Review: Christmas concert

A Guest Star Enthusiastically Celebrated

Bassist DANIEL LEWIS WILLIAMS from New York in the "Stadthalle"
"Could listen to him for hours!"

"He's got the whole world in his hand", standing ovations, wildly enthusiastic applause at the end of an outstanding concert evening in the Rodinger Stadthalle. Performing in opera houses all over the world, Daniel Lewis Williams had, on this unforgettable evening with a Holiday Concert for Advent, if not the whole world, at least the whole audience in the palm of his hand as they celebrated an evening with this internationally renown guest soloist. This writer quoting spontaneous audience reaction, "We have never experienced anything like this in Roding before!" doesn't need to add any superlatives to this enthusiastic praise.

Daniel Lewis Williams, a bass with such great powers of expression, such a warm vocal timbre, such delicate and yet powerful interpretive nuance, such emotional sensitivity was able to bring to life these richly sensual, romantic texts which are not always so easily understood by us today. Another comment from the audience: "It is a shame that it is over so soon, I could have listened for hours!"

Guest star, Williams, won over the audience with Christmas songs from Peter Cornelius (1824-1874) so very apt to evoke nostalgic child memories on these days of great secrets and homes being decorated for the holidays: "Oh, happy time, oh joyful dream." It is clearly enough, with a singer possessing the artistic level of Daniel Lewis Williams, to just give oneself over to purely musical pleasures and simply "listen for hours" like the lady from the audience whom we have already quoted, since Cornelius' texts may not appeal with equal force to all members of the audience. One ought not to label them "kitschig" but, instead, try to understand them in the context of the time in which they were written (e.g. "In den Windlein das Kindlein / "Auch Euch beglücke Christkindlein"). Williams had in this respect no problems and if we, as creatures of the 20th century listening to them, have "goose bumps" then it may well be appropriate to ask if it isn't a symptom of our times to be unable to show our feelings, in always having to "stay cool".

It is surely a groundless prejudice that a white singer can't sing spirituals of the ""black" music! A fantastic rendition of "He's got the Whole World in His Hand" by this great Daniel Lewis Williams as encore for his Rodinger audience proved this and brought forth frenetic applause from his ecstatic listeners.

Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich, Germany