Cristina Mommsen and Veronica Faller

On a gloomy Sunday afternoon, people flocked to Graves to hear the honey-coated voices of two sopranos performing for their Senior Recitals. Cristina Mommsen ’09 and Veronica Faller ’09 gave a melodious farewell to their musical careers at Phillips, singing melodies ranging from musical classics to familiar tunes. Faller began the recital with a short Eighteenth-century piece, “Caro mio ben.” Mommsen followed, also singing an Italian piece, “Nel cor piu non mi sento.” The recital followed in an alternating pattern until Faller sang three Mozart pieces in a row. While some pieces were short and sweet, emphasizing the ease of both sopranos’ voices, others such as “Pietá Signore!” sung by Mommsen, were full of striking high notes. The dramatic notes coincided with the lyrics, describe a desperate plea for mercy from God. Mommsen showed her ability to jump from low and high notes without fault in “Ici-bas” by Gabriel Fauré. Despite dynamic changes and difficult notes, Mommsen consistently maintained an unstrained and lyrical voice. After performing three songs from the French composer Fauré, Faller demonstrated impeccable pitch with pieces by Mozart. The notes of the pieces flowed together harmoniously while still keeping the crisp playfulness of Mozart. Faller carefully demonstrated her ability to blend those concise notes into a flowing song. This technique was also showcased in “Danza, danza, fanciulla gentile” by Francesco Durante. Following the string of classical pieces, Faller and Mommsen performed two songs each from popular musicals. Mommsen exercised her flawless soprano voice in “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess. Faller followed with a classic from Phantom of the Opera, titled “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again.” She expertly demonstrated the emotion of the lyrics to the audience, singing with a tone similar to Emmy Rossum, who sang the same song in the movie version of the musical. “Somewhere” from West Side Story was Mommsen’s finale piece. It was a perfect example of her impressive vocal range and ability to show emotion. Faller concluded the recital with a performance of “Think of Me” from Phantom of the Opera. She nailed the daunting cadenza during which she jumped two full octaves. The two were given a standing ovation, and each seemed pleased with her performance. Ray Thamtieng ’12 said, “The performance was really good. I liked how the songs were different and that we could get a taste of the old songs as well as new.” It was a bittersweet goodbye for Faller and Mommsen, but clearly a good note on which to end their PA careers.