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Between The Bliss And Me: Songs To Poems Of Emily Dickinson

Copland / Faulkner / Hoiby
Release Date: 01/29/2013 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559731   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Aaron CoplandJohn DukeArthur FarwellErnst Bacon,   ... 
Performer:  Julia FaulknerMartha FischerLee Hoiby
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BETWEEN THE BLISS AND ME… Julia Faulkner (sop); Martha Fischer (pn); Lee Hoiby (pn) NAXOS 8.559731 (58: 37)


COPLAND Nature, the gentlest mother. When they come back. Sleep is supposed to be. Heart, we will forget him. The world feels dusty. I felt a funeral in my brain. The Chariot. Why do they shut me out of heaven? Going to heaven! DUKE Bee! I’m expecting you! FARWELL Read more class="ARIAL12bi">The Butterfly. Aristocracy. I’m nobody, who are you? Wild Nights! The Sabbath. BACON To make a prairie. It’s all I have to bring. And this of all my hopes! LAITMAN I gained it so. PEARSON-THOMAS I never saw a moor. GENDEL Bring me the sunset. Wild Nights! HOIBY The Shining Place. A Letter. How the waters closed. Wild Nights! There came a wind like a bugle


It is such a rare pleasure, nowadays, to hear a song recitalist on CD who does not have a wobble, a nasal tone, high note strain or some other major vocal defect, that one very nearly jumps with joy upon hearing a voice like Julia Faulkner’s. This is, quite simply, a lovely voice which does not lose its lyric beauty even at full volume, a voice that caresses the lyric line with a melting legato, a voice that can soften like melted butter in soft passages, a voice that has a bottom range as well as a top and is even in scale throughout. That being said, she has one bad tendency that unfortunately afflicts many singers nowadays in that she tends to swallow her consonants in slow legato passages (and sometimes in fast, rhythmic ones) to the point where her diction is only occasionally clear enough to make out the words.


This is not an insignificant defect, but alas it is not restricted to Faulkner; it seems to me that most American singers nowadays (and quite a few British ones) share this problem. If you can’t be understood in your native tongue, what’s the point in singing words at all? Moreover, if you don’t interpret the words of a sung poem—and Faulkner also has the problem of “just singing” everything, and only interpreting occasionally—you may as well be singing “la-de-da” instead of actual lyrics.


That being said, the music here is simply lovely in the best traditions of the American style that emerged in the 1940s with Copland’s more tonal style and has continued to the present day through the music of such songwriters as Ned Rorem and Lee Hoiby (who died, it seems, in 2011). I was equally delighted, and stimulated, by the slightly more angular musical line and more modern harmonies of Richard Pearson-Thomas, Lori Laitman, and Scott Gendel, whose songs also fit into the “American” mold quite nicely.


I should mention that these songs are grouped by topic rather than by composer, as in the headnotes. Thus the first set, “Poems of Nature,” runs as follows: Copland’s Nature , Duke’s Bee , Farwell’s Butterfly , Copland’s When they come back, Farwell’s Aristocracy , Bacon’s To make a prairie , and Copland’s Sleep . The next is “Poems of Identity” featuring Bacon’s It’s all I have to bring , Laitman’s I gained it so , Farwell’s I’m Nobody , Pearson-Thomas’s I never saw a moor, and Gendel’s Bring me the sunset . “Poems of Love” include both versions of Wild Nights!, Gendel’s and Farwell’s, then after “Poems of Death” (all by Copland) and “Poems of Immortality” the disc closes with all of Hoiby’s songs under the grouping, “The Shining Place.” I should also mention that Martha Fischer’s accompaniments are positively alive with feeling—no cold or mechanical player she.


