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Angels Hide Their Faces: Dawn Upshaw Sings Bach and Purcell
Henry Purcell, Johann Sebastian Bach, Arthur Haas
Angels Hide Their Faces: Dawn Upshaw Sings Bach and Purcell
Genres: Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

Soprano Dawn Upshaw's programs are always interesting, and this one's a beauty: one of Bach's most heartfelt cantatas flanked by songs and arias of Purcell. For the most part, she's in excellent voice, but with the tics th...  more »

     
   
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CD Details

All Artists: Henry Purcell, Johann Sebastian Bach, Arthur Haas, Dawn Upshaw
Title: Angels Hide Their Faces: Dawn Upshaw Sings Bach and Purcell
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 2
Label: Nonesuch
Original Release Date: 1/1/1995
Re-Release Date: 3/27/2001
Genres: Pop, Classical
Styles: Vocal Pop, Opera & Classical Vocal, Forms & Genres, Theatrical, Incidental & Program Music, Historical Periods, Baroque (c.1600-1750), Sacred & Religious
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 075597960525

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Soprano Dawn Upshaw's programs are always interesting, and this one's a beauty: one of Bach's most heartfelt cantatas flanked by songs and arias of Purcell. For the most part, she's in excellent voice, but with the tics that make some demur from enthusiasm: occasional swooping, thinning of the voice in the upper regions, lapses into a "Broadway" type of vocalism, and diction problems. The latter, oddly enough, are as present in Purcell's English as in Bach's German, as in the way Upshaw lands heavily on the r with a broad American accent rather than the lightly rolled r we're used to in performances of period English music. There's also some broad word-painting in the Bach, whose text, charting the soul's journey from sin to redemption, really needs no extra emoting. That said, Upshaw's fans will love this disc, and even those who prefer a different approach will enjoy it. Accompaniments are excellent: a continuo team in the Purcell, a small chamber group in the Bach. Outstanding sonics, too. --Dan Davis

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CD Reviews

Picky reviewers
LangMat | Watsonville, CA USA | 05/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've got a degree in musicology ( and am fluent in German as well), and for a while after total immersion in graduate school, found my listening enjoyment frustrated by the same pickiness that hampers your reviewer. Fortunately, that passed, and I'm now able to simply appreciate Dawn Upshaw's performance of the music we hear all too seldom. I hope that others will be able to participate in Upshaw's interpretation of the poetry behind the music, to think about the theological role of angels (not just pretty faces and feathery wings), to love this wonderful recording. We are indeed blessed that technology allows us to experience such music, such an artist."
Hark ! how well the lady sings
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 05/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is one of those little gems that becomes more appealing with each hearing. The Purcell pieces are sweet and lovely, but the Bach ! This Cantata is the glory of this CD. It's verses are of the deepest sorrow and repentance, woeful utterances for God's forgiveness, until the final aria, "How joyful is my heart since God is appeased". Dawn Upshaw's interpretation is beautiful. She captures the emotion, the longing, the spirituality and heart of the piece.The musicians in the simple accompaniment are superb, and the entire package excellent...it was the cover art that first drew my attention to this CD...an unusual and moving painting by Hugo Simberg titled "Wounded Angel" from 1903. It also has the lovely added touch of being slip-cased, making it a perfect gift item for anyone who likes this type of music."
Now that the Sun hath veil'd his light.....
Dianne Foster | USA | 08/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Some say angels are God's messangers. When angels communicate, surely they sound like Dawn Upshaw. Upshaw's beautiful soprano voice rises to the stars and floats back again as she sings the beautiful collection of arias and cantatas by Purcell and Bach contained in ANGELS HIDE THEIR FACES.Shaw's interpretation of Purcell's 'How sweet it is to love' reminds me of the elation I first felt on realizing love exists. 'Lord what is a man' brings one back to earth with a lamentation about human frailty and the finiteness of human existence. "Rejoice, rejoice" sings the angel in 'Hark! How all things' with lyrics from 'The Fairy Queen' -- a text by E. Settle after Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.' Bach's cantatas fill the air as Upshaw sings arias in German (interpretations are provided in the text accompanying the CD). J.S. Bach's songs are clearly and beautifully articulated by Upshaw while in the backgound various wind and string instruments accompany her vocalizations. Many of Upshaw's vocalizations by Bach in German as well as the instrumentation (including viol consort) remind me of the arias from 'The Messiah' -- majestic albeit on a very human scale. For example, Aria #9 by Bach is comparable to "He shall lead his flock.." (although the latter was written for an alto voice). The music in English by Purcell is a bit lighter. My favorite piece is 'An evening hymn' by Purcell which I would expect to hear near dusk in an English chapel. However, ANGELS HIDE THEIR FACES contains music you can play year round at any time of day."