Search - Dawn Upshaw, Marc Blitzstein, Eric Stern :: I Wish It So

I Wish It So
Dawn Upshaw, Marc Blitzstein, Eric Stern
I Wish It So
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
 
With a spirit of innocence and excitement, no audible breaks of register, and perfect diction, Dawn Upshaw graces us with a satisfying crossover recording in which each song is a fully realized musical monologue. The ecl...  more »

      
   
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Amazon.com essential recording
With a spirit of innocence and excitement, no audible breaks of register, and perfect diction, Dawn Upshaw graces us with a satisfying crossover recording in which each song is a fully realized musical monologue. The eclectic and infrequently performed repertoire, from Bernstein, Blitzstein, Sondheim, and Weill, compliments her charm and interpretive acuity. There's her humorous "Saga of Jenny," her adorable "That's Him," her poignant "Like It Was," and her freshly vibrant "I Feel Pretty." Conductor Eric Stern is divine in his arrangements and accompaniment. This is one of the best musical theater albums available. --Barbara Eisner Bayer

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CD Reviews

If Dawn Upshaw had made only one album...
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 08/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have a weak spot for crossover albums by opera stars, which can often be train wrecks or embarrissing self-parodies. There's not a cringe-worthy note in this one, however. Dawn Upshaw has never been as vibrant on disc, and her style in pop music (albeit serious pop music) surpasses expectations. She is a master at touching vulnerability and stars-in-her-eyes vulnerability. There's no current Broadway star who can match her in any of these songs form Sondheim, Weill, and Bernstein, certainly not for sheer beauty of voice and charm. Upshaw went on to make an excellent album of Rodgers and Hart songs, but nothing else quite matches this first effort."
Great songs by a better than average singer. Buy It.
B. Marold | Bethlehem, PA United States | 04/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"'I Wish It So' sung by popular / classical switch hitter, Dawn Upshaw is a very, very good interpretation of classical American musical theatre pieces by four masters of the genre, Leonard Bernstein (music), Marc Blitzstein (lyrics), Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) and Kurt Weill (music). As I am most familiar with female interpretations of Kurt Weill's songs, especially by the likes of his widow, Lotte Lenya and Weill interpreter extraordinare, Ute Lemper, I have to say that while Upshaw does them justice, she does ont outshine the very best Weill interpretations. Primarily, I believe she suffers from never actually performing the works on stage, as Lenya has.

And, since Ute Lemper did an album with a similar collection of songs (Illusions) from Sondheim and others, I thing Lemper still has the edge on interpreting other composers as well.

On the positive side, I find Upshaw's interpretation as good or better than almost everyone else who makes a career out of these songs, such as, dare I say it, Barbra Streisand. This is a good thing, because I believe Upshaw is not up to the very best mezzos who share her classical works. She can't hold a candle, for example, to Renee Fleming or Anne Sofie von Otter, although her interpretations of Weill are as good as von Otter, just not as good as Lenya and Lemper.

A very, very nice album if you like female vocalists."
Crossover at Its Best
J. De Sapio | Washington, DC | 11/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

""I Wish It So" is the CD that first introduced the exceptional "crossover" talents of soprano Dawn Upshaw. The album, which comprises (mostly) little-heard songs by Kurt Weill, Marc Blitzstein, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim, opens with the title number, a lyrical gem from Blitzstein's JUNO, and continues with Sondheim's vibrant "There Won't Be Trumpets," in which Upshaw, rather than belting, lets her voice ring. She then slam-dunks Sondheim's "What More Do I Need," a truly raucous number. Other highlights include the two songs from Weill's LADY IN THE DARK: the haunting ballad "My Ship" and the witty "The Saga of Jenny," presented here in a superb jazz arrangement. The sound of Upshaw's lower middle voice in this number is thrilling. Her combining of Blizstein's "Never Get Lost" and Sondheim's soaring, life-affirming "Take Me to the World" is perfect, as is her musical yet emotional rendition of "Like It Was" from Sondheim's MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG. The album climaxes with the mock-coloratura aria "Glitter and Be Gay" from Bernstein's CANDIDE, in which Upshaw scales the heights with consistently pure and beautiful tone. In a day when many great opera singers attempt, unsuccessfully, to sing "popular" song, "I Wish It So" is an example of crossover at its very best. It is a CD that no one who loves both opera and musicals should miss."