This album is a very eclectic mix of art song and opera containing a selection of some Deborah's favorite repertoire covering the classical period through to the middle of the twentieth century.
Although "Joseph Haydn" (1732-1809) and "Mendelssohn" (1809-1847) were not remembered primarily as a Lieder composers both of them took great interest in writing for voice and piano.
"Haydn" was well into his forties when he turned his attention to song. In "The Spirits Song", "Haydn's" treatment of the words is so broad as to suggest an operatic aria the music is also reminiscent of "Beethoven's" more intense musical moments. "Charles Osbourne" calls this song "perhaps the finest of all "Haydn's" songs, poised yet emotionally charged". "Fidelity" on the other hand is more closely attuned to what we recognise now as Lieder with it's equally turbulent and expressive piano setting.
The songs of "Mendelssohn" are closer in style to "Schubert" yet still firmly anchored in classicism. This setting of "Minnelied" is strongly suggestive of "Schubertian" sweetness of melody and fluid piano writing.
The songs of "Henri Duparc" (1848-1885) represent a small but important and beautiful contribution to french melodie. Most remarkable about "Duparc's" setting of "Phidlye" is his ability to set these words with such dramatic power yet in a context of languid, sensuous and beautiful melodic writing.
"Rachmaninoff" (1875-1943) demonstrates some of his finest writing in his piano and voice settings. All of which where composed after he left Russia at the time of the Russian revolution. The songs "Spring Waters" and "I Wait for You" come from a group of songs composed in 1896, Opus 14. "Spring Waters", no 11 is one of the finest of the group with an interesting and independent piano part intimately matching the exuberant vocal line expressing the picture of spring breaking through the winter snows, in an allegro vivace torrent. "I wait for You", no 1 is demonstrative of "Rachmaninoff's" gift for lyrical intensity.
"Rusalka's Song to the Moon" is excerpted from the first act of the Opera "Rusalka" probably "Dvorak's" best known and most popular opera (1901). The aria comes at the beginning of the opera, which opens in a meadow with "Rusalka", a water nymph singing longingly to the moon. She yearns to see once more the young man that used to come often to the lake.
The aria" "O mio Babbino Caro" is taken from the comic opera "Gianni Schicchi" by "Giacomo Puccini" which opened in (1911). This aria from that opera is sung by a young girl, Lauretta to her father begging him not to allow her to be parted from her beloved.
"Let the florid Music Praise" is the first song of the song cycle "On this Island", Opus 11, with music composed by "Benjamin Britten" and texts by "W.H. Auden". The five songs of "Britten's" cycle each explore independent compositional ideas. "Let the Florid Music Praise" begins with quasi-coloratura suggestive of "Handel" followed by a legato, lyrical and soaring second half of the song.
"Aaron Copland" is one of American most important and prolific composers from the Twentieth Century. The song "The Chariot" is the last song taken form a group of twelve settings to poems by Emily Dickinson. "The Chariot" is lyrical yet dramatic and narrative in character exploring the path of life through the eyes of death.
Check out the artist's website:
1. The Spirit Song_Joseph Haydn
2. Fidelity_Joseph Haydn
3. Minnelied_Felix Mendelssohn
4. I Wait For You_ Sergi Rachmaninoff
5. Spring Waters_Sergi Rachmaninoff
6. Phidyle_Henri Duparc
7. O mio babino caro_G. Puccini
8. Rusalkas Song To The Moon_ A Dvorak
9. The Chariot- Aaron Copland
10. Let The Florid Music Praise_Benjamin Britten