MP3 Doreen Taylor-Claxton and Valerie Dueck - HAIL Canadian Art Song
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27 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: Contemporary, FOLK: Traditional Folk
ââ¦A glorious voice, a riveting stage presence.â
Stuart Hamilton, CBCâs Opera Quiz
Award winning musicians Doreen Taylor-Claxton and Valerie Dueck are, âBetter than ever in this important contribution to Canadian art song.â Jill LaForty - CBC
â[Taylor-Claxtonâs] voice is clear, beautiful and deserving of more recognition. Dueck is a wonderful performer, and more than supportive to the singer.â - Jean Paul Sevilla
Review: Richard Todd, Ottawa Citizen Sept 30, 2006
4 Stars: Excellent
This CD is part of a project to assist Canadian composers in finding Canadian texts to use in composing art songs. This can be difficult, since many poets consider their work too complete to bear musical settings.
Soprano Doreen Taylor-Claxton approached poets who provided samples of their work to Ottawa composers. The results of this worthwhile project are variable but more than a little interesting.
Hail is a cycle by John G. Armstrong of 14 monometer poems by Seymour Mayne. They are short, epigrammatic and individually effective. âLight,â for example, is utterly exquisite â¦ Settings by James Wright and Colin Mack of poems by Steven Michael Berzensky and Sharon Singer are more harmonically conservative, but effective. Mackâs âDestinyâ is especially affecting. Frédéric Lacroixâs four-song cycle A Nova Scotia Tartan is the most beautiful offering here, not least because of Effie MacIsaac Taylorâs wonderful verse.
Soprano Taylor-Claxton and pianist Valerie Dueck put together convincing accounts of the music. Definitely recommended. Richard Todd, Ottawa Citizen, September 30, 2006
In Need of Song Collaborations assists composers in finding Canadian texts and encourages collaborations between poets and composers. In Need of Song began in February of 2003, when a number of established Canadian poets provided samples of their poems for consideration by composers in the Ottawa area.
One of the first collaborations to develop was between John Armstrong and Seymour Mayne. Mayne is recognized for pioneering the âword sonnetâ - a variation of the sonnet in which the fourteen lines have been pared down to one word per line. His publication Hail is a series of fifteen word sonnets that roughly follow the months of the year. Armstrong set 14 of these streamlined, graceful texts which appealed to his interest in musical miniatures. Asked why he so favored the miniature, he would only say, âI just like beautiful moments!â The result of this collaboration is an elegant and appealingly dramatic series of âmoments.â Richard Todd, Ottawa Citizen, described âLight," "Equinox" and "Dustâ as âutterly exquisite.â
In 2004 Colin Mack and Sharon Singer collaborated on The Names of Water. The cycle is based on three poems, âMist,â âBecalmedâ and âDestinyâ which use imagery of water in various forms. Mack felt âan immediate resonanceâ with Singerâs work. His fluid and melodic writing is described by Stuart Hamilton as âa beautiful response to the poetry.â His imaginative use of harmony provides a wide range of expressive colour while still being supportive of the singer. In turns meditative, vulnerable, despairing and hopeful The Names of Water is a vocally gratifying cycle.
Hail and The Names of Water appear on the CD HAIL (CanSona Arts Media, 2006) recorded by soprano Doreen Taylor-Claxton, and pianist Valerie Dueck, available here at CD Baby!
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