Reviews of 1st CARNEGIE HALL Concert [with dramatic soprano Norma Jean]

Main Hall Sunday April 25 1954 5:30pm

New York Times: "stentorian tone"
Musical Courier: "voice of rare vocal beauty"
New Yorker Staats-Zeitung: "Kenneth Lane possesses unquestionable material, a well-developed technique which allows for his big tone production and the necessary endurance to go with it."
Musical America: "Kenneth Lane sang in no less than ten languages... Mr. Lane's... tenor voice was dark in quality and large enough to fill Carnegie Hall quite easily. The good-sized audience was quite enthusiastic."

 

Reviews of Kenneth Lane's 3rd Carnegie Hall Concert
First Ever Single Artist ALL-WAGNER Concert
 Main Hall Sunday June 18 1995 at 2 PM

From the 1997 SCHWANN ARTIST Classical Music Catalog - America's Guide to Classical Performers - pages 14A and 15A

Stefan Jux,, Music Critic, New Yorker Staats Zeitung: "With impressive vocal skills and record-setting stamina heldentenor Kenneth Lane delivered the performance of a lifetime. For the first time ever a single-singer ALL-WAGNER program was sung in a major concert hall and virtuoso Kenneth Lane certainly gave the audience their money's worth. The athletic feat included all 9 heroic tenor roles... as well as all five Wesendonck songs [the first time ever sung in a major concert venue by a male voice]... effortlessly filled Carnegie Hall with tenor more dramatic & heroic than Wagner himself could have hoped for."

Don Goldberg, Celebration Opera, WRHU: "Kenneth Lane's All-Wagner solo concert marathon was one of the extraordinary events of the century. It's hard to imagine anyone daring to stand on the stage of the hallowed Carnegie Hall, and with no more than about a minute in between selections, peal forth in lustrous tones Wagnerian scenes from RIENZI to PARSIFAL, and then amazingly, add ALL of the WESENDONCK LIEDER. Each selection was treated as an example of genuine introspection and committed vocal authority. My own personal favorite was TRISTAN which captured the agony and ecstacy in the heartbroken hero, in a voice that rode the crest of Wagnerian passion."
Martin Kalmanoff, Music Critic & Opera Composer [Opera, Opera (Saroyan),
The Harmfulness of Tobacco (Eric Bentley) &
Just Say I Love Her:
"His voice easily filled the farthest reaches of Carnegie Hall... Mr. Lane's concert should be recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as a one-of-a-kind event."

 

Reviews of Kenneth Lane's 4th Carnegie Hall Concert
An ALL-WAGNER Concert--"Wagner--The Epic and the Lyric"
 Main Hall Thursday May 28 1998, at 8 PM

JOE PEARCE, Secretary of Vocal Record Collectors' Society;
Contributor to Opera Quarterly:
The American, Kenneth Lane, Wagnerian Romantischer Heldentenor in June 1995 presented an All-Wagner concert.

It is three years later, and Mr. Lane has returned to Carnegie Hall with another all-Wagner evening.

The first half of the concert was centered on but two operas, Tristan und Isolde and Rienzi. Since the third act of Tristan contains more tenor singing than is to be heard in many complete operas and constituted only a bit more than half of the first part of the concert, it is obvious that the advancing years have brought precious little curtailment of Mr. Lane's vocal stamina.

Mr. Lane's tenor is appropriately Wagnerian in both size and timbre, a very large, baritonally-centered, and some what burnished instrument with a carrying power many current tenors would kill for-one capable of negotiating top notes with ease.

Words mean a great deal in his view of things, and Mr. Lane's total dramatic commitment to both the music and texts was evident in every line he sang throughout the evening. Mr. Lane again performed the Wesendonck Lieder and he is still, to my knowledge, the only male singer ever to have done so.

While this remains an important and unique undertaking, it was Mr. Lane's scheduling of six early Lieder (1838-1840) to open the second half of the evening which assures this concert of a place in the record books, for this was cer tainly the first time these songs have been heard in a major concert hall in this country, and quite possibly the first time they have been heard in any concert hall venue in the century and one-half since they were composed.

Anyhow, these unfamiliar Lieder opened the second half of Mr. Lane's program and found him in fine vocal estate. Every one of the songs came as a surprise, for they are totally at odds with anything one might have expected from the man who gave us Brünnhilde's Immolation. The real highlight of these six songs, however, is "Schlafe, mein Kind," a lovely little lullaby.

As previously stated, Mr. Lane's voice is nothing if not stentorian, yet he managed to scale his dynamics down to an appropriate size to deliver a telling version of this Wiegenlied. Later on, as if to prove that this was no accident, he did it again, as an encore, and the results were even better. Certainly the audience loved it, both times.

It was the Wesendonck Lieder which officially closed the program and which found Mr. Lane in his best voice of the night. Mr. Lane could hardly be bettered in this endeavor by any tenor now before the public, and he achieved a certain delicacy in portions of several of the songs.

Mr. Lane's accompanist for the evening, David Brandon, was superb throughout, playing up a veritable bravura storm in the Tristan synthesis and drastically scaling down his accompaniments for the more lyrical and intimate moments encountered post intermission.

All in all, this was a highly enjoyable and important evening of music and Mr. Lane is to be congratulated for unearthing this new Wagner repertoire.

LAWRENCE F. HOLDRIDGE, Leading record collector, recordings' annotator, reviewer, radio commentator and publisher of The Record Auction of Amityville, New York, USA:Kenneth Lane, a tenor with boundless enthusiasm for Wagner and his heroes, introduced at his recent Carnegie Hall recital a virtually unknown body of that composer's creative output in a group of early songs, gleanings of his remarkable talent, in particular a memorably tender "Lullaby." This premiere performance benefitted from the singer's sensitivity, insight, and superb diction.

Stage Bill for this Performance

 

Reviews on Tours

Chicago American: "an exciting voice"

Houston Post: "a dramatic tenor of exceptional range & intensity"
Montreal Gazette: "a dramatic tenor with a bel canto quality"
Vancouver Sun: "a magnificent voice of pure quality & fine resonance"
Toronto Telegram: "a tenderness that belied the real strength of the voice "