REVIEW: Wigmore Hall (MusicOMH)

Mar 2019

If there’s such a thing as a perfect programme of listening for a Sunday evening – music that’s comforting, mostly undemanding, with a hefty dollop of nostalgia thrown in – the husband‑and‑wife‑team of Nathan and Julie Gunn delivered it in spades."

Barry Creasy (MusicOMH)

Nathan Gunn’s operatically trained voice is warm and resonant; there’s a dark, covered quality to it that was spot-on for numbers such as Samuel Barber’s With Rue my Heart is Laden or the two Gene Scheer songs (At Howard Hawks’ House and Omaha Beach from his Voices from World War II cycle), but at the top of his range there’s also power and ‘ping’, so that up-tempo numbers such as Irving Berlin’s I love a piano or William Bolcom’s Broadway-chorus-style Fur were delivered with accuracy, energy and panache. Julie Gunn provided sensitive piano accompaniment throughout, as well as taking the spotlight herself for some of the instrumental sections, such as the thoughtfully romantic piano break in Jimmy van Heusen’s classic Here’s That Rainy Day, or the ‘Nachspiel’ for Ben Moore’s The Lake Isle of Innisfree. That they are more than a musical partnership shines out in the communication between them, and the fun they have with the music, so that the oddly formalised performance of Steve Goodman’s City of New Orleans (made famous by Arlo Guthrie) regained some of its folky/country quality from Julie’s added sung harmonies, and Bolcom’s Over the piano (‘He sang songs to her over the piano’) gained an added intimacy.

Read the full review here.