- Navzdy (Forever), for voice & piano, Op. 12
- Trzy pisni do slow arabskich z X wieku, for voice & piano
- Robert Browning Songs (3) for voice & piano, Op. 44
- Clairières dans le ciel (13), for voice & piano
This little disc by American tenor-and-piano duo of Daniel Weeks and Naomi Oliphant claims to include "art songs by the first important Twentieth Century women composers from the Czech Republic, Poland, [the] United States, and France." There are several problems with this conceptually -- there was no Czech Republic in the time of Vitezslava Kaprálová, Cécile Chaminade arguably preceded Lili Boulanger as an important female composer from France and was active well into the 20th century, and the "Three Browning Songs, Op. 44," by Amy Beach are an odd fit stylistically with the rest of the program. This said, the quality of both the music and the performances here is high, and this release will find a place in good collections of music by women. The 13-song cycle "Clairières dans le ciel" by Lili Boulanger, younger sister to the famed teacher Nadia Boulanger, to a set of hazily evocative prose poems by the French Symbolist writer Francis Jammes, may be the highlight. As Oliphant points out in her notes (given in English only), the set is usually sung by women but was probably composed for a male singer who may have been Boulanger's lover; it is a chronicle of a love affair, sometimes pretty passionate, from the male point of view. The romantic intensity of all the songs is noteworthy; all these composers avoided the conventional, and the whole group carries an intriguing interior mood, often expressed in one kind of symbolic language or another (it is here that the Beach songs break the mood). The most experimental songs are those by Kaprálová, who died at age 25 and whose works are yielding unsuspected riches; she expanded an Impressionist language into a slightly polytonal realm. Weeks and Oliphant are not powerhouse performers, but they have the fluidly cooperative quality that makes for a satisfying art song performance, and the sound, recorded at a University of Louisville concert hall in Kentucky, is unusually good among the releases in the catalog of the small American label Centaur.