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June 2019
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2009-04-23 Stuttgart, GER

reviewed by John

I was lucky to be able to attend the concrt in Stuttgart last night, and wanted to send a VERY brief review of the concert. I had not expected to be able to report at all, but find myself with a few minutes to spare before I leave for home this evening. Tomorrow I am flying to the US for a vacation (I finished work on Wednesday, and can already hear the groans of 'for how long this time?'), and shall only have time to send Barb my photos late tonight with a request that she perform her usual magic on them before posting. There are some very nice ones amongst them. I'm afraid that I don't know the names of all the guests, but if anyone wants the original file copies, I'll be very happy to send them when I come home - simply email me. Moni, you do not need to - I shall send your one to you tonight, and I KNOW you will be very happy with it.

As Matthew pointed out last night, it is 5 years since the last German tour, and unofrtunately the attendance figures reflected that; however, what the audience lacked in numbers, it compensated for in enthusiasm and appreciation. And as it alwaya is, last night was pleasurable not only for the wonderful music but for the chance to renew old acquaintances. Ines, Irmgard, Beate, Moni and Ali - you know what I mean. (I omit Bettina, since she was staying with me last weekend, and I am at her home now typing this).

Concert highlights were many, but my special moments were Daryl once again performing his magic on 'How great thou art' with his verging on gospel piano - simply magic. 'Bring him home' is one of the classic songs from musical theatre for my money. 'Fearless love' was dedicated by Matthew to his wife Celestine, blessed with nocturnal baby Rosie (i.e. she doesn't seem to like to sleep at conventional hours like the rest of the world), and James performing his gentle and sensitive version of 'Come what may' to a BEAUTIFUL piano acccompaniment. Moni was the receipient of a lovely version of 'Danny boy', and 'Shenandoah' brought back wonderful personal memories of Culpeper, Virginia and a very special concert in the company of the gorgeous Kathy Kauffman. 'Caledonia' always hits the right buttons for me, and was also included. All executed with sublime skill and sensitivity by three fantastic vocalists and their gifted musical director, who is still too reticent when being applauded - Colm really does underpin the entire proceedings with glorious musicianship. The applause level when he was announced for his final bow was really quite something.

And the enthusiasm brought a second encore (after the karaoke!) - my own personal favourite, 'In the gloaming'. Time to hear a pin drop, and the absolutely perfect ending for me.

Sorry - that is all I have time for now. I am attending another concert before too many months have elapsed, and I hope to do the performers and the program more justice then. On this oocasion, I think the photos will need to articulate the atmosphere better than the words. But there are some REALLY nice photos amongst them, as I hope you will see in a day or two.