Songbook at the Wigmore Hall, by Michael White

A Review of Songbook at the Wigmore Hall
By Michael White

That said, a concert at the Wigmore Hall Thursday came with nearly everything, including one of the most original programming ideas I’ve encountered in a long while. It was an entire evening of new songs, put together regardless of genre – art song, showbiz, Jazz, – or any other consideration except merit. And, as the compiler/presenter/pianist was Richard Sisson – the Donald Swann-ish half of Kit and the Widow – it came packaged with cabaret camp, and filled the house. For a night of new songs, this was extraodinary. That most of the art numbers were school-of-Samuel Barber and most of the showbiz ones school-of- Sondheim was predictable. But this was unobjectionable when it produced settings like Ian Venables’s ravishing response to Edna St Vincent Millay