The piano parts in the Grieg Songs are full of poetic feeling. They drew attention to the outstanding attainments of Mr. Edwin McArthur, who played them. A voice like Madame Flagstad needs something much more electrical than the discreet patternings of a conventional accompanist and this something Mr. McArthur supplied. In the Wagnerian music he had strongly simulated orchestral colour and tone. His "Erl King" conjured up the terrors of Schubert's imaginings. In the same composer's "Ungeduld" his crisp, brisk accents gave a new sparkle to the music. But, like most accompanists, Mr. McArthur did not succeed in giving much interest to his solos.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Here's a fascinating item that turned up in a search this evening: a review of legendary accompanist Edwin McArthur in recital with Kirsten Flagstad in the Sydney Morning Herald of June 20, 1938, with a sub-header entitled "The Accompanist's Part":