WARM MUSIC FROM ICELAND

Protected by International CopyrightIn Southbound of the Circle (SONO LUMINUS 92232), a superb string quartet takes the listener on a journey into the far reaches of Icelandic music by award-winning composers Daniel Bjarnason, Una Sveinbjarnardóttir, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Mamiko Dís Ragnarsdóttir, and Haukur Tómasson.

Una Sveinbjarnardóttir, Helga Dóra Björgvinsdóttir, Þórunn Ósk Marinósdóttir, and Sigurdur Bjarki Gunarsson are the members of the Siggi String Quartet. Each and every one of them virtuoso soloists on their own, here they place their precise, focused, quintessentially honest, elegant, intensely emotional, and intellectually compelling playing to the service of the music.

In Daniel Bjarnason’s Stillshot the music begrudgingly stands still but for a moment to capture in sound one instance of stasis out of many fragments of reality depicted in restless snippets of melody that appear and evanesce like memories that leave no trace behind.

The quartet’s uncanny ability to flesh out in sound the ineffable is present in Una Sveinbjarnardóttir’s Opacity a four-movement string quartet that juxtaposes different soli for each of the quartet’s members allowing them only towards the end to just barely intertwine.

Valgeir Sigurðsson offers in his Nebraska a commentary on the similarity between his birthplace’s isolation and geographical vastness and Nebraska’s similar physical characteristics, utilizing sweeping, long lined melodic statements from the cello against ostinato broken chords in the upper strings that evoke aspects of nature, some rugged and unforgiving, some beneficent.

Mamiko Dís Ragnarsdóttir bucolic Fair Flowers celebrates the starkness of Iceland’s Tröllaskagi peninsula and the improbable survival and resiliency of its multicolored flora in a miniature polytonal tone poem.

Haukur Tómasson Serimonia is a study in motion in which pizzicato strings alternate with sforzando attacks that create a landscape of tonal and rhythmic uncertainty that does not go away but simply and gradually does a decrescendo that gently fades away .

SONO LUMINUS has created an excellent sampler of music far off the beaten path lovingly engineered by Daniel Shores and flawlessly produced by Dan Merceruio. To each and every one involved in this worthy project here is a hearty Icelandic Hamingjuóskir!

Rafael de Acha http://www.RafaelMusicNotes.com

CLARINET CLASSICS AT RIVERDALE

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Most of us are fairly familiar with the large-scale overtures of Carl Maria von Weber – Oberon, Euryanthe, Der Freischütz… – and barely acquainted with most of his chamber music. So here, with the release of the lovely DELOS 3561 CD CLARINET CLASSICS AT RIVERDALE, we get acquainted with Weber’s technically challenging and melodically satisfying Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B flat Major.

In the process we gladly encounter the superb clarinetist Robert DiLutis and the equally accomplished Mellifera Quartet

We also get to hear the polytonal Sonatina for Clarinet, op. 27 by Miklós Rózsa – not the film music Rózsa mind you but the concert music Rózsa – vaguely atonal, with hints of Debussy here and there and plenty of opportunities for both the clarinet and the quartet to shine.

With Alexander Glazunov’s Rêverie Orientale we get intoxicating exoticism and the superb clarinetist Robert DiLutis dazzling us again with his filigreed work.

Tracks 8 and 9 are given to the Swedish composer Erland von Koch’s Monolog 3 for solo clarinet, a bipartite composition both colorful and accessible.

Heinrich Joseph Baermann’s Adagio for Clarinet and Strings is a short and compellingly meditative piece for the prince of woodwind instruments.

Wilson Osborne’s quietly melodic Rhapsody for Clarinet concludes the CD in a quiet mood.

With a total playing time of sixty minutes, the DELOS CD provides an hour of musical enchantment with off-the-beaten-path music played by five superb artists, recorded at Riverdale House Museum in Riverdale, Maryland, perfectly engineered by Christian Amonson, and elegantly produced by Robert DiLutis himself.

Rafael de Acha http://www.RafaelMusicNotes.com

CCM’s ORCHESTRA CONCERTS

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The largest presenter/producer of performing arts in Ohio, UC’s CCM (University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music) (CCM) has just announced its lineup of events for Season 2019-2020, including operas, musicals, plays, dance programs, symphony concerts, jazz evenings, chamber music concerts, and recitals by faculty and students.

