Music and Book reviews

Browsing: Art Songs

Arias Music Live
‘Eva’. Recital by Eva Kong, soprano and Alex Raineri, pianist

Artist/s: Eva Kong, soprano and Alex Raineri, pianist
Category: Arias, Art Songs, Classical, Music Live, Opera
Location, Date: Brisbane Music Festival, Saturday August 15, 2020, online from Brisbane.
Reviewed by

“This was an exemplary recital in both the planning and the execution, demonstrating a strong musical collaboration between Alex Raineri and Eva Kong and celebrating their wide musical interests.  A wonderful tribute to the resilience of the performing arts during difficult times.”

Arias
A Toast to Melba

Artist/s: Lorina Gore (soprano), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marko Letonja
Category: Arias, Art Songs, Classical, Opera
Label: ABC 481 6297
Reviewed by

“Lorina Gore’s prodigious vocal gifts are on display throughout, stamping her as a great Australian coloratura of this generation.”

Art Songs Music Recording
Ballads of the Pleasant Life. Kurt Weill, Weimar and Exile

Artist/s: Peter Coleman-Wright (baritone). Nexas Quartet: Michael Duke (soprano saxophone), Andrew Smith (alto saxophone), Nathan Henshaw (tenor saxophone), Jay Byrnes (baritone saxophone), Benjamin Burton (piano)
Category: Art Songs, Classical, Music Recording, Musical Theatre
Label: ABC Classics 576 2204
www.abcclassics.com
Reviewed by

Baritone Peter Coleman-Wright and the Nexas Quartet bring us a fascinating glimpse into the period of the fall of the Weimar Republic, when music was the language of defiance and protest, as well as of love and beauty in a world on the brink of catastrophe…

Art Songs Music Recording
Çanakkale – Gallipoli Songs

Artist/s: Ayşe Göknur Shanal (soprano), Patrick Keith, Erberk Eryilmaz, Ross Fiddes (piano)
Category: Art Songs, Classical, Music Recording, New Music
Label: Wirripang Wirr 707
http://www.australiancomposers.com.au
Reviewed by

“The wonderful Turkish-Australian soprano Ayşe Göknur Shanal performs new song cycles by contemporary Australasian composers, and the sheer beauty and dramatic power of her voice left me profoundly moved.”

Art Songs
Dracula. Opera. Also Three Poems by Gwen Harwood, and String Songs, orchestral folksong suite. All by David Stanhope

Artist/s: Soloists: Lorina Gore, Silvia Colloca, Catherine Bouchier, Jud Arthur, Nicholas Jones, David Hamilton, Barry Ryan, Peter Coleman-Wright, soloists. David Stanhope and His Orchestra.Digital realisation of the orchestral score. “The first time an opera has ever been commercially presented with a digital orchestra.” Opera, New Music. 
Category: Art Songs, Classical, New Music, Opera
Label:  2 CDs. Tall Poppies
Reviewed by

“This disc is strongly recommended to those interested in opera, Australian music, and further to those who are inclined to perform new Australian operas.”

Art Songs Music Recording
Hymne à l’amour

Artist/s: Siobhan Stagg, soprano; Amir Farid, piano
Category: Art Songs, Classical, Music Recording
Label: Move Records MD 3360
Reviewed by

“Siobhan Stagg has a voice of astounding beauty and working with the wonderful Amir Farid on piano, the duo present a memorable recital of Romantic art songs.” The hugely talented Melbournian soprano Siobhan Stagg recorded this beautiful collection of Romantic…

Art Songs Music Recording
I Thought I Heard a Magpie Call. Heritage Australian Art Songs

Artist/s: Margaret Schindler (soprano), Philip Mayers (piano)
Category: Art Songs, Classical, Music Recording
Label: Wirripang Wirr 076
http://www.AustralianComposers.com.au
Reviewed by

“Another very enjoyable release from Wirripang: thirty- two Australian songs, most composed pre WW11 – an era when we felt we still belonged in the “Old Country” and our songs were still populated by fairies, pipers and shepherds, and spring sprang forth in May! The performances are excellent from Margaret Schindler, soprano, accompanied by her long-time colleague, Philip Mayers, on piano.”

Art Songs Music Recording
Jack Symonds. Cycle and Song

Artist/s: Doretta Balkizas (violin), Timo-Veikko Valve (cello), James Wannan (viola/viola d’amore), Jane Sheldon (soprano), Jason Noble (clarinet), Jack Symonds (piano)
Category: Art Songs, Classical, Music Recording, New Music
Label: Hospital Hill Records HHCD08160746
Reviewed by

“Jack Symonds’ deep knowledge of western culture informs work that is distinctive in style, sophisticated in design and presented here in masterful performances.”

