Surprise

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Afro-Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman the unusual name is a mixture of her maiden name and her husband's last name continues with this, her third album, to show herself as a distinctive talent rather than a novelty. The trio of composers included on Surprise may seem unusual and Brueggergosman's early champion William Bolcom must be delighted to find himself alongside the likes of Schoenberg and Satie, but actually the program is logical, consistently hanging on the edge of popular song while maintaining various degrees of contemporary distance from it. Schoenberg's "Brettl-Lieder" are edgy but funny cabaret songs of which a musicologist wrote that one can be ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Afro-Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman the unusual name is a mixture of her maiden name and her husband's last name continues with this, her third album, to show herself as a distinctive talent rather than a novelty. The trio of composers included on Surprise may seem unusual and Brueggergosman's early champion William Bolcom must be delighted to find himself alongside the likes of Schoenberg and Satie, but actually the program is logical, consistently hanging on the edge of popular song while maintaining various degrees of contemporary distance from it. Schoenberg's "Brettl-Lieder" are edgy but funny cabaret songs of which a musicologist wrote that one can be grateful for their presence in an oeuvre that contains few smiles. Here and in Bolcom's "Cabaret Songs" to poems by Arnold Weinstein, Brueggergosman benefits from her ability to inject a note of broad humor without camping the music up. Her lusty reading of Bolcom's little vignettes of everyday life is far superior to the arch treatments they are sometimes given. She may even find something in his songs that Bolcom himself did not put there, which is of course the mark of a great interpreter and again, she may be aided by Bolcom's presence as accompanist. Brueggergosman adjusts her style nicely for Satie's more quizzical humor, stylistically an epoch away from the spectacular French arias she chose for her second album. It's hard to think of a listener, even among those not oriented toward vocal music, who would not enjoy this release, and the ability to go from Berlioz to Fauré to Satie announces that Measha Brueggergosman has arrived, with attitude intact. Camera-friendly, a champion communicator in the concert hall, and already an unusually versatile performer, Brueggergosman seems limited at this point only by the imagination she and her handlers can muster in developing her career.
New York Times - Allan Kozinn
On "Surprise"...Brueggergosman sings amusing works by Schoenberg, Satie and William Bolcom with such presence, power and humor that she almost seems to fly out of the speakers.
San Francisco Chronicle - Joshua Kosman
This repertoire underscores some of her most beguiling gifts, including an earthy charisma, a sense of theatricality and keen attention to words.... The disc's real gem is at the end...with Bolcom at the piano and Brueggergosman working the music for every bit of tenderness and wry sentiment.
Newark Star-Ledger - Bradley Bambarger
It's surprising that a classical disc could be this much fun. Whether in English, French or German, the material is ideal for the 30-year-old's talents and sunbeam of a personality.
Toronto Star - John Terauds
It's all fun listening, with fabulously expressive singing and first-rate accompaniment.

This repertoire underscores some of her most beguiling gifts, including an earthy charisma, a sense of theatricality and keen attention to words.... The disc's real gem is at the end...with Bolcom at the piano and Brueggergosman working the music for every bit of tenderness and wry sentiment.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/9/2007
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • UPC: 028947765899
  • Catalog Number: 000983602

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Cabaret Songs: Surprise! - William Bolcom & BBC Symphony Orchestra (0:42)
  2. 2 Cabaret Songs: The Actor - William Bolcom & BBC Symphony Orchestra (1:30)
  3. 3 Cabaret Songs: Song of Black Max - William Bolcom & BBC Symphony Orchestra (3:19)
  4. 4 Cabaret Songs: Amor - William Bolcom & BBC Symphony Orchestra (3:08)
  5. 5 Cabaret Songs: Toothbrush Time - William Bolcom & BBC Symphony Orchestra (3:19)
  6. 6 Cabaret Songs: The Total Stranger in the Garden - William Bolcom & BBC Symphony Orchestra (1:53)
  7. 7 Cabaret Songs: George - William Bolcom & BBC Symphony Orchestra (3:30)
  8. 8 Brettl-Lieder (Cabaret Songs), for voice & piano - Arnold Schoenberg & BBC Symphony Orchestra (25:28)
  9. 9 La diva de l'Empire, song for voice & piano - William Bolcom & Erik Satie (2:39)
  10. 10 Tendrement, valse chantée for voice & piano - William Bolcom & Erik Satie (4:12)
  11. 11 L' Omnibus automobile, for voice & piano - William Bolcom & Erik Satie (2:52)
  12. 12 Mélodies (3) of 1916, for voice & piano: Daphénéo - Erik Satie & BBC Symphony Orchestra (1:27)
  13. 13 Je te veux (I Want You), café-concert song for voice & piano - Erik Satie & BBC Symphony Orchestra (6:13)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Measha Brueggergosman Primary Artist
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Lady to Watch

    Measha Brueggergosman continues to impress as an important soprano artist with her performances and recordings, and SURPRISE is a wise choice for her to demonstrate her gifts at this point. Hers is a voice of richness and full range of color and to this she adds intelligence and one of the finest levels of communication of text when compared to her peers. She is a fine artist at the beginning of what appears to be a very promising career. Brueggergosman devotes this CD to songs of a cabaret nature and for those who remember Jessye Norman at the beginning of her career holding a concert hall rapt with her very personal approach to the cabaret medium, there are bound to be comparisons as Brueggergosman approaches some of the same literature. William Bolcom's 'Songs of Innocence and of Experience' is a solid theatrical collection of songs from many sources and here he has orchestrated some for one of his favored singers. Brueggergosman not only sings with a honeyed voice, but she also communicates the strange words of these songs with sensitive assurance. Included in the SURPRISE collection are wonderfully animated songs of Satie with Bolcom serving as Brueggergosman's fluid accompanist. They work well, finding all the simple yet subtle aspects of Satie's peculiarly rewarding miniatures. Also included are Schoenberg's 'Brettl-Lieder' and here Brueggergosman manages to transmit the meanings of the German texts as though they were in the language of the listener. When the songs require orchestra the BBC is conducted by David Robertson who seems to be having as much involvement and enjoyment in his role as collaborator as his soloist. Because the quality of her voice and her intelligent communication of text are matched by a stage presence that immediately bonds her with her audience, it is probable that Measha Brueggergosman is one her way to a bright career. Highly recommended. Grady Harp

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Don't Bother

    The Cd is merely adequate... lots of hype, and a great publicity machine behind this singer. Unfortunately, it's a lot of hot air. The quality of singing is just not what I expect from a label such as Duetsche Grammophon.

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