American Songs

American Songs

by Patrice Michaels
     
 

Soprano Patrice Michaels has been privileged to extend her artistry to an extraordinarily wide range of musical works in her long association with the Chicago-based Çedille Records label. Michaels has nurtured a special affinity for American art song since "early in [her] musical life," spurred on through her exposure to the work of ColeSee more details below

Overview

Soprano Patrice Michaels has been privileged to extend her artistry to an extraordinarily wide range of musical works in her long association with the Chicago-based Çedille Records label. Michaels has nurtured a special affinity for American art song since "early in [her] musical life," spurred on through her exposure to the work of Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim. Although she has already paid tribute to her one-time compositional mentor, Dominick Argento, on a disc entitled To Be Sung Upon the Water, Michaels gets to expand upon her knowledge and expertise in contemporary American song through a Çedille disc titled simply American Songs. One will not find the familiar Ives songs, nor Copland's "I Bought Me a Cat" here; every one of the 27 songs featured was written by composers who remain living at the time of the disc's release, ranging in age from past 80 (Dan Tucker) to not quite 50 (Richard Pearson Thomas). Many of the composers are based in the Chicago area. These songs date roughly from 1952 (two of the five Lee Hoiby songs) to 2002 (the vocalise "Light Feet" by John Harmon). One thing that surprises one right off the bat is how stylistically conservative most of them are compared to, say, art songs composed in Europe in this same time frame. Many of them utilize jazz-inflected harmonies, or major keys spiced with quartal/quintal substitutions in a sound familiar from art songs of the 1950s, exemplified by Hoiby and composers not featured here such as Samuel Barber and Ned Rorem. The poets, too, are mostly well-known names, including many whose work has been set to music before -- Millay, Whitman, Sandburg, and John Donne, for example. Although more dissonant than many of the song settings here, Libby Larsen's "Perineo" is perhaps the most old-fashioned in that its sound hearkens back most closely to early twentieth century American modernism; it is also one of the most energetic and compelling pieces on the disc. John Musto's cycle "Dove Sta Amore" is one of the more eagerly anticipated items here, as it was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; it, too, is a bit more challenging than the rest in terms of its style and harmonic color. One delightful surprise is how accomplished Dan Tucker's little cycle "Mots D'Heures: Gousses, Rames" is, consisting of pithy little settings in the manner of Poulenc, but even simpler in style. Tucker is a part-time composer whose full-time engagement is as an editor on the staff of the Chicago Tribune. Patrice Michaels' voice is a beautiful instrument, and she applies its beauty in equal measure to all of the songs featured here. The downside is that she doesn't offer a great deal in terms of characterization in the music she sings, but as this is such a long program built up out of so very many unfamiliar pieces, Michaels can be forgiven for not advocating for them in the way that, for example, Lotte Lehmann did for Schubert. Elizabeth Bucchieri's accompaniment is consistently good throughout, and she demonstrates a great deal of adaptability in approaching the varying styles of these composers. It would have been a slight improvement if Bucchieri's piano could have been mixed just a little louder in the recording.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
09/26/2006
Label:
Cedille
UPC:
0735131909129
catalogNumber:
91
Rank:
385676