Although none of this music is particularly deep, it is all quite charming and, except for Faulkner’s lack of diction, a fine listening experience. Because of her diction problems, however, I recommend that you download the texts to these songs at naxos.com/sharedfiles/PDF/8.559731_sungtext.pdf, which will help you navigate your way through the words.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1. Poems (12) of Emily Dickinson: no 9, I felt a funeral in my brain by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949-1950; USA 
2. Poems (12) of Emily Dickinson: no 8, When they come back by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949-1950; USA 
3. Poems (12) of Emily Dickinson: no 7, Sleep is supposed to be by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949-1950; USA 
4. Poems (12) of Emily Dickinson: no 5, Heart, we will forget him by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949-1950; USA 
5. Poems (12) of Emily Dickinson: no 4, The world feels dusty by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949-1950; USA 
6. Poems (12) of Emily Dickinson: no 3, Why do they shut me out of heaven? by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
7. Poems (12) of Emily Dickinson: no 12, The Chariot by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949-1950; USA 
8. Poems (12) of Emily Dickinson: no 11, Going to heaven! by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949-1950; USA 
9. Poems (12) of Emily Dickinson: no 1, Nature, the gentlest mother by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949-1950; USA 
10. Poems (6) of Emily Dickinson: no 6, Bee! I'm expecting you! by John Duke
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
11. Emily Dickinson Songs, Op. 108: no 2, The butterfly by Arthur Farwell
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
12. Emily Dickinson Songs, Op. 108: no 7, Aristocracy by Arthur Farwell
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
13. Poems (5) by Emily Dickinson: no 4, To make a prairie by Ernst Bacon
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
14. Poems (5) by Emily Dickinson: no 1, It's all I have to bring by Ernst Bacon
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
15. Between the Bliss and Me: no. 1, I gained it so... by Lori Laitman
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
16. Emily Dickinson Songs, Op. 108: no 8, I'm nobody! Who are you by Arthur Farwell
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
17. I never saw a Moor by Richard Pearson Thomas
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
18. Forgotten Light: Bring me the sunset by Scott Gendel
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
19. Forgotten Light: Wild nights! by Scott Gendel
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
20. Poems (5) by Emily Dickinson: no 5, And this of all my hopes by Ernst Bacon
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
21. Emily Dickinson Songs (10), Op. 112: no 1, Wild nights! by Arthur Farwell
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
22. Emily Dickinson Songs (12), Op. 105: no 3, The Sabbath by Arthur Farwell
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Martha Fischer (Piano)
Period: Modern 
23. The Shining Place, for voice & piano by Lee Hoiby
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Lee Hoiby (Piano)
Period: Modern 

Sound Samples

12 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No. 1. Nature, the gentlest mother
6 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No. 6. Bee! I'm expecting you!
10 Emily Dickinson Songs, Op. 108: No. 2. The butterfly
12 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No. 8. When they come back
12 Emily Dickinson Songs, Op. 105: No. 8. Aristocracy
5 Poems: No. 4. To make a prairie
12 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No. 7. Sleep is supposed to be
5 Poems: No. 1. It's all I have to bring
Between the Bliss and Me: No. 1. I gained it so...
10 Emily Dickinson Songs, Op. 108: No. 8. I'm nobody! Who are you?
I never saw a Moor
Forgotten Light: Bring me the sunset
Forgotten Light: Wild nights!
5 Poems: No. 5. And this of all my hopes
10 Emily Dickinson Songs, Op. 112: No. 1. Wild nights!
12 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No. 5. Heart, we will forget him
12 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No. 4. The World feels dusty
12 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No. 9. I felt a funeral in my brain
12 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No. 12. The Chariot
12 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No. 3. Why do they shut me out of Heaven?
12 Emily Dickinson Songs, Op. 105: No. 3. The Sabbath
12 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No. 11. Going to Heaven!
The Shining Place: No. 1. The shining place
The Shining Place: No. 2. A Letter
The Shining Place: No. 3. How the waters closed
The Shining Place: No. 4. Wild nights
The Shining Place: No. 5. There came a wind like a bugle

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