Navona have just produced an interesting album of art song by Alabama based composer Carl Vollrath. Old & New Poetry consists of three cycles setting texts by William Blake, Sara Teasdale and John Gracen Brown.
The disk opens with five short Blake settings for mezzo-soprano and piano. The songs are accomplished and playful and Yoko Hagino on piano is highly competent. Mezzo Aliana de la Guardia sings clearly and expressively but seems challenged by the higher sections of some pieces.
…let me explain is a new CD of Canadian art song (mostly) from soprano Christina Raphaëlle Haldane. The first set consists of three arrangements of Acadian folk songs by by Carl Philippe Gionet. The three are quite different. L’Escaouette is fast, high, rhythmic and very high energy. Tout Passe is much more elegiacal while Wing Tra La is very playful. They are sung quite beautifully with piano accompaniment from the arranger. Ahania’s Lament is a longish piece in which Blake’s text is set by Samy Mousa. It’s a tough sing with a lot of high exposed passages against a minimal accompaniment. It’s a piece that it’s easy to get drawn into. It’s a good vehicle for Haldane’s crystalline upper register. Piano accompaniment by M.Gionet again.