March 2- 8, 2006
artpicksSweet and Low
Native Philadelphian Eric Owens studied at Temple and Curtis before embarking on one of the more successful careers among young American singers. He now studies with "bassmaker" Armen Boyajian, who also taught international stars Samuel Ramey and Paul Plishka. His orchestral dates take in the illustrious Cleveland Orchestra plus the Ravinia and Salzburg festivals. Having been seen at some of the greatest theaters in Europe (including London's Covent Garden and the Paris Opera), on the local stage he has performed Verdi's Monk (a short but very telling part) in Don Carlo and Mozart's Sarastro (a starring role) in Magic Flute at the Opera Company of Philadelphia. For the Chamber Music Society, Owens and the expert accompanist Warren Jones are offering Philadelphians an almost nostalgically classic recital mix: not a bad idea when so many of these intense and enjoyable song treasures are unknown to today's public. The bill begins with some Schubert, who is probablywith due apologies to Henry Purcell and John Lennonthe best and most varied song composer ever. It also includes Brahms' Vier ernste Gesänge (Four Serious Songs), long a touchstone for low-voiced singers, some of the exquisite mélodies of Henri Duparc, a perfectionist composer who destroyed every song he didn't consider first-rate, and a group of the unique (and uniquely challenging) miniatures by Hugo Wolf.
Eric Owens, bass, with Warren Jones, piano, Sun., March 5, 8 p.m., $8-$16, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 114, 13th and Cherry sts., 215-569-8080, www.pcmsconcerts.org.