Search - Susan Werner :: Classics

Classics
Susan Werner
Classics
Genres: Folk, Jazz, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

- Ten pop songs by Steview Wonder, Paul McCartney, Marving Gaye, Paul Simon and others from a classic era of Songwriting (1960's-70's) - All new arrangements for string quartet and classical instruments, with melodic q...  more »

     
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CD Details

All Artists: Susan Werner
Title: Classics
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sleeve Dog Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/2009
Re-Release Date: 2/3/2009
Genres: Folk, Jazz, Pop
Styles: Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk, Traditional Jazz & Ragtime, Vocal Jazz, Singer-Songwriters, Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 634479929151

Synopsis

Product Description
- Ten pop songs by Steview Wonder, Paul McCartney, Marving Gaye, Paul Simon and others from a classic era of Songwriting (1960's-70's) - All new arrangements for string quartet and classical instruments, with melodic quotations from well known classical compositions - Standout vocals from Susan Werner - World class performances by Boston Symphony Orchestra/Boston Pops instrumentalists Over the course of her colorful career, singer songwriter Susan Werner has cultivated a reputation as a daring and innovative songwriter with a killer live show. She boldly endeavors to weave old with new to create altogether new genres of music when existing ones do not suit her muse, and she regularly keeps audiences guessing and laughing simultaneously. Most of her work infuses traditional music styles and methods with her unmistakable contemporary worldview, constantly challenging listeners to experience music from a fresh and unexpected perspective. Susan Werner's new release Classics asks no less of her distinguished audience or herself. With Classics, Werner delivers entirely new string arrangements of mainstream popular songs by top songwriters from a "classical" pop era - the sixties and seventies. Drawing on her unique training as a classical vocalist (she has a master's degree in music history and voice performance), and the diverse talents of esteemed Boston Symphony and Pops players, Classics sets a mood that highlights elegance and sophistication previously overlooked in the first lives of songs like Paul Simon's A Hazy Shade of Winter, Marvin Gaye's Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology), Paul McCartney's Maybe I'm Amazed and America's Lonely People. Produced by Crit Harmon (Martin Sexton, Mary Gauthier, Lori McKenna among others, and 2007 Boston Music Awards Producer of the Year), and co-arranged by Werner with renowned Boston Pops arranger and pianist Brad Hatfield, Classics features ten songs chosen because they met three deeply considered criteria: the renewed relevancy of their messages for modern times, their correlation with her own worldview as a folk pop singer/songwriter, and their potential to blossom when performed with chamber music instruments. In addition to re-fashioning each song for the accompaniment of string quartet, woodwinds, brass, classical guitar or piano, Werner invites listeners to enjoy the surprising connections between pop and classical music by incorporating the occasional quotation from the world of classical music into these arrangements. States Werner: "It seemed to me a chamber music approach to pop songs could reveal the poetry and impact of some of these lyrics in ways that groove driven arrangements completely overlook."

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CD Reviews

Uniquely Beautiful!
K. Vestal | NC | 03/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Susan Werner's new release "Classics" does not disappoint! Quite a deviation from her usual songwriter recordings, this one is a collection of newly arranged pop recordings of the 1960s and '70s, rearranged to chamber music. A Stevie Wonder song combined with Chopin, A Simon and Garfunkel tune rearranged to Vivaldi . . . 10 pop recordings arranged to a string quartet sound of piano, violin, viola, cello, french horn, and classical guitar, combined with the usual rich vocals that Werner's fans have come to expect.

Some familiar tunes, some not familiar, but all previously recorded by well-known artists, including Paul McCartney, Marvin Gaye, America, and The Byrds, and all with a completely new sound when combined with classical instruments and Werner's voice. A beautiful and soothing recording, yet also quietly stimulating and energizing. My personal favorites are her new arrangements of The Animals' "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and The Beach Boys' "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times."

Werner's classical training shines in this release, and, although there are no original Werner lyrics, her soul comes through in the collection she has chosen. For Susan Werner fans and newcomers, this is a great one! 5 stars!"
Yes, a Classic!
Greg | Scituate, MA | 04/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The "Classic" is Susan herself. She is amazingly talented. OK, so I am a real fan. I first heard her about 4 years ago at a folk festival when she was performing songs from her "I Can't Be New" album - accompanying herself on the keyboard. Have seen her performances subesquently at folk festivals, at a club in Cambridge performing songs from her "Classics" album, and heard her on radio show performances. Guitar, piano and Oh what a voice - clear, warm and so expressive! Her range goes from Cole Porter to Pete Seger to Stevie Wonder/Chopin - all in Susan's own style.

On this album, almost every song is a combination of "classic" "pop" tunes if you will and "classical" music in an arrangement that she and her fellow artists had the musical insight to bring together with a magic that leaves us wanting more of her - and their accompaniment. The winds and strings are beautifully integrated from the ensemble and significant credit should also go to her fellow arrangers Crit Harmon and Brad Hatfield - who also conducts the chamber ensemble. The musicians are ". . . real and breathing air". And " . . . playing real instruments". And all the playing is polished, and nuanced appropriately - it shines brightly.

It's very hard to pick out individual tracks/arrangements to prefer - they are all done very well. Perhaps as an example of her delicate treatment of a "lost love" song; her performance of "All in Love is Fair" by Stevie Wonder with a short excerpt of the Chopin Noctern gives a wonderful depth of feeling without deep bathos. This is also true of her performance of "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney. I think that is where she shines most - she brings us into her world of caring without making us pay too much - lost love does not leave her lost - just temporarily walking a different path that we can too - ".. . this is [always] the best time of [her] life". Her same self-assured optimistic tone overides the underling current of melancholia delivered by the Ensemble in another of her "waiting for love" songs - "Waiting in Vain" by Bob Marley with excerpt from Gymnopeides #1 by Erik Satie. Contrast this with the less than subtle humor in a previous "waiting" song - "Time Between Trains" - she was there funny, sexy, needy lonely and now is quiet, deep and lovingly lonely at the end of this album. And does she really believe "[She} Just Wasn't Made For These Times"? Perhaps a new evidence of her nostalgia ne the songs of "I Can't Be New"?

She is a consumate giver of her soul and talent on (and I suspect off) stage. You will be left wanting more - understand that this is an example of one of her "projects" - her curiosity and range of talent leads her to explore a wide range of musical interests. If you explore her prior art, you too will magically be brought into that range.

Rumor (propagated by SW herself) is that she is working on music for a broadway musical - look for evidence in the next couple of years. She certainly has the talent."
Lasting Music
Darlene A. Nelson | Jacksonvile, Il USA | 09/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This a wonderful update of music from the 60's and 70's. It is pleasant to listen to and very soothing."