• 1972 CONCERT
  • Gerda Spireanu
  • Patricia Payne
  • Robert Currier christesen
  • Gheorge-Emil Crasnaru
  • Eduard Tumageanian
  • Adelheid Krauss
  • Gerda Spireanu
  • Patricia Payne
  • Robert Currier Christesen
  • Gheorge-Emil Crasnaru
  • Eduard Tumageanian
  • Adelheid Krauss

The critic of NRC Handelsblad noted that one of the interesting elements of the concluding Gala Concerts of the IVC, was to be seen in the given fact that such concerts always brought some unexpected achievements. There might be a Second Prizewinner who rose to the challenge of eclipsing the winners, and then there were singers who showed their true colors with the full orchestra behind them, which could at times also reveal the limitations of others. NRC therefore judged it a brilliant idea to embed the final concert in the competition, making it a grand finale with full orchestra – even though never effectuated, this remains an intriguing idea.

Of the concluding Gala Concert of the 15TH IVC, we have only one review, another unidentified newspaper clipping written by L. Sch. He readily acknowledged that such concerts were by their very nature the result of creative improvisation, yet he had wished for the audience that the outcome had been more in line with the expectations raised by some vocalists in their appearances during the finals. He thought that Angela Beale’s rendition of Desdemona’s ‘Willow aria’ fell short of her imposing achievements in song during the competition. In opera, her very special abilities in terms of interpretation and performing could not expand to the same extent, ‘a song by Richard Strauss would have given superior results.’ Hans-Georg Dahmen’s allegedly sang a bit off pitch in his Tannhäuser arias, which made him insecure: ‘Regrettable, since Dahmen had it in him to become a lyric-heroic baritone of sorts.’ Csilla Zentai’s ‘Ach ich fuhls’ did not fare much better, according to the critic, who thought that she did have the vocal resources, but still lacked experience and maturity to become an interpreter of sorts. Ilie Baciu, in turn, was singing for the galleries, with the bravura of a showman, and thus with lack of subtlety and characterization. When mezzo Ria Bollen and the alto Oriel Sutherland also failed to impress L. Sch., he reserved his compliments for the Maestro of the evening, Hein Jordans, who led the local orchestra with amazing control. Still, this review raises the question if a concert of winners from any vocal competition should be judged by the criteria one would hold up for a performance at any given National Opera? Even though these singers were not altogether inexperienced, sometimes already singing professionally for several years, the fact remains that one can’t expect Concertgebouw perfection at a Winner’s Gala that is being put together from scratch in just a few days. A final word on English soprano Wendy Eathorne, who had obligations elsewhere, and was therefore absent at the concert.

According to this unidentified critic, Gerda Spireanu, Adelheid Krauss and the baritone Eduard Tumageanian lived up to the expectations, and proved themselves wholly on a par with their achievements during the finals, although Spireanu had to fight for the top notes in the fearsome aria of The Queen of the Night. Her ‘Regnava nel silenzo… Quando rapita in estasi’ from Donzetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor there against was excellent. Tumageanian was both praised for his vocal style, as well as for his bravura on stage. Krauss had to sing her aria from La Cenerentola twice, after the first attempt ended in a misunderstanding with the conductor; according to this critic, she fared very well by the repetition. Less favored by the orchestra was First Prizewinner Robert Currier Christesen, whose elegant baritone lacked the necessary volume to stand the challenge of a full orchestra, even though there was true musicality in his ‘Nemico della patria’ from Giordano’s Andrea Chénier. The critic of NRC thought Gheorghe-Emil Crasnaru’s performance ‘insufficient,’ whereas Patricia Payne only rose to the challenge in the concluding Verdi aria; otherwise she seemed ‘uninspired.’

Although these are the opinions of one critic only, whereas critics not seldom end to disagree among themselves, one can evaluate the reviews at will, since we provide MP3 samples of the actual concert below (which will definitely rehabilitate Gheorghe-Emil Crasnaru. His Leporello is unusually mellifluous, reveals a splendid, healthy voice, and a most seductive timbre, even if he is not yet a complete artist in terms of interpretation. For a debutant, however, this sounds as fine as one could possibly expect – RS).

Hein Jordans pleasantly surprised critics and audience by presenting rarely heard works of contemporary Dutch composers Oscar van Hemel and Hendrik Andriessen for the orchestral introductions to the first and second part of the concert.


September 13, 1972
IVC Concluding Gala Concert, Casino Theatre, Den Bosch

Brabant Orchestra conducted by Hein Jordans.

1   Oscar van Hemel ‘Entrata per orchestra’ *
2 Patricia Payne (a)
Mozart The Messiah ‘O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion’
3 Gheorghe-Emil Crasnaru (bt)
Mozart Don Giovanni ‘Madamina, il catalogo è questo’
4 Gerda Spireanu (s)
Mozart Die Zauberflöte ‘Der Hölle Rache’
5 Patricia Payne (a) Gluck Orfeo et Euridice ‘Che faro senza Euridice’ *
6 Robert Currier Christesen (bt) Massenet Hérodiade ‘Vision fugitive’ *
7 Adelheid Krauss (ms)
Mozart La cenerentola ‘Non più mesta’
8 Hendrik Andriessen Canzone per orchestra’ *
9 Robert Currier Christesen (bt)
Giordano Andrea Chénier ‘Nemico della patria’
10 Patricia Payne (s)
Verdi Requiem ‘Liber scriptus’ 
11 Eduard Tumageanian (bt)
Verdi Macbeth ‘Pietà, rispetto, amore’
12 Gerda Spireanu (s)
Donizetti Lucia di Lammermoor ‘Regnava nel silenzio’


* Not broadcast

** Second Prize winners soprano Nina Stefanova & baritone Jacques Bona were unable to perform due to obligations elsewhere