"Queen of Lieder" an advertisement hailed Elizabeth Schwarzkopf in yesterday afternoon's program-book for the soprano's Symphony Hall recital, and for once an advertisement understated. She was not only the Queen of Lieder, but the queen of everything on the long program. One has never heard more consistent singing throughout a variety of style that demanded everything from light winsome gayety to full dramatic intensity. Miss Schwarzkopf is a superb singer and a great interpreter. Her musical instinct and artistic insight are guided by a keen intelligence which finds, preserves, and transmits the essence of every song and aria.
"Her timbre, style, and delivery change with every composition. In the opening group of Bach, Gluck, Pergolesi and Mozart, the special quality of each composer was made plain in microcosm of a few fleeting measures. The succeeding Schubert lieder gave us the quintessence of the composer with only four examples. Mozart's grace steel-spring resilience were clearly shown in arias sung with that mingling of charm and strength without which the composer can become over-dainty or over-precise.
"There was a change from the printed list in the third group when to mark Sibelius's 90th birthday the recitalist presented four songs by the Finnish com poser. Was it the magic of Miss Schwarzkopf's renditions that made these seem masterpieces of form and substance Possibly so since one previously never had thought of ranging this composer's works for voice alongside his symphonies.
"Arias by Puccini and light but no less artistically done encores closed an afternoon of great music-making rendered all the more effective by the pianistic support of Paul Ulanowsky who was a full and equal partner.
"Miss Schwarzkopf herself could scarcely restrain her enthusiasm for the inspired playing of her accompanist. She forced him to share the applause after every song and after every group. At one point she turned to the audience with an expression of nothing less than awe and shaking her head in almost disbelieving admiration played a piano with her fingers in the air as if to say that never had she received accompaniment of this order; that it was impossible; that such sympathy, tact, brilliance and skill could not possibly exist.
"All that the soprano tried to indicate about Mr. Ulanowsky the audience felt and showed about Miss Schwarzkopf. The weather outside was atrocious, but inside it was a fairyland of magic, warmth, light, and song with the audience completely en rapport with the two artists on stage. This was a concert one will never forget.