×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Barber: The Songs
     

Barber: The Songs

by Cheryl Studer
 
This Deutsche Grammophon collection of the songs of American composer Samuel Barber initially made its bow in 1994. In the United States it originally debuted under the poorly chosen title Secrets of the Old, and this was swiftly amended to conform to the regular British version, simply titled Samuel Barber: The Songs. Rather unceremoniously deleted at

Overview

This Deutsche Grammophon collection of the songs of American composer Samuel Barber initially made its bow in 1994. In the United States it originally debuted under the poorly chosen title Secrets of the Old, and this was swiftly amended to conform to the regular British version, simply titled Samuel Barber: The Songs. Rather unceremoniously deleted at one point, the set is making its return under the still more simplified Barber: The Songs as a number within the "Gramophone Award Collection," which also offers re-releases from Decca and Philips catalogs, as well. This selection of 47 songs coordinated, annotated, and accompanied by pianist John Browning is not "complete" as the early, withdrawn version of the front cover once announced. But in the decade since its release, none of the other known heretofore unpublished Barber songs have seen the light of day, so this package remains more all-inclusive than any other, and all of the ten "new" Barber songs included are either at or barely below his usual high standard of work. Of the singer, Cheryl Studer is definitely the weak link in this project. In general her loud, heavy, and somewhat wayward voice is at least tolerable and sometimes her delivery of line and lyric is good; she treats Barber's songs with respect, if not reverence. But one sorely wishes DG had found someone else to sing "Sure on This Shining Night"; you could go down to the local university music school and find half a dozen sopranos who could do a better job than Studer does here. Thomas Hampson, by comparison, is in fine form throughout, particularly in the Op. 27 songs, "Bessie Bobtail" and even in the early songs such as "Night Wanderers." John Browning melds the whole thing together with his expertly formulated accompaniments, which capture both the letter and spirit of Barber's music. Without him, interest flags; the Hampson and Emerson String Quartet collaboration on "Dover Beach, Op. 3," is not a highlight of this collection. In terms of representing repertoire, some releases can remain at the top of their particular game without being absolutely perfect. Barber: The Songs belongs in this category, but its return to the catalog is nonetheless welcome in any form.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/12/2004
Label:
Deutsche Grammophon
UPC:
0028947468523
catalogNumber:
000338002

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. A Slumber Song of the Madonna, for voice & organ
  2. There's Nae Lark, for voice & piano
  3. Love at the Door, song for voice & piano
  4. Serenades, for voice & piano
  5. Love's Caution, song for voice & piano
  6. Night Wanderers, song for voice & piano
  7. Of That So Sweet Imprisonment, song for voice & piano
  8. Strings in the Earth and Air, song for voice & piano
  9. The Beggar's Song, song for voice & piano
  10. In the Dark Pinewood, song for voice & piano
  11. Songs (3), for voice & piano, Op. 2
  12. Songs (3), for voice & piano, Op. 10
  13. Songs (4), for voice & piano, Op. 13
  14. Dover Beach, for baritone (or mezzo-soprano) & string quartet, Op. 3
  15. Songs (2), for voice & piano, Op. 18
  16. Nuvoletta, song for voice & piano, Op. 25
  17. Mélodies passagères (5), songs for voice & piano, Op. 27
  18. Hermit Songs, for voice & piano, Op. 29
  19. Despite and Still, song cycle for voice & piano, Op. 41
  20. Songs (3), for voice & piano, Op. 45

Album Credits

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews