Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Jake Heggie, Renée Fleming, Jennifer Larmore|
The Faces of Love ~ The Songs of Jake Heggie / Fleming, McNair, Larmore, von Stade, Forand, Cao, Clayton, Vaness, Asawa
Don't be put off by the title, which sounds like the product of a marketing meeting. These are smart, fun, sexy, friendly musical settings of verse by (mostly) living poets by the composer of the forthcoming Dead Man Walki... more »
Listen to Samples
Don't be put off by the title, which sounds like the product of a marketing meeting. These are smart, fun, sexy, friendly musical settings of verse by (mostly) living poets by the composer of the forthcoming Dead Man Walking opera. Even better, there's not the slightest hint of these starry singers phoning in their performances en route to the airport. Everyone performs in excellent voice and with maximum commitment (Jennifer Larmore's English diction has never been better), and with good reason. Jake Heggie draws on all manners of compositional techniques--from expansive flights of polytonality to droll references to tango and other dance rhythms--but always at the service of his essentially lyrical musical personality, which can be vaguely described as updated Samuel Barber. Beyond writing well for the voice, Heggie gives the singers an unfettered emotional outlet and a range of theatrical moods, both in his choice of stylish, emotionally present verse and in his broad, clearly etched melodies that so easily accommodate coloring and nuance. As if that's not enough to inspire commitment from singers, Frederica von Stade doubles as poet in the cycle Paper Wings. Not all of this is great--Heggie sometimes resorts to generalized prettiness--but there hasn't been a more engaging vocal recital album all year. --David Patrick Stearns
Dynamite performances; memorable melodies
D. C. Elliot | 12/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Buy this CD! Jake's superlative compositions are performed magnificently by a talented coterie of fabulous recording artists. In particular, check out the dynamic vocal talents of rising soprano star Kristin Clayton! A marvelous collection of melodic, mellifluous harmonies that cleave the air with heart-stopping resonance; guaranteed to grace any classical music collection with class and beauty."
Make Room for Jake Heggie!
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This joyous, varied collection of the Art of the Song places Jake Heggie firmly in the vanguard of the, gratefully, increasing number of composers writing for the solo voice and piano. Recitals by the really fine American singers such as Renee Fleming, Susan Graham, Sylvia McNair, Jennifer Larmore, Frederica von Stade are more and more drawing focus to the output of the young American composers joining the ranks of the likes of Copeland, Barber, Bernstein, and Rorem. And this little gem of a disc offers a fine reason why that is happening. Jake Heggie writes accessible music (and that to these ears is not a put down!) which is wholly melded with the poetry he choses to set singing. His affinity to the works of Emily Dickinson, Edna St Vincent Millay et al is here in evidence. Heggie himself serves as the sensitive, warm collaborative accompanist to his circle of friends. How many other discs give us this much variety of voices who gathered to record this music particularly - not just excerpts from dozens of recordings? It all works. If the recording at times sounds more friendly to the piano than to the voice it may have been the variation in the setup on the day of those recordings. While all the soloists do well by Heggie's writing and collaboration, the real surprises here are Brian Asawa (rarely has he sounded so wedded to lyrics), von Stade (whose own poems are wondrously right with Heggie's touch), and McNair. But that sounds as though certain singers are singled out and that is not really possible in a program so evenly beautiful ...and fun.With every listening the magic grows......! Welcome to Valhalla, Jake Heggie! You restore our faith in contemporary vocal music. Can't wait to hear/see "Dead Man Walking" this fall."
Beautiful Voices, Beautiful Music
Amy | Columbia, S.C. | 02/20/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The music and singing in this CD are both lovely but this CD is not for everyone. If you are expecting to hear opera type music because the singers are "opera" singers then you'll be disappointed. Instead, keep an open ear. You'll probably find that you like it."