WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Chadwick: Songs / Glenn Siebert, Peter Kairoff


Release Date: 12/11/2012 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 1387   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George W. Chadwick
Performer:  Glenn SiebertPeter Kairoff
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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



CHADWICK When Stars are in the Quiet Skies. A Flower Cycle. Allah. There is a River. That Golden Hour. Yesterday. The Curfew. Lullaby. The Daughter of Mendoza. Larry O’Toole. Nora McNally. The Lady of Leith. The Recruit. The Wild Briar. The Lupine. The Jacqueminot Rose Glenn Siebert (ten); Peter Kairoff (pn) ALBANY 1387 (72:46)


George Whitfield Chadwick flourished at a time when American composers were in the thrall of their European counterparts. Representative of the type of German art music that Charles Read more Ives was shortly to rebel against, Chadwick remains highly regarded for his orchestral output. His masterpiece, the Symphonic Sketches, shows a high degree of skill and imagination, and is well known to most of us from its seminal 1956 Mercury recording by Howard Hanson and the Eastman Rochester Orchestra. (Others have recorded the Symphonic Sketches since then, but Hanson remains the benchmark; his recording recently reappeared in the second Mercury Living Presence box.) Being a fan of this and other works of Chadwick I was intrigued to sample his songs, which I had never heard before. I would make a general point, first of all: A single composer song program is a hard sell. Songs work best in a mixed recital, which is how most of them are written to be heard, and only a handful of the major classical songwriters (Schubert, Wolf, Fauré, Britten) can fill an entire evening or a whole CD without becoming repetitive.


These songs date from the late 1880s to around 1914, a period of gentility in the arts that was to be swept away well and truly by the uproar of the 20th century. Some of them are hymn-like ( The Foxglove ), some sprightly ( The Wild Briar, The Jacqueminot Rose ), and several breathe the same air as contemporary English composers: The very first track ( When Stars are in the Quiet Skies ) immediately brings to mind The Land of Lost Content cycle by John Ireland. Indeed, most of the slower pieces display a distinctly autumnal feel. Schumann is also a clear influence in the highly polished accompaniments (for example, in the repeated chords of The Lupine ). The American art song flourished in the middle-class parlor recital, and this is reflected in the poetry that Chadwick sets: It consists mostly of sentimental platitudes or pallid scenes from nature that seem faded and secondhand from today’s perspective. Earlier, the parlor milieu had produced one of the great songwriters, namely Stephen Foster, and his influence may be found here too, although Chadwick does not possess his predecessor’s gift for memorable melody. Overall, to truly appreciate this recital, the listener needs to be aware of the social context in which these songs were composed and first performed. There is something nostalgic and almost comforting here, if you are in the right mood.


The artists on this disc certainly do Chadwick justice. Pianist Peter Kairoff is fluent and sensitive, pointing the accompaniments with finesse. Glenn Siebert is a light tenor of the G&S variety; his singing has its pluses and minuses. Among the former are his understanding of the idiom and clear articulation of the words. In the faster numbers (such as the Irish group that includes The Lady of Leith and Larry O’Toole ) and the gentle songs he is stylish and mellifluous, but when pressed above a Mezzo forte and above top A his vibrato quickens and he sounds to be not quite in control. His tone tends to lose color at the extreme lower end of his range. These are not major setbacks in my view, and are exacerbated by the close recording of Siebert’s voice: A little ambient distance would have made all the difference. All in all, this recital proves to be a worthwhile enterprise, providing us with an interesting footnote in the great history of American music.


FANFARE: Phillip Scott
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. When Stars are in the Quiet Skies by George W. Chadwick
Performer:  Glenn Siebert (Tenor), Peter Kairoff (Piano)
2. Love's Image by George W. Chadwick
Performer:  Glenn Siebert (Tenor), Peter Kairoff (Piano)
3. A Flower Cycle by George W. Chadwick
Performer:  Glenn Siebert (Tenor), Peter Kairoff (Piano)
4. Allah by George W. Chadwick
Performer:  Glenn Siebert (Tenor), Peter Kairoff (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; USA 
5. There is a River by George W. Chadwick
Performer:  Glenn Siebert (Tenor), Peter Kairoff (Piano)
6. That Golden Hour by George W. Chadwick
Performer:  Glenn Siebert (Tenor), Peter Kairoff (Piano)
7. Yesterday by George W. Chadwick
Performer:  Glenn Siebert (Tenor), Peter Kairoff (Piano)
8. The Curfew by George W. Chadwick
Performer:  Glenn Siebert (Tenor), Peter Kairoff (Piano)
9. Lullaby by George W. Chadwick
Performer:  Glenn Siebert (Tenor), Peter Kairoff (Piano)
10. The Daughter of Mendoza by George W. Chadwick
Performer:  Glenn Siebert (Tenor), Peter Kairoff (Piano)
11. Larry O'Toole by George W. Chadwick
Performer:  Glenn Siebert (Tenor), Peter Kairoff (Piano)
12. Nora McNally by George W. Chadwick
Performer:  Glenn Siebert (Tenor), Peter Kairoff (Piano)
13. The Lady of Leith by George W. Chadwick
Performer:  Glenn Siebert (Tenor), Peter Kairoff (Piano)
14. The Recruit by George W. Chadwick
Performer:  Glenn Siebert (Tenor), Peter Kairoff (Piano)

Sound Samples

When stars are in the quiet skies
Love's Image
A Flower Cycle: No. 1. The Crocus
A Flower Cycle: No. 2. The Trilliums
A Flower Cycle: No. 3. The Waterlily
A Flower Cycle: No. 4. The Cyclamen
A Flower Cycle: No. 5. The Wild Briar
A Flower Cycle: No. 6. The Colombine
A Flower Cycle: No. 7. The Foxglove
A Flower Cycle: No. 8. The Cardinal Flower
A Flower Cycle: No. 9. The Lupine
A Flower Cycle: No. 10. The Meadow Rue
A Flower Cycle: No. 11. The Jasmine
A Flower Cycle: No. 12. The Jacqueminot Rose
Allah
There is a River
4 Songs: No. 3. That Golden Hour
4 Songs: No. 4. Yesterday
The Curfew
6 Songs, Op. 14: No. 6. Lullaby
The Daughter of Mendoza
4 Irish Songs, F. 222: No. 1. Larry O'Toole
4 Irish Songs, F. 222: No. 2. Nora McNally
4 Irish Songs, F. 222: No. 3. The Lady of Leith
4 Irish Songs, F. 222: No. 4. The Recruit

Customer Reviews

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