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. An Immorality, for voice & piano  - Patrice Michaels  - Lee Hoiby  - Elizabeth Bucchieri  - Ezra Pound  - Melanie Germond  - Pete Goldlust  - David Lesh  (01:05)
  2. What If. . . for voice & piano  - Patrice Michaels  - Lee Hoiby  - Elizabeth Bucchieri  - Melanie Germond  - Pete Goldlust  - Samuel Taylor Coleridge  - David Lesh  (02:06)
  3. The Message, for voice & piano  - Patrice Michaels  - Lee Hoiby  - Elizabeth Bucchieri  - John Donne  - Melanie Germond  - Pete Goldlust  - David Lesh  (03:16)
  4. Shepherd, the  - Patrice Michaels  - Lee Hoiby  - William Blake  - Elizabeth Bucchieri  - Melanie Germond  - Pete Goldlust  - David Lesh  (01:59)
  5. In the Wand of the Wind, for voice & piano  - Patrice Michaels  - Lee Hoiby  - Elizabeth Bucchieri  - Melanie Germond  - Pete Goldlust  - John Fandel  - David Lesh  (01:14)
  6. O del mio dolce ardor - A Reimagining, for voice & piano  - Laurie Altman  - Patrice Michaels  - Elizabeth Bucchieri  - Raniero de Calzabigi  - Melanie Germond  - Pete Goldlust  - David Lesh  (04:25)
  7. Branch By Branch, for voice & piano  - H. Leslie Adams  - Patrice Michaels  - Elizabeth Bucchieri  - Melanie Germond  - Pete Goldlust  - David Lesh  - Edna St. Vincent Millay  (01:57)
  8. Homesick Blues, for voice & piano  - H. Leslie Adams  - Patrice Michaels  - Elizabeth Bucchieri  - Langston Hughes  - Melanie Germond  - Pete Goldlust  - David Lesh  (03:04)
  9. The Wider View, for voice & piano  - H. Leslie Adams  - Patrice Michaels  - Elizabeth Bucchieri  - Melanie Germond  - Pete Goldlust  - R.H. Grenville  - David Lesh  (04:14)
  10. Who has seen the wind, for voice & piano  - Lita Grier  - Patrice Michaels  - Elizabeth Bucchieri  - Christina Rossetti  - Melanie Germond  - Pete Goldlust  - David Lesh  (01:47)
  11. Perineo, for voice & piano  - Libby Larsen  - Patrice Michaels  - Elizabeth Bucchieri  - Melanie Germond  - Pete Goldlust  - Roberto Echavarren  - David Lesh  (05:16)
  12. Ossessione, for voice, percussion & piano: Amarilli, mia bella

    • Richard Pearson Thomas
    • Patrice Michaels
    • Elizabeth Bucchieri
    • Matthew Duvall
    • Melanie Germond
    • Pete Goldlust
    • Guarino Guarini
    • David Lesh
    1. Amarilli, mia bella  (05:03)
  13. Our Heart and Home is With Infinitude, for voice & piano: Beginning My Studies

    • Robert Carl
    • Patrice Michaels
    • Elizabeth Bucchieri
    • Walt Whitman
    • Melanie Germond
    • Pete Goldlust
    • David Lesh
    1. Beginning My Studies  (04:20)
  14. Dove Sta Amore, for voice & piano

    • John Musto
    • James Agee
    • Patrice Michaels
    • Elizabeth Bucchieri
    • Carl Sandburg
    • Melanie Germond
    • Lawrence Ferlinghetti
    • Pete Goldlust
    • David Lesh
    1. Maybe  (02:02)
    2. Sea Chest  (01:50)
    3. The Hangman at Home  (03:00)
    4. How Many Little Children Sleep  (03:42)
    5. Dove sta amore...  (05:34)
  15. Lyrics (3) of Edna St. Vincent Millay, for voice & piano

    • Eric Ewazen
    • Patrice Michaels
    • Elizabeth Bucchieri
    • Melanie Germond
    • Pete Goldlust
    • David Lesh
    • Edna St. Vincent Millay
    1. God's World  (03:18)
    2. Wraith  (03:07)
    3. Afternoon on a Hill  (01:27)
  16. Mots d'Heures: Gousses, Rames, for voice & piano

    • Dan Tucker
    • Patrice Michaels
    • Elizabeth Bucchieri
    • Melanie Germond
    • Pete Goldlust
    • David Lesh
    • Luis d'Antin van Rooten
    1. Un petit d'un petit  (00:48)
    2. Chacun Gille  (00:42)
    3. Lit-elle messe moffette  (00:32)
    4. Eau la quille ne colle  (01:16)
  17. Bingo, for voice & piano  - Robert Bowker  - Patrice Michaels  - Elizabeth Bucchieri  - Melanie Germond  - Pete Goldlust  - Maureen Flannery  - David Lesh  (02:41)
  18. Light Feet, for voice & piano  - John Harmon  - Patrice Michaels  - Elizabeth Bucchieri  - Melanie Germond  - Pete Goldlust  - David Lesh  (03:37)

Read More

Album Credits

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >