Helene Williams Sings Songs of Love
BY MEMBERS OF THE LONG ISLAND COMPOSERS ALLIANCE
Photo: Uschi Karnilova
Artwork: J. Sabatino Hills
Available at your favorite digital etailers
including iTunes, Rhapsody and eMusic
Catalog Number: CPS-8647
Audio Format: Stereo, DDD
Playing Time: 58:57
Release Date: 1998
Music Connoisseur - Volume 8, Number 2 - by Alex Skovron
I found this recording
full of colour and rich in musical thought. There were many highlights
for me. The exuberant opening bars of Leonard Lehrman's Marlowe setting
in Five Love Songs still echo in my mind whenever I think of
the words (even as I write this). The second of the two Rossetti love
songs is an enjoyable example of the same composer's Sonnetinas.
Albert Tepper's "Who is Sylvia" makes for a fascinating
comparison with Schubert's version, and "Ariel's Song" provides
a delightful contrast. The splendid Jeanne Singer cycle struck me
as "symphonic," and presents such a variety of mood and
feeling, as does Lehrman's Edith Segal cycle, with its quick-change
miniatures. Among the Adele Berk songs, I found "Sigh No More,
Ladies" particularly arresting for its vigour and its modal quality.
I much admired, too, Lehrman's settings of the Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
poems. (I must confess I didn't dmire all of her words, though the
opening poem is rather beautiful; but the settings and Helene Williams'
expressive skills transcended the less understated or oversentimentalized
lines -- and I liked the way the vivid fourth poem is partially repeated.)
Elie Siegmeister's "Lonely Star" is oddly haunting, and
his "Chalk Marks on the Sidewalk" refeshing and fun. Mira
Spektor's "Call Me", with its charming and childlike quality,
seems a fitting finale.