The evergreen sounds of some of the great popular songs of the 20th century came to St. Matthews Church in Newlyn last Sunday afternoon as part of the Four Seasons Fine Music Festival. The list of outstanding composers from Harold Arlen to Victor Young guaranteed a sparkling selection of romantic ballads and toe-tapping dance songs in a program titled “At Last”. Soprano Eleanor Kerr, with baritone Ron Caffyn and accompanist Linda O’Brien on electronic piano, performed with commitment and passion.
With such well-known songs as “Over the Rainbow”, “Summertime”, “Ain’t Misbehavin” and “It had to be You” the program was always going to be a crowd-pleaser. Kerr’s classically trained voice worked very well most of the time, particularly where finesse was required in songs like “When I fall in Love”. Caffyn’s cabaret experience and laid-back style was overall better suited to this genre, especially in the duet “Fly Me to the Moon”, with the voices side by side.
O’Brien’s keyboard added significantly to the concert, as sympathetic accompanist and with excellent solo fills in quite a few of the songs. In “Autumn Leaves”, for example, the piano solo went further than just bridging, taking the music on a separate journey before returning to the singer.
UPCOMING: Music lovers shouldn’t miss a special weekend at the Four Seasons Fine Music Festival . Gillian McNaughton and Anthony Halliday will perform at St Paul's, Clunes and St. John's, Creswick on November 3 and 4.