For a young singer, preparing for a career in music, the Clarendon Muse (the new small concert hall of Watford School of Music on the campus of Watford Grammar School for Boys) provides a first-rate opportunity. Charlotte Beament (soprano) made excellent use of it in her varied recital on Thursday 12 March.

To sing Lieder by Franz Schubert, especially one as well known as Die Forelle (The Trout), with which she began, is to invite comparison with many famous names, past and present. Charlotte’s well-judged phrasing, dynamic contrasts and expressive interpretation assured us of an enjoyable programme to follow. Much depended on the pianist, Louisa Lam, who accompanied her with skill and sensitivity throughout, and also performed solo piano pieces by Beethoven (the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata) and Chopin (Nocturne in D flat major).

Charlotte’s programme included items in different styles selected from two centuries of the soprano repertoire. Two were unaccompanied: the spiritual Steal Away to Jesus and the traditional Irish She moved through the fair. Exposed as these were, she sang with confidence and in English and four other languages. This versatility will stand her in good stead, and it will be important to maintain firm attack and clear enunciation.

The rest of the programme cannot all be listed here, but one of Samuel Barber’s Hermit Songs and Silent Noon from Vaughan Williams’ The House of Life showed a range and polish almost beyond her years. Mozart’s aria Deh vieni non tardar from The Marriage of Figaro suggested that lyric roles in opera might be Charlotte’s way forward. She describes herself now as a lyric soprano. She attended Watford Grammar School for Girls and the Watford School of Music before going on to the Guildhall School of Music, where she will take up a postgraduate place. Clearly, she has plenty of talent in reserve. Her musical personality can be expected to develop. Who knows - perhaps at this recital we have had an early hearing of an artist who, in time to come, will rank with such famous Watford names as Gerald Moore.

Graham Mordue