Art Songs Music Recording
Kingfisher. Songs for Halcyon

Artist/s: Halcyon: Alison Morgan (soprano), Jenny Duck-Chong (mezzo soprano). With Laura Chislett Jones (piccolo and flutes), Jason Noble (clarinet and bass clarinet), Geoffrey Gartner (cello), William Jackson and Joshua Hill (percussion)
Category: Art Songs, Classical, Music Recording, New Music
Label: Tall Poppies TP236
www.tallpoppies.net
Reviewed by

“Kingfisher” has fine performances of 21 songs recently composed especially for Halcyon, and offers a valuable insight into the field of recent Australian composition for vocal chamber ensemble.

Art Songs
Letters from a Black Snake

Artist/s: Barry Ryan OAM (baritone) and Jeanell Carrigan AM (piano)
Category: Art Songs, Classical, New Music
Label: Wirripang Media Wirr093
Reviewed by

“These beautifully wrought songs by George Palmer AM QC (b.1947) will undoubtedly take their place in anthologies of the best Australian art songs. With his excellent choice of texts and the strength of his music, they seem quintessentially Australian, and the performances by Barry Ryan and Jeanell Carrigan are absolutely top class.”

Art Songs
Moonlight Reflections. Stacey Alleaume

Artist/s: Stacey Alleaume (soprano), Amir Farid (pianist), Zoe Knighton (cellist), Erica Kennedy (violinist)
Category: Art Songs, Classical
Label: MOVE Records  MCD 613
Reviewed by

“Stacey Alleaume, a multi-award – winning soprano and Opera Australia principal has released her debut album of art songs from the late Romantic period. The choices suit her superb voice perfectly and with such excellent support from the pianist Amir Farid, there are many delights to enjoy on this disc.” 

Art Songs Music Recording
Movement. Vocal and Chamber Music by Horace Keats

Artist/s: Louise Page (soprano), Phillipa Candy (piano), The Linden String Quartet: Marina Marsden, Emily Long (violins), Justine Marsden (viola), Elizaberth Neville (cello), Janet Webb (flute)
Category: Art Songs, Classical, Music Recording
Label: Wirripang Wirr 050
http://www.AustralianComposers.com.au
Reviewed by

“A fine CD from Wirripang of chamber works by the Australian composer Horace Keats (1895-1945) with superb performances from the artists: Louise Page (soprano), The Linden String Quartet, Phillipa Candy (piano) and Janet Webb (flute).”

Art Songs
New Art Song of the Pacific Rim

Artist/s: Kevin Hanrahan (tenor), Diana Blom (piano)
Category: Art Songs, Classical
Label: Wirripang (Wirr 094)
Reviewed by

“Hanrahan and Blom give excellent performances of nineteen songs from the last three decades. The works themselves vary from memorable to mediocre, and while none explored an original or distinctive approach to this genre, the disc is very enjoyable.”

Art Songs
On Eternal Love. Romantic Lieder. Taryn Fiebig and Scott Davie

Artist/s: Taryn Fiebig (soprano) and Scott Davie (pianist). Songs by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Strauss, Poulenc and Hahn. 
Category: Art Songs, Classical
Label:  ABC Classic digital album 0028948556151
Reviewed by

“A superb studio recording of well-known songs from the Romantic period performed by soprano Taryn Fiebig and pianist Scott Davie. It is one of the best lieder recitals released by ABC  Classics in recent years.”

Art Songs
Snow in Summer

Artist/s: Evergreen Ensemble. Shane Lestideau (director/baroque violin/backing vocals), Claire Patti (vocals/celtic harp), Samantha Cohen (theorbo/baroque guitar), Jenny Eriksson (viola da gamba)
Category: Art Songs, Classical, Folk, Fusion
Label: Move Records MCD 584
Reviewed by

“This fine Victorian-based ensemble led by Australian master fiddler and baroque violinist, Shane Lestideau, present arrangements of beautiful ancient Scottish and Swedish folksongs, interspersed with 18th century baroque string sonatas, and a new composition by Alice Chance.”

Art Songs
Songs for a Day. Art songs of Aristéa Mellos

Artist/s: Helen Zhibing Huang (soprano), Ada Arumeh Kim Lowery (pianist), Jane Bishop (flautist) and James Larsen (cellist)
Category: Art Songs, Classical
Label: Xenophone n.2001
http://www.xenofone.com.au
Reviewed by

The disc includes two excellent song cycles plus some earlier songs, all composed by Aristéa Mellos since 2013. The cycle Songs for a Day was specifically written for the soprano Helen Zhibing Huang and pianist Ada Arumeh Kim, and their performance is very moving. Huang’s dramatic ability and beauty of tone does full justice to all these well-crafted songs.

Arias
Stuart Skelton. Shining Knight. Wagner, Griffes, Barber.

Artist/s: Stuart Skelton (tenor), West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Asher Fisch (conductor).
Category: Arias, Art Songs, Classical
Label: ABC Classics 481 7219
Reviewed by

“This recording captures Stuart Skelton at the height of his powers and international career, with superb support from the West Australian Symphony Orchestra under Asher Fisch. My recommendation of this disc is without reservation.”

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