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The Deepest Desire / Didonato, Zobel, Shelly


Release Date: 01/10/2006 
Label:  Eloquentia   Catalog #: 504   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Leonard BernsteinAaron CoplandJake Heggie
Performer:  Joyce DiDonatoDavid ZobelFrances Shelly
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The American mezzo Joyce DiDonato, who has been winning golden opinions in opera and early music, makes her recorded recital debut on a disc of American songs from the small French company Eloquentia, decently balanced in a slightly unhelpful church acoustic and handsomely presented. She displays a strong sense of character and drama, perhaps not yet matched by her response to all the details of a text; her voice is attractive over a wide range, but above mezzo forte the upper register seems somewhat raw and not fully integrated.

DiDonato and the French pianist David Zobel make a strong case for Leonard Bernstein’s little known Two Love Songs, settings of Rilke in translation with voluble piano parts, and for presenting
Read more numbers from the voices-and-orchestra cycle Songfest in piano reduction. It’s good too to have Jake Heggie’sThe Deepest Desire, sympathetic settings of religious poems by Sister Helen Prejean with an eloquent contribution from the flautist Frances Shelly.

The centrepiece of the recital is Copland’s cycle of Emily Dickinson settings, which is sung and played with vivid characterisation, perhaps occasionally straying too far towards operatic declamation. In contrast, Barbara Bonney and André Previn on Decca, now at mid-price, underplay some of Copland’s fortissimos in a small-scale reading of great charm but insufficient power. But Susan Chilcott, in what was sadly to be her last recording, and Iain Burnside get right to the heart of this visionary masterpiece.

-- Anthony Burton, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1. Love Songs (2): Extinguish my eyes by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Joyce DiDonato (Soprano), David Zobel (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Chapel, S Clothilde Parish Church, Paris 
Length: 1 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: English 
2. Love Songs (2): When my soul touches yours by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Joyce DiDonato (Soprano), David Zobel (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Chapel, S Clothilde Parish Church, Paris 
Length: 2 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: English 
3. Songfest: Music I Heard with You by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  David Zobel (Piano), Joyce DiDonato (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Chapel, S Clothilde Parish Church, Paris 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: English 
4. Songfest: What lips my lips have kissed by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  David Zobel (Piano), Joyce DiDonato (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Chapel, S Clothilde Parish Church, Paris 
Length: 4 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: English 
5. Songfest: A Julia de Burgos by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  David Zobel (Piano), Joyce DiDonato (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Chapel, S Clothilde Parish Church, Paris 
Length: 3 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: English 
6. Poems (12) of Emily Dickinson by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Joyce DiDonato (Soprano), David Zobel (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949-1950; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Chapel, S Clothilde Parish Church, Paris 
Length: 29 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: English 
7. The Deepest Desire - Four Dramatic Songs of Praise by Jake Heggie
Performer:  David Zobel (Piano), Joyce DiDonato (Soprano), Frances Shelly (Flute)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2002; San Francisco, Calif 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Chapel, S Clothilde Parish Church, Paris 
Length: 17 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: English 
8. Piccola Serenata by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Joyce DiDonato (Soprano), David Zobel (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Chapel, S Clothilde Parish Church, Paris 
Length: 1 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: English 

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