MP3 Duo LiveOak - Piva
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25 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: Traditional, FOLK: Gentle
The "live oak" is an evergreen oak known for its strength and long life, a symbol of revitalization since ancient times. Passionate about the tonal and expressive powers of the ensemble of voices and plucked strings, Duo LiveOak is bringing new life to the long-neglected form of the art song with guitar and lute. Knowles and Wallace combine their considerable talents in composition, poetry, drama, and musical performance to create "a brilliant collection of new repertoire performed with equal amounts of grace, sensitivity and virtuosity" (Guitar Review) Their concerts have the intimacy of a poetry reading and the dramatic power of an opera. Hailed for many years on both sides of the Atlantic for their innovative concerts and recordings of medieval and renaissance music, echoes of the past reverberate throughout Duo LiveOak's new works.
"...a captivating performance by Duo LiveOak...They are a very endearing and multi-talented duo. Nancy Knowles projects a warm, friendly personality to the audience and has a beautiful voice particularly suited to their repertoire--and in addition to that, she is a fine poet as well. Frank Wallace is a very confident, capable performer, at home equally on the lute and guitar; he is a sensitive musician and composer and a good baritone as well. In this performance, their ensemble was very tight."
Mark Switzer, Soundboard, 2002
"[LiveOak] gave a superb concert.... notable in that all of the music was written by Frank Wallace.
Wallace has a wonderful baritone - dark, fast, agile, and never overbearing. The [instrumental] part was demanding throughout - one can only marvel how he can sing as well as he does and play as well as he does, all at the same time... Nancy Knowles [sang] superbly, with excellent diction, dramatic flair, great timing, and finely spun phrasing...
If you have a chance to hear LiveOak in concert, don't miss them. They are fully the equal of any of the best chamber ensembles active today. Wallace has developed a formidable compositional palette for voice and plucked string instruments, one that incorporates influences from early music to the latest avante-garde techniques. The twentieth century repertoire for voice and guitar includes many outstanding pieces by some of the century's best known composers... Wallace's work in this genre stands up well to the competition."
Robert Margo, Boston Classical Guitar Society Newsletter, 2002
"The whole program was incredibly graceful, delivering wonderful and wondrous music with smooth elegance. Performed entirely from memory, constantly shifting in instrumentation, LiveOak reached that ideal: the effect of natural improvisation...This was musicmaking on the highest international level. The sheer vivacity of their program, added to the surroundings, made for a major event of the season for the packed audience - with standees, five deep."
Heuwell Tircuit, The San Francisco Chronicle
"Nancy Knowles is a wonderful soprano who sings with passion and clarity...Frank Wallace's renditions of instrumental works and song accompaniments are exemplary."
Laird, American Record Guide
"[LiveOak] lived up to its name. The players and singers not only revitalized the 700-year-old music, but they also gave it a youthful suppleness and mature solidity...[Their] eloquence could not have been improved upon. This was not historical excavation; the trio presented a thriving musical organism."
Edward Rothstein, The New York Times
"This was graceful musicmaking of a high order."
Arthur Hepner, The Boston Globe
"Knowles' exceptionally beautiful soprano carried the evening in song and declaimed poetry...Wallace was also marvelous. His rich yet gentle bass voice was always well focused. He provided rich bottom in ensemble, and was also persuasive in solos."
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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