Concert review: Composers fete their teacher John Eaton at Symphony Space

New York Classical Review, David Wright, March 31, 2019

“Maurice Ravel once complained that all his composition students (except Ralph Vaughan Williams) “write my music” — that is, try to be mini-Ravels. In welcoming the audience Saturday night, the composer’s widow, soprano Nelda Nelson-Eaton, said the evening’s program would show how her husband encouraged each student to find his or her distinctive voice.

As if to make her point, the first item on the program left the academic hothouse behind for the hard fields of Appalachian Kentucky. In Songs for My Mother, composer and pianist Carol Ann Weaver put a simple, lightly syncopated accompaniment under the vibrato-less voice of soprano Mary-Catherine Pazzano in plain, affecting settings of her mother’s words about rural life in the 1940s, children, and approaching death.”

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