Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Dmitry Shostakovich, Daniel Welcher, Gyorgy Kurtag|
Jan De Gaetani in Concert
Genres: Pop, Classical
The Wonder of Jan de Gaetani
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 02/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This volume of recordings by that penultimate interpreter of contemporary music Jan De Gaetani released as a full set of extant recordings is important on any levels. The artistry here displayed is of the highest order and we are reminded of the brilliance of this soprano's quiet career and her importance in the furthering of new music.
First is a wonderful song cycle by Dmitri Shostakovich s 'From Jewish Folk Poetry' and while there are other recordings of this cycle, few compare to the intense artistry of not only de Gaetani, but also of her colleagues Jon Humphrey, Benita Valente and pianist Samuel Lipman. It glows and sparkles like few other performances. Likewise the 'Abeja blanca' for mezzo-soprano, English horn, & piano by Daniel Welcher (with Philip West horn and Robert Spillman piano).
But the jewel on this recording is the work 'Scenes From a Novel, for voice, violin, double bass & cimbalom, Op. 19 by Gyorgy Kurtag as performed by de Gaetani and the Speculum Musicae. As a listener I was unaware of this masterpiece until a recent thrilling performance by the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group with Elizabeth Keusch as soprano soloist. The work is a stunning setting of excerpts from a novel by Russian born, Hungarian Rimma Dalos, a novel about a woman's longing for unrequited love. It is both humorous in passages as well as bleak and morose in others. Musically the work abounds in the Hungarian folk music sounds produced by the cimbalom (it is scored for violin, bass, soprano, and cimbalom) and here and there are references to Mahler, to Schnittke, and to Webern. It is fiendishly difficult in both the expansive vocal range and the pulsating demands of the poetic imagery. de Gaetani makes it sound simple and her voice is never less than ravishing.
This is an important work by an important composer and deserves far more performances than it has achieved. Hopefully with the growth of Kurtag's popularity we will have more opportunities to hear it. Until then, obtaining this excellent recording is highly recommended! Grady Harp, February 06