Joanna Porackova, Soprano; Bradley Pennington & John Bell Young, Pianists
Soprano Joanna Porackova chose a wide selection of songs for a concert given as a benefit for the victims of HIV/AIDS. She included songs by several Russian composers including Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) and Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951). Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), is also well represented with several songs including the title piece, Spring Waters. Although Russian-born and educated, Rachmaninoff emigrated from his homeland in 1917 at the time of the Russian Revloution. Ms. Porackova also chose a very famous bel canto aria, Casta diva from the opera Norma by Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835), and an equally famous aria, O patria mia from the opera Aïda by Italian composer, Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901). The concert was rounded out by words of appreciation from Ms. Porackova and a moving rendition of Jeg elsker Dig (”I love you”) by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg (1843-1907).