SPA Trio

Susanna Phillips, Paul Neubauer and Anne-Marie McDermott, the SPA Trio continue a tradition of performances of salon-type songs with an obbligato instrument.

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Members of the SPA trio sit for a picture, from left to right: Susanna Phillips, Anne-Marie McDermott, and Paul Neubauer.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Historic recordings of some of the great singers of yesteryear include numerous performances of salon type songs that included an obbligato instrument. Some of these pairings included Enrico Caruso with Mischa Elman, John McCormack with Fritz Kreisler, Marian Anderson with William Primrose, Alma Gluck with her husband Efrem Zimbalist, as well as Bing Crosby and Jascha Heifetz!

The continue this tradition with SPA. Zachary Lewis at The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) sums it up:

“But it wasn’t just the lineup, which included the remarkable pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, that made the evening so special. Also unique was the repertoire itself, a fetching blend of art and parlor songs from all over 19th- and 20th-century Europe. Phillips herself required zero assistance. A singer known for starring roles at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, she proved a singular authority, brandishing a golden, powerful instrument and treating each song to generous servings of eloquence and feeling. But how much better to hear Phillips in tandem with Neubauer, a former principal violist of the New York Philharmonic, and witness the gorgeous dovetailing of the viola’s warm, expressive tone with that of the human voice, its closest musical relation. At times, the two were almost indistinguishable.”

Program to be announced.