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To Be Sung upon the Water: Song Cycles by Dominick Argento
     

To Be Sung upon the Water: Song Cycles by Dominick Argento

by Patrice Michaels
 

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This disc is a slightly odd compilation of three song-cycles by Dominick Argento (one of America's best vocal composers) and fifteen minutes of vocal music by Ralph Vaughan Williams. It is an eighty-minute disc with very natural recital-hall type sound produced by Çedille's honcho James Ginsberg

Overview

This disc is a slightly odd compilation of three song-cycles by Dominick Argento (one of America's best vocal composers) and fifteen minutes of vocal music by Ralph Vaughan Williams. It is an eighty-minute disc with very natural recital-hall type sound produced by Çedille's honcho James Ginsberg and the top engineering team of Mitchell G. Heller and Lawrence Rock. Each of the five sets of songs on it is for a different sort of accompaniment. The constant factor is the soprano, the talented recitalist Patrice Michaels Bedi (sometimes billed more simply as Patrice Michaels). Argento's "Letters from Composers" uses guitar as accompaniment, sensitively and dramatically played by Jeffrey Kust. The cycle has a striking range of moods ranging from terrified (Chopin's despairing letter from the cold Mallorcan monastery), to enraged (Mozart's letter about being by fired by the Archbishop of Salzburg), to loving (a Robert Schumann letter to Clara), and Kust is a major factor in allowing Michaels Bedi to portray them fully. "Songs About Spring" (settings of E. E. Cummings poems) use a piano accompaniment (Elizabeth Buccheri) and are done with appropriate wistfulness. "To Be Sung Upon the Water" (Barcaroles and Nocturnes) require piano and clarinet accompaniment (adding Larry Combs to the performers' list) and are most ably and touchingly presented. Combs remains for Vaughan Williams' brief "Three Vocalises," and violinist Elliott Golub is the accompaniment for four songs from Vaughan Williams' cycle "Along the Field." Patrice Michaels Bedi has an attractive voice and is a very sensitive musician and singer. She possesses (or allows herself) a "recital quality" of voice here, rather than showing a more operatic bloom, a slight detraction in this writer's opinion, but the disc is fully recommendable and certainly the best way to get to know a substantial representation of Argento's vocal work.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/30/1996
Label:
Cedille
UPC:
0735131902922
catalogNumber:
29
Rank:
309528

Tracks

  1. Letters from Composers, for voice & guitar
  2. Songs About Spring (5) for voice & piano
  3. To Be Sung Upon the Water, for high voice, piano, & clarinet
  4. Vocalises (3) for soprano voice & clarinet
  5. Along the Field, song cycle for voice & violin: 2. Along the Field
  6. Along the Field, song cycle for voice & violin: 6. Good-Bye
  7. Along the Field, song cycle for voice & violin: 7. Fancy's Knell
  8. Along the Field, song cycle for voice & violin: 8. With Rue My Heart is Laden

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