Susan Graham’s eagerly awaited new ONYX CD is a characteristically wide ranging recital which covers a wide spectrum of female emotions as experienced by the virgins, vixens and one of the most frightening of viragos – Lady Macbeth, all captured here in song. In addition to these emotional extremes, there are also lighter issues for a girl to confront, in the Poulenc, and a fruitless pursuit of a boy in the Sondheim to lighten the mood!
R E V I E W S:
“Graham is an artist to treasure, a striking mezzo whose powerful silky voice can achieve Janet Baker-like expressiveness, with a gift for French song but also a mile-wide impish streak...Porter's anatomically witty lament and Sondheim's wicked Girl from IpanemaRead more parody leave one chuckling for all the right reasons. All told, a gem.”
-- BBC Music Magazine [2/2013]
"I can't think of another singer today who could match Susan Graham in an eclectic programme ranging across three centuries, four languages and a diverse array of idioms...In glowing voice, Graham opens with a richly imagined, deeply felt performance of Purcell's quasi-operatic scena, culminating in repeated cries of almost excruciating intensity...a recital of rare versatility and panache”
-- Gramophone [3/2013]
"As the title suggests, the album Virgins, Vixens, & Viragos by American mezzo soprano Susan Graham is meant to cover songs and operatic selections (accompanied with piano) having a wide emotional range. Graham's strengths -- intelligence and novel choice of repertory -- are fully in evidence here. The album is worth the purchase price for the six Mignon songs (tracks 3-8) alone. These are settings of texts by Goethe, originally from the novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship), and it's hard for a non-German audience to appreciate how familiar they were to German-speaking listeners of a century ago. Graham's set of six songs ranging from Schubert to the early 20th century (one by Tchaikovsky in German, another by Henri Duparc in French) gives a feeling of how the original hearers of these songs might have approached them as new versions of very familiar texts. The rest of the program has attractive finds as well: some pleasant Poulenc songs, a nice integration of Broadway tunes into a predominantly European sequence, and a fine rarity of a Shakespearean aria in the form of a selection from Joseph Horovitz's Lady Macbeth. Although the majority of the material here is not in that language, Graham remains a singer of the French school first and foremost, cultivating a controlled elegance. The bottom line is that Graham fans are likely to eat this up, and it's an offbeat vocal recital for anybody."