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From The Old World To The New / Karina Lucas, Rebecca Jones, Simon Lane


Release Date: 10/04/2011 
Label:  Sonimage   Catalog #: 956514  
Composer:  Johannes BrahmsCharles Martin LoefflerFrank BridgeAaron Copland
Performer:  Rebecca JonesKarina LucasSimon Lane
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A true partnership of equals.

This was a really interesting and inspired choice of programme to put together and one that works so well. The songs chosen are truly delightful and once again I’ve been introduced to repertoire I hadn’t known before.

We have two composers from the new world bracketing two from the old and the first of those from the new, Charles Martin Loeffler is far too infrequently heard. I knew him only from a great VOX Box set of Unknown String Quartets. What is confirmed here is what a great composer he was and, in particular, how well he writes for the voice. He was one of the last of the American composers whose music could still be thought to be influenced by the “old” world. This
Read more is no surprise when you learn that he was born either in Germany or Alsace and was in his twenties before moving to the USA. With these settings of poems by Baudelaire and Verlaine dating from only ten years after his move to America he could easily be thought of as a European composer in the treatment he gives them. This is not meant in any way to be a criticism. What we have here are really beautiful songs and a gorgeous voice to sing them. Karina Lucas’s voice is one of bell-like clarity and her diction is so impressive you can hear every word in all of the three languages she’s called upon to sing. Her French is superb and easy to follow even without the text in front of you as is the German; never mind the English.

The Loeffler songs are followed by Brahms’ two songs op.91 and are equally beautiful. The Bridge songs which I didn’t know are also lovely. While Karina has a well-deserved rest to catch her breath, before giving a fabulous outing to Copland’s wonderfully enjoyable Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, the two accompanists play Bridge’s Two Pieces for Viola and Piano. It’s a great performance of these two little musical gems. The Copland settings show that he had helped establish a real American musical voice that’s easily identifiable as such. They are such great songs. I can’t ever remember hearing them better sung.

Karina is very fortunate to be accompanied by two brilliant musicians whose playing is complementary to her voice. You get the real impression of a true partnership of equals. Simon Lane’s pianism is superb and Rebecca Jones’ playing should prove another nail in the coffin of the viola bashers - silly people!
 
-- Steve Arloff, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Songs (2) for Alto, Viola and Piano, Op. 91 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Rebecca Jones (Viola), Karina Lucas (Mezzo Soprano), Simon Lane (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1864-84; Austria 
2. Poems (4), Op. 5 by Charles Martin Loeffler
Performer:  Rebecca Jones (Viola), Karina Lucas (Mezzo Soprano), Simon Lane (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1893; USA 
3. Songs (3) for Voice, Viola and Piano, H 76 by Frank Bridge
Performer:  Rebecca Jones (Viola), Karina Lucas (Mezzo Soprano), Simon Lane (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; England 
4. Pensiero, H 53a by Frank Bridge
Performer:  Simon Lane (Piano), Rebecca Jones (Viola)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; England 
5. Allegro appassionato, H 82 by Frank Bridge
Performer:  Simon Lane (Piano), Rebecca Jones (Viola)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1908; England 
6. Poems (12) of Emily Dickinson by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Rebecca Jones (Viola), Karina Lucas (Mezzo Soprano), Simon Lane (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949-1950; USA 

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