$99 Orchestra concerts subscription packages with attractive discounts off single ticket prices can be purchased online at ccmonstage.universitytickets.com, over the phone at 513-556-4183, or in person at the CCM Box Office in the Atrium of UC’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts

ORCHESTRAL CONCERTS WITH CCM Philharmonia, Mark Gibson, music director

7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20
DVOŘÁK: Slavonic Dance in C Major, Op. 46, No. 1 DVOŘÁK: Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 53, with Giora Schmidt, violin BRAHMS: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Russian Easter Overture SHOSTAKOVICH: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 102, with Dror Biran, piano PROKOFIEV: Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, Op. 100

7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1
LISZT: Totentanz SAINT-SAËNS: Carnival of the Animals BRITTEN: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31
BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 81a, “Les Adieux” MAHLER: Symphony No. 9 in D Major

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15
DEBUSSY: Prélude à L’après-midi d’un faune RAVEL: Piano Concerto BERLIOZ: Symphonie Fantastique
Louis Langrée, guest conductor

Rafael de Acha     http://www.RafaelMusicNotes.com

CCM ANNOUNCES THREE-OPERA LINEUP

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The largest presenter/producer of performing arts in Ohio, UC’s CCM (University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music) has just announced its lineup of events for Season 2019-2020.

Three operas, in addition to four musicals, four plays and three dance programs will be presented, along with dozens of symphony concerts, jazz evenings, chamber music concerts, recitals by faculty and students will be on tap, starting this September.

Subscription packages with attractive discounts off single ticket prices can be purchased online at ccmonstage.universitytickets.com, over the phone at 513-556-4183, or in person at the CCM Box Office in the Atrium of UC’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts. Three-Opera Package: $89

OPERA

November 21-24 – Bedřich Smetana’s romantic comedy THE BARTERED BRIDE tells the story of Marie whose parents have pledged her to the son of a rich landowner. But she is in love with Hans, and the young lovers eventually win the day.

February 20-23, 2020 – Four rival suitors vie for Queen Partenope’s affections in Handel’s comic PARTENOPE all to the tune of show-off arias for cross-dressing singers.

April 2 – 5 – Mozart’s THE MAGIC FLUTE contrasts the serious story of a hero and heroine’s quest for wisdom against the tale of a buffoonish bird catcher, singing flutes, magic bells, and forest creatures, accompanied by some of the most beautiful music ever written.

Rafael de Acha    http://www.RafaelMusicNotes.com

Matinée Musicale Cincinnati around longer than any of us

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Matinée Musicale Cincinnati has been around longer than any of us have – since 1912, in fact. And here it is about to begin its 2019-2020 season. After a few years of doing things the same way it had for goodness knows how long, Matinée Musicale Cincinnati changed one fundamental thing in order to keep up with the times: their concerts are no longer on weekday mornings but on Sunday afternoons, or in one instance on a Friday evening. For many of us who don’t like to drive on I71 or I 75 at almost any time during the week, that is a welcome change.

But other than that change of times and a move from the out-of-the-way (for many of us) Anderson Center and its relocating to Memorial Hall in OTR, the main business of Matinée Musicale Cincinnati remains the same: to find rising musical artists that may not yet be household words and present them to the concert-going audience in Cincinnati.

This year’s lineup begins on Sunday September 22, 2019 at 3 pm with a solo recital by Ashley Hall, trumpet soloist. If your reaction might be a not-so-sure about that one then you just might miss out on the playing of an exceptional musician. Blessed with an uncanny ability to elicit a sweet and mellow sound from the born-to-be-loud trumpet, Ashley Hall is a world-class artist who endows her playing with musicality and dazzling technique.

Here she is, playing the Georg Phillip Telemann short Trumpet Concerto in D with the North Carolina Chamber Orchestra. If you are not able to catch her at Memorial Hall then you may just have to wait another spell until she returns next year as first trumpet of Summermusik.

Listen: https://youtu.be/c95NXLIjybk

Five other concerts follow Ashley Hall’s. On Sunday October 20, 2019 at the Anderson Center, pianist Albert Cano Smit makes his local debut with Matinée Musicale Cincinnati.

