Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Voices of our Time - Dawn Upshaw / Gil Kalish Chatelet Opera|
Actors: Olivier Messiaen, William Bolcom, Kaija Saanaho
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Superb Dawn Upshaw Recital of Mostly Recent Songs
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 06/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"[The Amazon customer review dated June 15, 2004 seems to be taken from a review of a live recital in Cleveland. It does not represent the contents of this DVD, which was recorded/filmed at the Théâtre Chatelet in Paris on 26 January 2000. Although the review mentions songs by Torke, Vores, Aikman and Primosch, they are NOT on this DVD.] But I certainly agree with everything the Cleveland reviewer said about Miss Upshaw and Mr Kalish. They are uniquely talented and valuable performers. Miss Upshaw is charming, superbly musical, has stupendous diction no matter what language she is singing in, and is a superb actor. Kalish, who has graced recital stages for more than forty years, is one of our best collaborative pianists. The DVD is structured generally as follows: a brief introduction for each song or group of songs (filmed separately from the recital itself) followed by their performance. There is also a brief interview with composer Kajia Saariaho, speaking about her scena 'Lonh' ('From Afar'). It is performed by Upshaw alone on stage; she also operates a foot-pedal that cues the scene's delicate electronic background fashioned by Miss Saariaho. Familiar to fans of Miss Upshaw are the 'Mirabai Songs' by John Harbison; she had previously recorded them on her CD 'The Girl with Orange Lips.' The recital starts with Bill Bolcom's hilarious 'Amor'; Upshaw 'sells' it with humor and the Paris audience eats it up. She then sings five songs by early American futurist composer, Ruth Crawford Seeger; they are dramatic and moving. After the 'Mirabai Songs' comes 'In Just-spring,' to E. E. Cummings famous poem about the goatfooted balloonman, written by someone new to me, Laura Elise Schwendinger (b. 1962). It is suitably quirky, like the poem. Then there's a Latin-tinged song, 'Lúa descolorida' ('Colorless Moon') by the hot young Argentine composer, Osvaldo Golijov. George Crumb's well-known 'The Sleeper' which introduced twenty-five or more years ago by the late great Jan de Gaetani and Gilbert Kalish, for whom it was written. Upshaw makes graceful mention of de Gaetani in her introduction and then sings the socks off the song, equaling de Gaetani's recording of it. Kalish plays the inside-the-piano accompaniment with panache. Then come three exquisite songs by Olivier Messiaen: 'Le Collier' ('The Necklace') and 'Prière exaucée' from Book II of 'Poèmes pour Mi,' and ''Résurrection.' Upshaw and Kalish conclude with spirited performances of Charles Ives's 'Memories' and 'The Circus Band.' Dawn Upshaw is one of our leading recitalists, and perhaps has stepped into the void created by de Gaetani's too-early death, and we are in her debt for paying so much attention to new music, which she does so very well. Recommended. Scott Morrison"
J Scott Morrison | 06/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From Wilma Salisbury's review, Plain Dealer Music Critic 1/21/02
Upshaw enchants recital audienceAmerican soprano Dawn Upshaw has it all: lovely voice, refined musicianship, command of languages,
charming stage presence...With master pianist Gilbert Kalish as her sensitive accompanist, she
communicated the meaning of every word and nuance. At one point, she took an extended pause between
numbers because of excessive coughing by members of the large audience. Generally, however, she kept the
listeners spellbound?In the first half of the concert, spoken program notes were unnecessary. After intermission, each group of
songs was introduced with background information about the composers and the music.
The first fascinating set was selected because the composers, born between 1956 and 1962, are
contemporaries of the 41-year-old singer. One of them, James Aikman, was present to hear Upshaw's
exquisite interpretation of his song, "Spring Is Purple Jewelry." The other composers - Laura Elise
Schwendinger, Michael Torke, Andy Vores, Osvaldo Golijov and former Clevelander James Primosch -
contributed pieces that were well-suited to Upshaw's light voice and clear diction. Especially captivating was
Schwendinger's playful take on e.e. cummings' poem, "In Just-Spring." In comparison to these brief compositions,
Ruth Crawford Seeger's songs on texts by Carl Sandburg sounded strong, spare and dramatic?