Despite some empty seats, the Monday night audience for Stephanie Blythe and Warren Jones was one of the most warmly enthusiastic I've heard for a vocal recital. And such enthusiasm was justified: Blythe and Jones had enormous musical and personal chemistry, and Blythe united consummate comic timing with her formidable vocal gifts. The evening opened with James Legg's Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, a cycle written for Blythe shortly before the composer's untimely death. Blythe and Jones read the poems before performing the cycle, in place of providing a booklet with texts; I'd love to see this practice spread. Legg's evocative, richly colored settings tied the poems together in a poignant and thoughtful narrative. The asynchronous timing for voice and piano in "There's been a Death, in the Opposite House" established deftly the unsettled mood, and Legg continued to use the piano to color the text strongly, to paint thoughts shattering on stone, the hot thickness of clover, the slow glory of a sunrise. Blythe's use shading of dynamics and her wide palette of tonal color made for an emotional subtlety somehow surprising from so large a voice. The dramatic twist at the end of the cycle, from "Success is counted sweetest" to " 'Tis not that Dying hurts us so" I found thoughtful and affecting. Samuel Barber's "Three Songs," setting the poetry of James Joyce, were also new to me. While given with technical mastery and finesse by Blythe and Jones, I felt that Barber's lush neo-Romanticism sat strangely with the spare beauty of the poems ("Rain has fallen," "Sleep now," "I hear an army.") The lover's invitation to "Come among the laden trees" marks a break from the traditional bower of romance in a way that Barber's harmonies do not; but this quality, which I found jarring, was one of the cycle's attributes most appreciated by my companion.