Here he is playing a bit of Bach from the Art of the Fugue: https://youtu.be/TpDUB7ZsVPA

The Dover Quartet heard here (https://youtu.be/oQHBbhMwaK4 ) playing the Nocturne from Alexander Borodin’s String Quartet No. 2 steps on stage at Memorial Hall on Sunday November 17, 2019 at 3 pm.

Not up and coming but simply rising at warp speed, lyric soprano Nicole Cabell whom many of us have heard and loved in starring roles with the Cincinnati Opera, returns to the Queen City to sing for Matinée Musicale Cincinnati at Memorial Hall on Friday March 27, 2020 at 7:30 pm.

She sings here Juliette’s waltz from Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette with the London Philharmonic conducted by Sir Andrew Davis: https://youtu.be/cUeMAb48TXY

Listen to violinist Christina Nam play the first movement from Erich Korngold’s Violin Concerto in D Major and see if you don’t agree with me in calling this local treasure an extraordinary talent: https://youtu.be/rBLokn_WaLQ

She appears on Sunday April 19, 2020 at 3 pm at Memorial Hall.

After a debut with Matinée Musicale Cincinnati last year tenor Pene Pati was invited back by popular demand. He does a 7 pm solo recital on Sunday May 3, 2020, in which he just might sing Donizetti’s Una furtiva lagrima as beautifully as he does here: https://youtu.be/RdyKZwwk8Vg

I hope that you are convinced by now that Matinée Musicale Cincinnati offers one of the most interesting recital series in Cincinnati. If six recitals for $84 or $108 or a single seat for $25 sounds right, pick up the phone now and call 513 977 8838 for further information, subscriptions, and reservations.

Rafael de Acha     http://www.RafaelMusicNotes.com

SCHUMANN, MURAIL AND YTHIER.

Marie Ythier

Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother in 1880 about his feeling of confinement: “… and men are frequently not able to do much, caged up as they are and unable to say what it’s like to be imprisoned…walled… buried… behind bars…gates…walls…”

In the Song of Songs 4:12 the wise and randy King Solomon wrote – “You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.”

Both these texts from opposite ends of the emotional human compass are given musical life in the various compositions by Tristan Murail featured in Une rencontre (msv 28590) a fascinating release by métier where one reencounters the familiar and the new, and the two intertwined as in a felicitous marriage.

Schumann’s 1849 Four Pieces in a Folk Vein, opus 102 and, from the same year, three of his Fantastical Pieces, opus 73 are juxtaposed to 20th century works in an album that climaxes in Schumann’s Childhood Scenes, opus 15 from 1838 in a surprisingly effective setting for cello, piano and flute arranged by Tristan Murail, the prolific French composer who authored fifteen of the album’ tracks.

The title Attracteurs étranges alludes to a mathematical term beyond the limited scope of a review. The music comes from 1992, having premiered in a concert that year honoring Iannis Xenakis’ 70th birthday. Redolent of the Greek composer’s cutting edge sound, and hewing close in its dissonant asperities and its intellectually severe aesthetic to music created within the French Centre for Mathematical and Automatic Musical Studies, Murail’s composition is immensely challenging.

Elsewhere in A Letter from Vincent and in the intriguingly titled You are a secret garden, my sister, my betrothed, you are a not yet flowing spring, a sealed fountain… the composer is heard in a gentler mode, inspired in one case by a friend’s wedding, and in another by a childhood memory of a gift of a book with reproductions of Van Gogh paintings and some of the letters the Dutch master wrote to his brother Theo during his time in France. In both these compositions Murail’s writing gives the impression of being closer to the heart than to the brain, gentler, shunning as the composer himself expresses in his liner notes, “the avatars of serialism.”

Schumann’s Fantastical Pieces and his Four Pieces in a Folk Vein both were written in 1849 at the end of a period of feverish creativity by Schumann though not long before the onset of the recurring symptoms of “neurasthenia” that would eventually lead to his untimely death at the age of 46. The composer’s life-long inner struggle with the primal impulses of his two alter egos, Sebastian and Florestan is barely hinted at in the folksy tunefulness of his Op. 102, though vestiges of it are perceived in Fantastical Pieces, the earlier opus from the same year.

