation in the da capo sections. Then she launched straight into the big romantic favourites, Un bel dì (Butterfly) and Mi chiamono Mimì (Bohème).
Particularly exquisite were the pieces which are mostly vocaleses, an arrangement of Albinoni’s Adagio, which she sang ever so slowly, Caccini’s Ave Maria and Villa Lobos’ Bachianas brasileiras 5. Her diminuendos as she climbed to the very top of her range and the softest top notes were impressive indeed.
She sang the entire program from memory and what’s more, back to back; often singers will take a break and have the accompanist play some piano solos. Not Inessa. That is what a faultless technique will do for you! I would have liked to have heard Roland Peelman play some piano solos, as he did do a wonderful job accompanying.
Right at home in Russian
After interval we were treated to the Russian Romantics, Glinka, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky. She is Latvian, so is right at home in Russian and rendered the arias and songs with passionate expression and full warmth of voice.
We were treated to Summertime and a Latvian aria as encores.
This was one of those concerts that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Standing ovations are in my view a bit overused these days (in the American fashion) but this one was well deserved. I was up with the best of them.