Category: Reviews & Articles
Schubert's Schwanengesang, with pianist Benjamin Hochman


"To his carefully paced and impassioned performance, sung mostly from memory, Scarlata brought impressive diction and an obvious understanding of the nuances of the German language. He also took full advantage of the unique possibilities of the Gardner's recital hall, addressing all four sides and all levels of the open space in what felt like an intimate conversation with a storyteller. Scarlata has the technique and interpretative skills to negotiate Schubert's fleet contrasts - the constant interplay of light and dark, moving suddenly from carefree joy to blackest despair - without exaggeration or strain. Blooming in the lower range, his voice is particularly effective for such songs as "Atlas,'' "Resting Place,'' and the penultimate "The Ghostly Double,'' a scary portrait of obsessive romantic attraction and schizophrenia. Although Scarlata and Hochman were performing "Swan Song'' together for the first time, they seemed completely at ease as a team. Both as a sensitive accompanist (supportive, never obtrusive) and as soloist in the opening Sonata, Hochman penetrated to the rustic heart of Schubert's turbulent emotional world."