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Caroline Taylor and I lived very close to each other in Andrew Melville Hall in first year. I was impressed by her voice and the emotion within it when I first heard her sing from outside the common room, even though the sound was muffled by the walls. When I found out about her recital, I was looking forward to it so much that I decided write my first ever review for it. And, to my deep enjoyment and appreciation, the recital exceeded my expectations.

Despite of my lack of knowledge concerning soprano, opera or any of the languages the songs were sung in, I felt great enthusiasm for a life full of joy, excitement and love, just like the theme of the recital – “Je veux vivre” (I want to live)!  I was deeply impressed by Caroline’s amazing singing skills, especially by her beautiful coloratura displayed throughout the recital. The fine quality of the voice at higher pitches and the elaborate yet smooth turnings showed her amazing vocal control. I also loved her way of performing, which made the emotions in the music apparent to the audience.

During the second song (my favourite song in the recital – Romance by Debussy) through her gentle and light singing and her gaze, a peaceful pastoral scene occupied my mind, in which the morning sun softly shined through the thin fog and the dewdrops on grass shimmered playfully. During the fourth song, Oh! quand je dors (in which Liszt talked about experience of dreaming), I floated like a feather in a gentle, warm wilderness under a glimmering sky. When the music became more dynamic, her singing and performing led the dream to become stormy, which made the final return to peacefulness so precious and touching.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience. I am definitely looking forward to Caroline Taylor’s next performance, and I believe anyone else who was there assuredly feels the same way.

 

 

Jun Chu

 

 

Photo Credit: Emma Taylor