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MP3 Paul Schwartz, Susanne Elmark - Glimpses Of Sappho

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MP3 Paul Schwartz, Susan
28.2 MB PHP File - Platform: MP3

The creator of the international hit aria and State of Grace series of CDs, returns to his classical roots with this emotionally affecting song cycle for soprano and piano.

12 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: Vocal Music, CLASSICAL: Contemporary

Show all album songs: Glimpses Of Sappho Songs

Sappho lived between 630 - 570 BC, approximately. She was acclaimed all around the Mediterranean as one of the greatest lyric poets of all time, and may well be the first woman artist to be widely recognized. Her lyric poetry, love songs, hymns and ceremonial works were collected into 13 volumes, and widely disseminated throughout the ancient world, remaining in circulation for a millennium following her death. Sadly, all that survives of her work today are a little over 100 disjointed fragments, and a scant handful of longer excerpts.

Although she is now referred to as a poet, she was in fact more of a song-writer. All poetry in her time was sung, with the singer accompanying him or herself on the lyre. As a musician Sappho is credited with having invented the Mixolydian mode, which became one of the most emotionally charged scales for performance of both poetry and drama in the Hellenic traditions.

GLIMPSES OF SAPPHO is an attempt to portray by implication what might have been Sapphoâs life by treating these fragments as tiny windows that reveal fractured moments. Each germ of poetry is not only an artifact of the greater missing whole, it is also a âglimpseâ of an emotional moment, or a thought, or a partial conversation, that suggests the larger life in which the moment was contained. It is as though a glass photographic plate was dropped to the ground, and one could only examine a portion of the resultant shards of image: one could not see the whole, but one might be able to surmise it. In her poetic fragments are thoughts and feelings of love, loss, children, nature, and inevitable decline, all of which are here sequenced so as to suggest a chronological arc.


Paul Schwartz is a musician whose work bridges the gaps between many of the disparate musical worlds of the 21st century. As a composer, conductor, pianist and producer, he is one of the rare individuals who is equally at home in the concert hall, the theater and the eclectic world of contemporary music: both acoustic and electronic.

He is the creator of two internationally successful series of recordings: the ARIA series, and the STATE OF GRACE series. Both of these distinct collections of recordings have a passionate international following and have collectively sold over 650,000 copies worldwide. ARIA was nominated for a Grammy, and STATE OF GRACE III was the NAR Album of the Year for 2006. Music from these cds have been used frequently in film and television, from the 2006 Winter Olympics, to the tv shows SMALLVILLE, THE BLACK DONNELYS, and ALIAS, to films including THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY and A MAN APART.

His latest recording: GLIMPSES OF SAPPHO, scheduled for release in December 2007, is a dramatic song cycle for voice and piano, written specially for Danish Soprano Susanne Elmark. It will receive its live premiere in Copenhagen in the Spring of 2008. Other current activities include the composition of a new chamber opera commissioned by Den Fynske Opera in Odense, Denmark. Based on the novel BEAUTY AND SADNESS by the Nobel Prize-winning Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata, with a libretto by British writer Simon Crow, the new work is scheduled to debut in 2010. His recently completed CUMMINGS LOVE SONGS were given their first performance in March of 2007 in Odense. Future commissions also include a new work for the American String Quartet, as well as the development of a music-theater piece based on the life of Egon Schiele, to debut in Vienna in the Autumn of 2008 as part of the commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the painterâs untimely death.

Mr. Schwartzâs connection to Denmark is the result of the live version of ARIA: a 90 minute hybrid orchestral/electronic dance-theater piece that he created in collaboration with Musikdramatisk Theater, a company based in Holstebro. ARIA opened in September of 2006, and played to sell-out audiences in 4 cities. Both the ARIA series and his other recording project: the STATE OF GRACE series of cds, have a passionate international following and have collectively sold over 650,000 copies world wide. ARIA was nominated for a Grammy, and STATE OF GRACE III was the NAR Album of the Year for 2006.

