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Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene

Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene

by Renée Fleming Renée Fleming
Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene

Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene

by Renée Fleming Renée Fleming


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Leave the "Anthropocene" theme aside for a moment and revel in Renée Fleming's voice on this album, released in 2021 when the singer was in her early 60s. The instrument is in fine shape, and Fleming's decision to forgo operatic performances in favor of art song is looking better and better. The top notes don't have the force of a 30-year-old's but have a rather eerie precision. Perhaps there's a bit of strain in the register just below the top, but the burnished quality of her low notes is absolutely gorgeous and more than compensates. As for the music, the new term "Anthropocene" denotes the current epoch in which the effect of human activities on the climate is fundamental. Fleming mixes French and German late Romantic songs about nature with contemporary compositions on the same theme. She avoids Schubert, whose output furnishes plenty of examples, which works well, for the Romantic works, with Britten more or less of a model, are of a piece with the new compositions, and the whole thing is unusually focused. Only one of those new works, Nico Muhly's "Endless Space," addresses the Anthropocene theme directly, and it has a 17th century text, but two of the three were commissioned for this project, and the third, Caroline Shaw's remarkable "Aurora Borealis," receives its world premiere here. Fleming indicates that the album's genesis came during the coronavirus pandemic, as she walked in the forest near her Virginia home and became aware of the power of nature to heal. She realizes her goal beautifully, not only technically but in terms of forging a program that is as strong as that of any song recital she has ever done.

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Product Details

Release Date: 10/08/2021
Label: Decca
UPC: 0028948520893
catalogNumber: 003456502
Rank: 133856


  1. Evening, for voice & piano  (05:57)
  2. Prison, song for voice & piano in E flat Minor, Op. 83/1  (02:23)
  3. Rondels, cycle of 12 songs for voice (or chorus) & piano: Les Étoiles

    1. Les Étoiles  (03:19)
  4. L'Heure exquise, for voice & piano (No. 5 from Chansons grises)  (02:53)
  5. En sourdine, song for voice & piano, Op. 58/2 (Cinq Mélodies 'de Venise')  (03:29)
  6. Rêve D'Amour ("S'il est in charmant gazon"), song for voice & piano in E flat Major, Op. 5/2  (02:31)
  7. S'il est un charmant gazon, song for voice & piano (3 versions), S. 284 (LW N25)  (03:06)
  8. Endless Space, for voice & piano  (08:42)
  9. Les berceaux, song for voice & piano in B flat minor, Op. 23/1  (03:08)
  10. Au bord de l'eau ("S'asseoir tous deux au bord du flot"), song for voice & piano, Op. 8/1  (02:01)
  11. Rondels, cycle of 12 songs for voice (or chorus) & piano  (03:34)
  12. Über allen gipfeln ist Ruh', song for voice & piano, S. 306 (LW N46) (3 versions)  (03:47)
  13. Songs (6) for voice & piano, Op. 48

    1. No. 3 Lauf der Welt  (01:36)
    2. No. 5 Zur Rosenzeit  (03:08)
    3. No. 6 Ein Traum  (02:15)
  14. Aurora Borealis, for voice & piano  (04:58)

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