Because: counter-tenor Reginald Mobley sings Spirituals

A truly impressive recital.

Because: counter-tenor Reginald Mobley sings Spirituals

I have been tremendously impressed by Reginald Mobley (artist website) on a number of occasions: a Matthäus-Passion with John Eliot Gardiner at Versailles as part of the Easter 2016 celebration being promary among them (and a B-Minor Mass again at Versailles this year), come to think of it).

Mobley's voice is unforgettable live, so pure yet with a core of emotion. Hearing him in Spirituals is just as impressive, especially when partnered with such a fine pianist as Baptistste Troptignon. Listen to the opening of Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child, or the piano break in I got a Robe to hear the player's power, and how he creates the perfect atmospheres (including one of some disquiet in I got a Robe):

In a rather nice sleight, the piano solo Why is answered by the net track, Because (Florence Price). The video of Because includes some commentary by Mobley:

Everyone knows Steal Away, surely, but this arrangementy Patrick Dupré Quihley is notable for the repeated note in the piano part; a reference perhaps to Chopin’s so-called “Raindrop” Prélude, a gesture we hear ahainlater in My Lord, What a Mornin'? (here’s a link to Maurizio Pollini in that Chopin):

The intriguingly titled Bright Sparkles in the Churchyard  includes multiple entreaties from the protagonist to be 'rocked in the cradle all de day’:

Here at Classical Explorer we have spent some time with the composer Florence Price: the piano disc Fantasie Nègre, and a related live performance by Samatha Ege; the discs Black Renaissance Women and a Chandos disc byteh Kaleidoscopre Chamber Collective of American Quintets.

The sudden plunge into harmonic sophistication - and a decidedly darker space - announces Florence Price's greatness in Resignation, and how poignant the performance here, with Mobley's blanched tone and Trotignon’s onward trudging and sudden explosions into bluesy flight:

There is virtuosity here, too, in A Great Camp Meetin' - virtuosity from both performers. It's great fun, and includes an outrageous piano break:

We hear her hand again in the somewhat hymnic Sunset:

Trotignon spins real magic in Jean; and the  disc closes with three classics: By an' By - There is a Balm in Gilead; I heard it through the Grapevine; and Deep River. Throughout the disc, Mobley and Trotignon are deeply involved, but possibly nowhere more so than in this performane of I heard it through the Grapevine:

A truly impressive recital.