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Echoes of Nightingales
     

Echoes of Nightingales

by Christine Brewer
 
This little disc, thoroughly American in conception despite its British issuer, offers more than it might seem at first glance. American soprano Christine Brewer was inspired to collect the material by her work with a voice teacher, Glenn Freiner of McKendree College in Illinois, who heard Kirsten Flagstad,

Overview

This little disc, thoroughly American in conception despite its British issuer, offers more than it might seem at first glance. American soprano Christine Brewer was inspired to collect the material by her work with a voice teacher, Glenn Freiner of McKendree College in Illinois, who heard Kirsten Flagstad, Eileen Farrell, Helen Traubel, and Eleanor Steber as they toured the U.S. and collected programs or wrote down what they sang. Brewer's program is thus a snapshot of some music that was once reasonably common but has now, with the exception of the Broadway selections by Leonard Bernstein, Vincent Youmans, and a few others, been almost totally forgotten. Some of the material has a precious quality, it's true, but set aside the contemporary requirement of irony for a while and listeners will probably enjoy the album. Hardhearted would be the listener who could resist "Sea Moods" by Mildred Lund Tyson, for whom not even a deathdate is known, with its picture of white wavelets "tumbling along, rippling with song, as tho' to mock my tears." Several of the composers are women; the charmingly named Idabelle Firestone was the wife of Harvey Firestone of tire and rubber fame. The soprano with which each song was identified is indicated, but all the music is cut from the same cloth even though the four singers represented had quite different repertories. Brewer has a pleasant, rounded voice and the right sense of humor for the material, but she's oddly a bit less comfortable in the pieces that approach the American popular language most closely. Nevertheless, this album will be of interest to popular music buffs as well as to fans of the opera singers involved, for, with the exception of Flagstad, these singers had a place in the popular world. No less a figure than Jimmy Durante is said to have mistakenly entered Traubel's dressing room and emerged with the remark "Nobody knows the Traubel I've seen." A charming find for vocalists, who should definitely check out the hilarious final track, "Review"; it is Brewer's own encore, not one from the repertoires of the four main singers.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/08/2011
Label:
Hyperion Uk
UPC:
0034571178134
catalogNumber:
67813

Tracks

  1. When I Have Sung My Songs, for voice & piano (or orchestra)
  2. On the Town, musical: Some other time
  3. Happiness is a thing called Joe, song
  4. Stopping By the Woods On A Snowy Evening, for voice & piano
  5. Song of Songs (Chanson du coeur brisé), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
  6. Die Letzte Rose (as interpolated into "Martha")
  7. If I Could Tell You
  8. Will You Remember?, song (from "Maytime")
  9. In my garden
  10. Love went a-riding, for voice & piano (or orchestra), H 114
  11. Hills
  12. There shall be more joy
  13. Through the Years, operetta: [Excerpt]
  14. Hickory Hill
  15. Sleep That Flits On Baby's Eyes for voice & piano
  16. At parting
  17. O Lovely Night for voice & orchestra
  18. Sing to me, sing, Op 28

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