"Today's concert was undoubtedly one of the most interesting programs of this series. Soprano Rosamund Illing and pianist David McSkimming devised a fascinating comparative survey of French texts, including those by Baudelaire, Verlaine and Gautier, with two, three and four different musical settings. This vast musical spectrum encompassed, among other compositional characteristics, the delicate beauty of Duparc, the cameo perfection of Fauré, Debussy's sensitivity, and the bluster of Chabrier.
"Both Illing and McSkimming uncovered the essential elements of each song. For Baudelaire's poem, L'invitation au voyage, they performed with great poise during Duparc's impassioned lyricism and with a certain vigor throughout Chabrier's heavier musical utterances. Alternatively, Bizet's L'Absence and Castelnuovo-Tedesco's Les filles de Cadix required lusty performance strategies that Illing delivered with admirably controlled gusto.
"One can only hope that the series convenor...can
convince this duo to return next year with a similar program of wonderfully
Joel Crotty, The Age (October 28, 1997