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Beach: Songs
     

Beach: Songs

 
Naxos' American Classics series brings Amy Beach: Songs and thus enters into a territory of vocal repertoire long considered essential to performers of English language art songs, yet never a very crowded field in terms of recordings. Amy Beach: Songs is a generous survey of Beach's songs dating from 1880, when she was 12 years old

Overview

Naxos' American Classics series brings Amy Beach: Songs and thus enters into a territory of vocal repertoire long considered essential to performers of English language art songs, yet never a very crowded field in terms of recordings. Amy Beach: Songs is a generous survey of Beach's songs dating from 1880, when she was 12 years old, to the very last music she wrote before her death at age 77 in 1944. Beach's songs were never designed to knock your socks off, but the received wisdom that they are nothing more than pleasant parlor tunes wholly reliant on German models isn't right either. Beach's songs are sensitive, poetic, and made with a clear purpose in mind -- to project the texts through clearly stated and memorable melodic content. Mezzo soprano Katherine Kelton does an excellent job here in a wide range of material, the only caveat being that at times she's a little hard to understand, but all of the lyrics are included in the booklet so this is of no great concern. Accompanist Catherine Bringeraud paces all of the music very well and is strongly responsive to Kelton's voice while maintaining a mostly gentle and dignified calm. Kelton's liner notes are excellent and make the case for Beach without overstatement. Listeners familiar with Beach note a trend toward a deepening harmonic color in the works written from about 1920 forward; they will no doubt delight to discover hints of this late direction already present in songs such as "Come, ah Come" from 1902. That's the benefit of the comprehensiveness of the selection presented in Amy Beach: Songs; the subtle twists and turns in Beach's style and development are outlaid in a way that makes sense and is genuinely easy to grasp. But don't expect to untangle her secrets in one setting -- instant gratification isn't what Beach is about, and repeated listening pays off dividends here. Students of singing will doubtless welcome this release with open arms as Naxos has finally provided a package limited only to Beach's songs that is also, thankfully, a reliable and inexpensive guide to the way a large number of them are supposed to sound.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/19/2004
Label:
Naxos American
UPC:
0636943919125
catalogNumber:
8559191
Rank:
270355

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. The Rainy Day, song for voice & piano (juvenilia)
  2. Ariette, for voice & piano, Op. 1/4
  3. When Far from Her, song for voice & piano, Op. 2/2
  4. Empress of Night, song for voice & piano, Op. 2/3
  5. Le Secret, song for voice & piano, Op. 14/2
  6. Ecstasy, song for voice & piano with violin obbligato, Op. 19/2
  7. Within Thy Heart, song for voice & piano, Op. 29/1
  8. Sleep, Little Darling, song for voice & piano, Op. 29/3
  9. Nachts (Nights), song for voice & piano, Op. 35/1
  10. Forgotten, song for voice & piano, Op. 41/3
  11. Dearie, song for voice & piano (Burns Songs No. 1), Op. 43/1
  12. Far Awa', song for voice (or 2 sopranos) & piano (Burns Songs No. 4), Op. 43/4
  13. The Year's at the Spring, song for voice & piano (Robert Browning Songs No. 1), Op. 44/1
  14. Ah, Love, But a Day, song for voice & piano (Robert Browning Songs No. 2), Op. 44/2
  15. I Send My Heart Up to Thee, song for voice & piano (Robert Browning Songs No. 3), Op. 44/3
  16. Come, Ah Come, song for voice & piano, Op. 48/1
  17. Canzonetta, for voice & piano, Op. 48/4
  18. Ich sagete nicht (Silent Love), song for voice & piano, Op. 51/1
  19. Wir Drei (We Three), song for voice & piano, Op. 51/2
  20. Juni (June), song for voice & piano, Op. 51/3
  21. Je demande à l'oiseau (For My Love), song for voice & piano, Op. 51/4
  22. Go Not Too Far, song for voice & piano, Op. 56/2
  23. Shena Van, song for voice & piano (also with violin obbligato), Op. 56/4
  24. Baby, song for voice & piano (Mother Songs No. 1), Op. 69/1
  25. Hush, Baby Dear, song for voice & piano (Mother Songs No. 2), Op. 69/2
  26. A Prelude, song for voice & piano, Op. 71/1
  27. O Sweet Content, song for voice & piano, Op. 71/2
  28. Ein altes Gebet (An Old Prayer), song for voice & piano, Op. 72/1
  29. Der Totenkranz (The Children's Thanks), song for voice & piano, Op. 73/2
  30. The Candy Lion, song for voice & piano, Op. 75/1
  31. A Thanksgiving Fable, song for voice & piano, Op. 75/2
  32. In the Twilight, song for voice & piano, Op. 85
  33. The Host, song for voice & piano, Op. 117/2
  34. May Flowers, song for voice & piano, Op. 137/2
  35. I Sought the Lord, for voice & organ, Op. 142
  36. Though I Take the Wings of Morning, for voice & organ or piano, Op. 152

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