Search - Ned Rorem, Phyllis Curtin, Helen Vanni :: Ariel/Gloria/King Midas

Ariel/Gloria/King Midas
Ned Rorem, Phyllis Curtin, Helen Vanni
Ariel/Gloria/King Midas
Genres: Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (3) - Disc #1

"Ariel" was a gift to my friend Phyllis Curtin. the cycle was composed in New York during May, 1971, and first performed by Phyllis Curtin, with clarinetist David Glazer and pianist Ryan Edwards, at the library of Congress...  more »

     
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CD Details

All Artists: Ned Rorem, Phyllis Curtin, Helen Vanni, John Stewart, Sandra Walker, Ryan Edwards, Anne Schein
Title: Ariel/Gloria/King Midas
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Phoenix USA
Original Release Date: 1/1/1991
Release Date: 1/1/1991
Genres: Pop, Classical
Styles: Vocal Pop, Opera & Classical Vocal, Chamber Music, Historical Periods, Baroque (c.1600-1750), Classical (c.1770-1830)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 094629301266

Synopsis

Album Description
"Ariel" was a gift to my friend Phyllis Curtin. the cycle was composed in New York during May, 1971, and first performed by Phyllis Curtin, with clarinetist David Glazer and pianist Ryan Edwards, at the library of Congress in Washington on November 26. Ariel is a setting of five poems of Sylvia Plath. "Gloria" was composed during May and June of 1970, in new York and at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. It is a gift to all singers who bemoan the lack of duets. These nine Latin songs are only part of an unending series I am projecting, for various pairings and combinations, of varying difficulty, trios and quartets and-why not?-vocal octets, mostly in England, and mostly for the fun of it. The first performance took place on James Holmes' Chapel Concerts Series, on November 26, 1972, when Phyllis Curtin was joined by mezzo helen Vanni, and by the composer at the piano, at the Chapel of the Intercession in New York City. "King Midas", a cycle of ten songs for two voices alternating, was composed in Paris during the late spring of 1961 (except for "The Princess' Song" which was written in 1956 and published as "See How They Love Me). The first complete performance was given on March 11, 1962 at the fourth and final Rorem-Flanagan recital in Carnegie Recital Hall, by tenor David Lloyd, soprano Veronica Tyler, with the composer at the piano. Ned Rorem
 

CD Reviews

Focused vocal performances
Eric | Somerville, MA United States | 07/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This rather obscure album is a good source of distinctive Rorem song cycles for voice. The premiere piece of the three is "Ariel," a setting of 5 Sylvia Plath poems for Phyllis Curtin, one of the composers' favorite sopranos. Rorem's angular modernism is the perfect setting for Plath's pithy, bitter words. Curtin speak-sings with dramatic flair, performing in forceful counterpoint to the insistent piano accompaniment. "Lady Lazarus" is the killer piece, a presentiment of suicide and as powerfully invective a portrait of 1950s feminine mystique, ennui and malaise as one could imagine. After a building deluge of ever-angrier verses, the poem stops for a breather, giving Curtin a short rest before a final modulated stream of anguish caps the poem with an ultimately unconvincing promise of rebirth.

"Poppies in July" is a slower, more tender piece, the halting piano and attenuated flute measuring a space for Curtin's lament. A range of moods from haunting to angry to melancholy characterizes the cycle.

King Midas is a less modern, more mythic cantata of Howard Moss poems, an extended duet for tenor and mezzo-soprano.

Gloria is a spiritual duet for two women.

"