Holiday Shop


WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Summer: So Many Journeys, The Quality Of Mercy, Etc / Van Horn, Sekera, Et Al


Release Date: 04/14/2009 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 1105   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Joseph Summer
Performer:  Kelly Van HornMiroslav SekeraChristian Van HornPetr Nouzovsky
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $19.98
CD:  $16.99
In Stock
MP3: $9.99
What's this?




Notes and Editorial Reviews



SUMMER Hamlet: There is a willow grows aslant a brook; 1,4 The lady doth protest too much. 1,3 Sonnets: CXXXII; 2,4 LX. 2,4 The Quality of Mercy. 1,4 The Dumb Show. 4 So Many Journeys. 1,2,4 Read more Cello Sonata 3,4 Kellie Van Horn (sop); 1 Christian Van Horn (bbar); 2 Petr Nouzovský (vc); 3 Miroslav Sekera (pn) 4 ALBANY TROY 1105 (77:46)


Born in 1956, Joseph Summer studied with Karel Husa at Eastern Music Festival and at the Oberlin Conservatory. His music is approachable and yet retains a sense of mystique. This disc, entitled “So Many Journeys: The Shakespeare Concerts,” is timed to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s sonnets.


Summer’s recently completed opera, Hamlet , includes a setting of the soliloquy “There is a willow grows aslant a brook,” sung in the opera as an entr’acte by the Player Queen and not delivered, as in the play, by Gertrude. Kellie Van Horn is a superb singer. Summer calls upon her lowest registers during the course of his setting, and Van Horn delivers. The whole is shot through with a dark sense of mystery. Miroslav Sekera is the superb accompanist.


The brief Sonnet CXXXII (“Thine eyes I love”), whose text dwells on pity and blackness, meanders, as if reflecting the lost protagonist. Again, Sekera impresses in his grasp of the mood of the piece and his keen ear. Christian Van Horn is the fine singer here, and he also impresses in the Sonnet LX, “Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore.”


The text of The Quality of Mercy is taken from The Merchant of Venice and Summer’s setting intends to capture Portia’s coldness and righteousness. The solo piano The Dumb Show is a ballet for five or six dancers that dates from 2004. There is a slighter (less than two minutes) version of this that fits into Hamlet and underscores dialogue between Ophelia and Hamlet. The version we hear here is over 17 minutes long. Sekera plays the delicate music with tenderness while clearly resonating with the more fantastical moments. The piano recording itself is on the thin side (the sound engineer is Ondrej Urban). Sekera is also technically equipped for the heavier, more demanding passages.


Good to have a duet for So Many Journeys . Again, Summer’s music seems shot through with regret. He is lucky indeed to have such convincing interpreters as the Van Horns. Texturally, contrast is effected by setting “The lady doth protest too much” for soprano and cello alone. It works well. The cello implies a soft swing coupled with stoppings that imply a more folksy inspiration.


Finally, the Cello Sonata, a set of variations on a baritone aria from Summer’s opera Courting Disaster that models itself structurally on the Beethoven op. 131 Quartet. Summer also incorporates a caccia variation. A habanera adds rhythmic variety. Petr Nouzovský is a fine cellist who plays most expressively.


This disc complements the 2005 Albany disc of Summer Shakespeare Concerts (Albany 750).


FANFARE: Colin Clarke
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
There is a willow grows aslant a brook by Joseph Summer
Performer:  Kelly Van Horn (Soprano), Miroslav Sekera (Piano)
2.
Oxford Songs: The quality of mercy is not strain'd by Joseph Summer
Performer:  Miroslav Sekera (Piano), Kelly Van Horn (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
3.
The lady doth protest too much by Joseph Summer
Performer:  Kelly Van Horn (Soprano), Miroslav Sekera (Piano)
4.
Oxford Songs: Sonnet 132 "Thine eyes I love" by Joseph Summer
Performer:  Christian Van Horn (Bass Baritone), Miroslav Sekera (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
5.
Oxford Songs: Sonnet 60 "Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore" by Joseph Summer
Performer:  Christian Van Horn (Bass Baritone), Miroslav Sekera (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
6.
The Dumb Show by Joseph Summer
Performer:  Miroslav Sekera (Piano)
7.
So many journeys by Joseph Summer
Performer:  Kelly Van Horn (Soprano), Christian Van Horn (Bass Baritone), Miroslav Sekera (Piano)
8.
Sonata for Cello and Piano by Joseph Summer
Performer:  Petr Nouzovsky (Cello), Miroslav Sekera (Piano)

Sound Samples

Oxford Songs, Book 1: No. 11. There is a willow grows aslant a brook
Oxford Songs, Book 1: No. 5. Sonnet CXXXII, "Thine eyes I love, and they, as a pitying me"
Oxford Songs, Book 2: No. 4. The Quality of Mercy
Sonnet LX, "Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore": Oxford Songs, Book S1: No. 2.
Oxford Songs, Book 5: No. 1. The Dumb Show
Oxford Songs, Book 5: No. 3. So Many Journeys
Oxford Songs, Book 5: The Lady Doth Protest Too Much
Cello Sonata, "20 Variations on a Theme from the Hebdomad": Variations 1-5
Cello Sonata, "20 Variations on a Theme from the Hebdomad": Variations 6-7
Cello Sonata, "20 Variations on a Theme from the Hebdomad": Variations 8-10
Cello Sonata, "20 Variations on a Theme from the Hebdomad": Variations 11-17
Cello Sonata, "20 Variations on a Theme from the Hebdomad": Variations 18-20

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In