The protean playing of French cellist Marie Ythier evidences utter comfort with the technical challenges of Murail’s Serialism. The young cellist has an uncanny way of switching musical gears in order to inhabit the Ur-Romantic world of Robert Schumann and the contemporary sounds of Murail. Her technique is flawless, her interpretive gifts non-pareil, and her partners, pianist Marie Vermeulin and flautist Samuel Bricault are faultless associates in the ensemble’s chameleonic transitions from Schumann to Murail and on to Murail’s re-conceived Schumann-Murail conflation of Kinderszenen.

Rafael de Acha http://www.RafaelMusicNotes.com

Eckart Preu leads the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra in opening night 2019

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The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra opened its 2019 Summermusik season at the SCPA’s Corbett Theater with Visions of Da Vinci. The program included music by Torelli, Vivaldi and Handel, and either world or Cincinnati premieres of compositions by Michael Nyman, Ludovico Enaudi, Hans-Peter Preu, and Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic.

Addressing the audience at one point during the evening, conductor Eckart Preu alluded to how difficult it had been to program this concert. The parameters were to assemble a two hour-plus program honoring the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death and to find one or more pieces to showcase the talents of Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic, the featured solo percussionist.

The concert opened with the Concerto Grosso in G Minor, opus 8, no. 6 by Giuseppe Torelli familiar to some as the Christmas Concerto. While images of Leonardo’s The Adoration of the Magi showed on three screens, the members of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra played the concerto’s three movements (listed in the program as four) without pause. Confusing but not consequential.

The next composition in the concert gave two movements from the Concerto Suite from Prospero’s Books, the 1991 film starring John Gielgud. Titled Cornfield and Miranda, the selections gave an idea of Michael Nyman’s compositional style: a kind of European minimalist version of the hyper-American Adams-Glass-Reich styles. The composition called for sustained playing primarily from the strings and the orchestra responded with powerful playing.

Next, and again in a similar minimalist vein, a Cincinnati premiere by Ludovico Enaudi titled Experience once more called for relentless energy from the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra musicians, who played enthusiastically

Fourth in the program, A Mysterious Message, a work commissioned from Hans-Peter Preu, the maestro’s brother, had for its premise the deciphering of a hidden musical phrase hidden in Leonardo’s The Last Supper.

Liquid Video Solutions created the large-scale projections of canvases by Da Vinci, that included, in addition to The Last Supper, The Mona Lisa, and The Adoration of the Magi, a painting of the young Christ, and a couple of drawings with mirror-writing by the Master.

Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for Piccolo in C Major arranged by Dame Evelyn Glennie for marimba brought on stage Serbian percussionist Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic. The three-movement gem from Vivaldi’s Il Giardino Armonico is a test in dexterity for any woodwind player: for a percussionist translating Vivaldi’s intricacies into music that uses four mallets and a set of wood blocks to make its point is just about miraculous.

In the second half, the guest soloist returned to play on the xylophone the Cincinnati premiere of his own Rondo da Vinci for marimba and orchestra. Zivkovic dazzled the audience with his virtuosity yet never lapsed into antics, but merely played with focus and commitment as simply one more member of the ensemble.

George Friederic Handel’s Water Music is a set of three suites for orchestra. Eckart Preu programmed the F Major and the D Major Suites, from which he chose five selections from the first one and the entire second one. This was a wise choice to end the evening, with Handel providing joyful, celebratory music that gives the various sections of the orchestra plenty of opportunities to stand out, and the section leaders some nice solo work. Concertmaster Celeste Golden Boyer set the tone for the entire string section with all the Baroque must haves: controlled vibrato, razor sharp attacks, precise double-dotting, and clear embellishments.

Throughout the concert orchestra members enjoyed some wonderful solo moments. Second Violin section leader Manami White did gorgeous work in the opening Torelli concerto. Cellist Patrick Binford had a stunning solo earlier in the evening. Mark Ostoich created haunting oboe sounds in the Water Music. And, at the end, the arrival of Brooke Ten Napel and Melvin Jackson’s horns and Ashley Hall and Wesley Woolard’s trumpets added the right quotient of Handel brilliance to the ending Bourée.

Keeping the evening from stylistically wandering to and fro was challenging, given the unconventional nature of the program. But Eckart Preu kept things ebbing and flowing with his genial but firm command of his forces. The young maestro moves comfortably from the film music of Nyman and the New Age sounds of Enaudi to the atonalism of Zivkovic and on to the Baroque elegance of Vivaldi, Torelli and Handel. That alone qualifies him in most books and certainly in mine as a conductor to take notice of. Cincinnati has noticed and embraced him.

