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Amy Beach: Chanson D'Amour
Amy Beach, The Romantic Chamber Group of London, Emma Kirkby
Amy Beach: Chanson D'Amour
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1

Emma Kirkby, doyenne of the Early Music scene, here shows that she's just as comfortable in music of a more recent vintage. Amy Beach was a woman ahead of her time, performing as solo pianist with the Boston Symphony Orche...  more »

     
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CD Details

All Artists: Amy Beach, The Romantic Chamber Group of London, Emma Kirkby
Title: Amy Beach: Chanson D'Amour
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Bis
Release Date: 3/26/2002
Album Type: Import
Genre: Classical
Style: Opera & Classical Vocal
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 675754492625, 7318590012451

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Emma Kirkby, doyenne of the Early Music scene, here shows that she's just as comfortable in music of a more recent vintage. Amy Beach was a woman ahead of her time, performing as solo pianist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra by the age of 18. The same year (1885), she married Henry Beach and, no longer able to perform publicly (it would have gone against her social status), she instead settled down to composing. And delightful stuff it is, too, as Kirkby and friends demonstrate in this charming recital. A number of the songs add violin, cello, or both to the piano and voice combination. "Ecstasy," for instance, has a most effective violin part that is an ideal foil to the purity of Kirkby's voice. Other highlights include the Schumannesque Browning Songs and the amiable Shakespeare Songs (the last of which, "Fairy Lullaby," is irresistible). The final item here, "Elle et moi," is an upbeat little number that suits Kirkby's lithe soprano to perfection. Occasionally, in some of the more lushly textured songs, such as "A Mirage" and "Stella Viatoris," perhaps a fuller voice would have been preferable, but then sample "Chanson d'amour" (written when Beach was only 21 and with a wonderful cello part in addition to the piano) and try to imagine it being better sung. The purely instrumental items are played with unfailing sensitivity and elegance. The Romance is straight out of the salon, while the much later Piano Trio (though actually based on early material) packs plenty of emotion and variety into its 14 minutes. The recording is exemplary, as are the concise notes and texts and translations. --Harriet Smith
 

CD Reviews

Still waiting for that Puccini album...
M. Tietjen | Syracuse, NY, USA | 04/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Emma Kirkby, who to my knowledge has rarely if ever recorded much after the death of Mozart, is heard here in an album of art songs by the American composer Amy Beach. Even though it is not her usual style, she is surprisingly musical and expressive in the Romantic repertoire. I offer this album to anyone who has suggested that Ms. Kirkby's singing is expressionless. She proves here that she is more than just flawless technique. Her approach is much different than other sopranos in this repertoire, but she shows amazing emotional and dynamic range. Some of her quiet high notes are quite beautiful, and when she gets louder she sounds much fuller than I would expect. While her almost vibrato-less singing (she does have a bit more than usual on this album) may not be everyone's cup of tea, I would urge anyone to listen to this album for an interesting and unique take on this type of music."