Mr. Schwartz has been commissioned by Milwaukee Ballet, Ohio Ballet, and New York City Ballet (twice), and has worked with a diverse group of choreographers including Lucinda Childs and Margo Sappington. A music theater piece: SUMMER, based on the novel by Edith Wharton and written in collaboration with Erik Haagensen, was given the Richard Rodgers Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1998. It has had developmental productions in collaboration with the York Theater and Manhattan Theater Club in New York, as well as at the International Festival of Musical Theater in Cardiff, Wales. Other awards include the Adrian Boult Conducting Scholarship (1977), and two NYFA Artistsâ Fellowships (1986 and 1990).

As a conductor, Mr. Schwartz was invited by André Previn to serve as Steinberg Fellow with the Pittsburgh Symphony for the seasons of 1981 â 82. Concurrently he was Assistant Conductor and Assistant Chorus Master for Washington Opera. He subsequently conducted the reconstructed revival of Rodgers and Hartâs ON YOUR TOES at the Kennedy Center, bringing that production on to Broadway. He was honored to have the opportunity to work with George Balanchine and George Abbott in the re-creation of the show. He has conducted for ballet, notably with Ballet Rambert and New York City Ballet, and has served as musical director for three additional Broadway shows. In 1987 Peter Martins invited Mr. Schwartz to serve as Musical Advisor for New York City Balletâs American Music Festival: an event that resulted in the creation of 22 new works to American music including five commissioned scores, one of which was by Mr. Schwartz.

Born in New York City into a musical family (his father was the Broadway and Hollywood composer Arthur Schwartz), he received his musical education at the Royal College of Music in London, where he graduated top of his class, and at the Academmia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, where at age 17 he was one of only six composers given the composition prize for that year. He lives near New York City.


Susanne Elmark has continually brought attention to herself during her remarkable career. She made her debut as Adele (DIE FLEDERMAUS) at The New Theatre, Copenhagen. Her performance as Zerbinetta (ARIADNE AUF NAXOS) at the Opera Festival of Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg led to a most astonishing development of Ms. Elmarkâs career. She has sung Gilda (RIGOLETTO) in Braunschweig and Innsbruck, Zerbinetta in Saarbrücken, Komische Oper Berlin, Malmö Opera, Sweden and The Royal Opera, Copenhagen and Staatsoper Munich, and Queen of the Night (DIE ZAUBERFLOTE) at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Stuttgart, Opera Tel Aviv, Oper Leipzig, Essen and Darmstadt, Royal Opera Copenhagen. Other roles at the Royal Opera, Copenhagen have been Zerlina (DON GIOVANNI) and Eurydice in Philip Glassâ opera ORPHÉE. In the 2007 â 08 season she is performing the role of Celia in Mozartâs LUCIO SILLA.

An audition for Maestro Zubin Mehta immediately led to an engagement as Zerbinetta at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich for two seasons. She has sung Valencienne (THE MERRY WIDOW) at Opera Ireland, Dublin and Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck, Austria, Adina (LâELISIR DâAMORE) on a tour to Japan with Maestro Marcello Viotti, Contessa di Folleville (IL VIAGGIO A REIMS) in Innsbruck. With Adam Fischer conducting the Danish Radio Sinfonietta she sang Celia in a CD-production of Mozarts opera LUCIO SILLA as well as in concerts in both Copenhagen and Mannheim, Germany. She also sang in the first performances of the contemporary operas MAESTRO, GESUALDO and SIMSALABAD in Copenhagen.

At the Malmö Opera, Sweden she has sung the very demanding part as The Wife in Schnittkes opera LIFE WITH AN IDIOT and Oscar in Verdiâs BALLO IN MASCHERA.

Susanne Elmark frequently performs as a concert singer, and in addition to numerous engagements with Danish symphony orchestras, she also appears with orchestras abroad. She has sung Alban Bergâs LULU SUITE with the Oslo Philharmonic under Gary Bertini and Pergolesiâs STABAT MATER at the Gewandhaus Leipzig. She was the soloist in the first performance of Karsten Fundalâs ENTROPIA with the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Susanne Elmark completed her education at the Royal Academy of Music, Copenhagen in 1996.
Teachers have been Susanna Eken, Ingrid Bjoner and Josef Protschka.

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