Rafael de Acha http://www.RafaelMusicNotes.com

ROSSINI’S FORGOTTEN OPERA

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Poor Rossini! By the time he had Barbiere and Cenerentola under his ample belt one would think he would have been free of the financial constraints of his early career. But no, the year was 1819 and here he was 29 and saddled with a contract that obliged him to deliver yet another opera to Venice, a city notorious for a demanding audience that would not brook mediocrity.

And yet, the Venetians had no problem giving a warm welcome to Edoardo e Cristina, so warm a red carpet in fact that the opening night performance ran for six hours due to all the encores the San Bendetto loggionisti demanded from soprano Rosa Morandi as Cristina and contralto Carolina Cortesi in the pants role of Edoardo.

So, how good an opera is it? It is… based on the sum of its ingredients, like a tavola calda at an Italian eatery where you can pick favorites. And I did, full knowing that the bits and pieces I’d pick from this pastiche would surely resurface in any number of Rossini’s 38 other operas. One fabulously good moment is the finale of Act I – Rossini at his best!

Oh, and in case I have failed to impress it on the reader I will clarify: pastiche or pasticcio in Italian is… well… a mish-mash. And that is precisely what Edoardo e Cristina is. The libretto by the unlikely team of Andrea Leone Tottola and Gherardo Bevilacqua-Aldobrandini is a mine field of idiocies, a fact that seemed to have mattered little to Rossini or to a contemporary audience of his.

No matter what its dramatic and musical glitches might be, this is a charming work that provides its principals and a resourceful maestro with a healthy Bel Canto workout. The young, up and coming singers of this recording inhabit their roles comfortably both musically and vocally, and the orchestra and chorus, members of the 2017 Rossini Festival of Bad Wildbad play and sing enthusiastically. Silvia Dalla Benetta sings Cristina in a lovely lyric soprano, and mezzo-soprano Laura Polverelli delivers a sensitively sung Eduardo.

This double CD recording appears to have been made on site in font of a live audience over a three-day period with no engineer credited by ROSSINI IN WILDBRAD.  In this NAXOS release, the sound is distant and muffled, the singers good, and the uniqueness worth s listen.

Rafael de Acha       http://www.RafaelMusicNotes.com

Cincinnati’s new music kids on the block announce 2019-2020 lineup

SV3_856JONATHAN LEE

Cincinnati’s new music kids on the block announce 2019-2020 lineup

Kanako Shimasaki and Jonathan Lee artistic directors of Immaculata Chamber Music Series announce an exciting seven-event lineup for the season starting in

SEPTEMBER 8, 2019

Mozart – String Quartet No. 12 in C Major, K. 465 “Dissonance”
Dvorak – String Quintet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 77

OCTOBER 27, 2019

Purcell – Three Fantasias for String Quartet
A work by a Cincinnati Composer TBA
Mozart – Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K. 581

NOVEMBER 23, 2019

Bach – Goldberg Variations BWV. 988

NOVEMBER 24, 2019

Bach – Partita No. 1 in B minor for violin BWV 1002
Bach – Partita No. 2 in D minor, for violin BWV 1004
Bach – Partita No. 3 in E Major, for violin BWV 1006

JANUARY 26, 2020 The Viennese School Transfigured

Haydn – String Quartet in E-flat Op. 33 No. 2, Hob. III.38 “The Joke”
Webern – Five Pieces for String Quartet , Op. 5
Schoenberg – Transfigured Night, Op. 4

MARCH 8, 2020 The Unsung Hero: Viola Quintets

Mendelssohn – String Quintet No. 2, Op. 87
Brahms – String Quintet in G Major, Op. 111

MAY 3, 2020 : New Worlds Finale

Beethoven – String Quartet No. 8, Op. 59 No. 2, “Razumovzky”
Dvorak – String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96 “American”

facebook.com/ImmaculataCMS                ImmaculataSeries@gmail.com

AN AMERICAN SONG ALBUM GLORIOUSLY SUNG

Melody_Moore_aboutPENTATONE has released a hybrid SA-CD compact disc album able to be played on different systems. Produced by the San Francisco Classical Recording Company and recorded in the acoustically perfect environment of Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts. The production-engineering team led by Job Maarse and Mark Donahue has done an impeccable job with the lovingly packaged CD
(PT5186 770).

