MP3 Steven Stull, Timothy LeFebvre, Todd Geer, Linda Larson, Kimberly LaGraff - The Pulse of an Irishman: Irish and Scottish Songs arranged by Beethoven
Twenty one Irish, Welsh and Scottish folksongs with a classical twist, sung in English as Beethoven intended.
21 MP3 Songs in this album (61:42) !
Related styles: CLASSICAL: Vocal Music, FOLK: Irish Traditional
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Early in the nineteenth century, George Thomson was concerned that the traditional songs of the British Isles were being lost. In an effort to preserve them, he commissioned arrangements from the finest composers of his time, including Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven tackled the commission enthusiastically, although not without some grumbling regarding his fee. This new recording offers a selection of these entertaining and unjustly neglected pieces. All songs are performed in English, as intended by Beethoven and are accompanied with piano, violin and cello.
The Pulse of an Irishman features singers Steven Stull, Timothy LeFebvre, Kimberly LaGraff, Linda Larson and Todd Geer, accompanied by violinist Brian Brooks, cellist Laura Kramer and pianist Kathy Hansen.
REVIEW: "Celtic folk tunes with a classical flavor? Sounds like another crossover marketing ploy, but back in 1809 they didn''t have to hire a hack arranger to reconstruct how Auld Lang Syne would have sounded had Beethoven written it. They could get Beethoven himself. In all, Beethoven arranged over 180 Irish, Welsh and Scottish songs, 21 of which have been included on this new release featuring five of the Southern Tier''s best and brightest young singers.
Steven Stull, Kimberly LaGraff, Timothy LeFebvre, Linda Larson and Todd Geer have become familiar figures on the stages of the Ithaca, Tri-Cities and Syracuse Operas and are versatile enough to be a welcome presence in the Broadway repertory. It''s the combination of strong classical technique combined with ease and naturalness of expression that make this disc such a pleasure to listen to.
Steve and Timothy blend hauntingly in the wistful Farewell Bliss and Farewell Nancy , Todd adds his verve to the charming Sally in Our Alley (my personal favorite), Linda sings sensitively about Faithfu'' Johnie , and the whole group joins on an uptempo version of Auld Lang Syne , a sprightly alternative to what one usually hears on New Year''s Eve. The instrumental accompaniment, played by pianist Kathy Hansen, violinist Brian Brooks and cellist Laura Kramer, bears the clear imprint of Beethoven''s personality. This disc will fill a gap in the Beethoven discographies of most classical listeners, and Celtophiles may also find that these alternative takes on the traditional tunes are, like Sally, right up their alley."
The Ithaca Times
REVIEW: "On commission from a publisher in the British Isles, Beethoven wrote more than 150 folksong settings; here are twenty-one. Far more than hackwork, his arrangements rank with latter-day settings by Bartok, Kodaly and Britten. A delightful touch is the scoring for piano trio, written at a level that would be negotiable at home.
This CD benefits from fresh, youthful, unpretentious singing. The [five] soloists also do some ensemble turns, and their accompanists, if somewhat recessively recorded, dispatch the music smartly."