"Scarlata's delivery and Kalish's accompaniment seemed to go down to a whisper at times, which, combined with the setting, made for some riveting and romantic moments.
Kalish played solo for Schumann's three Fantasiestucke, op. 111, which highlighted the different personalities of the composer. He captured Schumann's storminess in the first piece, a quieter introspection in the second and, in the third, a kind of mix between the chaos and peace of the others.
Zwei Balladen was a different sort of vocal performance in which the words of the two ballads were spoken rather than sung, which made it feel more like a theatrical performance piece. Scarlata told "two sort of frightening stories" while Kalish punctuated the moments appropriately. The first ballad was about a boy who dreams of his own murder and then encounters a man who kills him in the same way he dreamed. The two had a wonderful chemistry and were in sync with each other in timing and in tone, crescendos growing together at the moment the boy met his murderer and falling after the climax of the story.
While the formal costumes of the opera weren't there, the drama from the performances of the duo made this feel like a true opera. "
"Singer Randall Scarlata followed with a ringing, clear baritone of broad range in the song cycle "Aftermath," by Ned Rorem. Though not atonal, its drastic intervals, eccentric timing and alternating vocal-instrumental breaks make this modern anthology, wrung from the angst of 9/11, call for a vocalist with power, flexibility and a centered, secure sense of place in the composition. Scarlata displayed it all, speaking as if in recitative, singing lyrically here, declaring robustly there, crying for the dead and dying in all wars. Among his best moments was the poignant, high head tone in the song "Losses," a startlingly plaintive question, "Why are you dying? We are satisfied, if you are; but why did I die?" followed in kind by a searching violin line fading from high register to low to silence."