But why am I not speaking about the music and the musicians?

To be candid, I wanted to give the CD at least a second listening so as to attain some sort of critical objectivity and tone down my enthusiastic response to the music making of soprano Melody Moore and pianist Bradley Moore. But even, after a couple of listening sessions, I am hard put to find enough adequate words of praise for this pair of musicians.

Melody Moore is, first of all, a communicator, an essential requirement for any song recitalist. Assembling an album of 31 songs by five American composers could be a daunting task, not because there are not enough songs to go around- which there are – but because numbing sameness could set in the hands of a lesser artist. But throughout seven groupings of songs by Samuel Barber, Jake Heggie, Carlisle Floyd, Aaron Copland, and Gordon Getty, soprano Melody Moore and pianist Bradley Moore find an inexhaustible variety of vocal and pianistic colors to sustain the interest and engage the emotions of the listener. And that’s just the half of it.

With flawless (and mercifully!) American diction, Melody Moore conveys the poetry of medieval monks in English translations by various poets in Samuel Barber’s 1953 Hermit Songs, relishing the gentle humor of The Monk and His Cat, embodying the ecstatic awe of St. Ita’s Vision, and giving a straightforward and unmannered interpretation of this song classic.

Melody Moore includes two groups both by Jake Heggie: These Strangers (poetry by Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Martin Niermoeller, and Walt Whitman) and How Well I Knew the Light (poetry by Emily Dickinson). In both instances, Moore and Moore create wonders with Jake Heggie’s rapturously impassioned music.

Carlisle Floyd penned his remarkable The Mistery: Five Songs of Motherhood in 1960 for the late Phyllis Curtin. The touching poetry is by the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral in a respectfully no-nonsense translation from Mistral’ glorious Spanish by Anita K. Fleet. Carlysle Floyd sets it to sweepingly melodic music that calls for a powerful voice with a flair for drama and complete security above the staff. As in all of the selections in the album, Melody Moore delivers plenty of sound and rock-solid top notes, while Bradley Moore offers unstinting support at all dynamic levels.

Aaron Copland’s less familiar Four Early Songs were published posthumously in 1998. Set to poetry by Aaron Schaffer and an anonymous Arabic text, their music is quintessentially Copland: melodic, spiced up with dissonant undertones, always responsive to the text, which Melody Moore delivers with elegant assurance.

The compellingly dramatic music for an operatic setting of James Hilton’s Goodbye, Mr. Chips was written in 2016 by the philanthropist and composer Gordon Getty (yes, J. Paul’s son…) The selection shows Melody Moore vocally and dramatically at home in the aria Chips, darling, it’s started. The selections by Getty, a most gifted composer, continue with Three Welsh Songs, the playful Welcome Robin, the mini-drama Kind Old Man, and a poignant setting of All through the Night.

Moore and Moore end the album with two gorgeously sung and played settings of Deep River and Danny Boy by the same composer.

This brings me briefly to the subject of Moore’s voice, which almost escaped me because her singing is so much about the words being sung that one forgets to mention how beautiful her sound is. Melody Moore is, to my mind, an Italianate lyric-dramatic soprano, comfortably inhabiting a wide range that could deceive even the trained ear into calling her a mezzo-soprano (she is not.) She ascends to a high B more than once in the album without any fear, and is able to do a classic messa-di-voce (now loud, then soft, then loud again or vice-versa) at any spot in her range. The sound is creamy, with a moderately fast vibrato, and generous at any dynamic level. In short, this is a world-class voice.

Melody Moore studied voice at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. Next year she returns to the home of her Alma Mater to appear with the Cincinnati Opera in Dvořák’s Russalka. I hope that this extraordinary artist will be invited back again, hopefully to also appear with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and or with the May Festival, and perhaps to give a Master Class in the Art of Song to the CCM voice students who could learn much from her use of the voice and from her uncomplicated and honest way with songs.

And, if God willing, Bradley Moore could come too, well, that would be a welcome added boon.

Rafael de Acha http://www.Rafaelmusicnotes.com