“Naxos are to be congratulated on yet another enterprising issue. A few years ago such a CD would probably not have been issued, even at full price, but now here we have an excellent opportunity to sample Bolcom’s songs in first rate performances and at a most affordable price.” MusicWeb International
“Bolcom has always exemplified his eclectic American heritage in a distinctly personal way.
As a pianist he's known for superb LPs of ragtime, Gershwin, Milhaud and songs with his wife Joan Morris. This collection of his songs with piano with Carole Farley, another performer of remarkable versatility, covers a range of styles from various periods; there are cycles and single songs.
Most of the accompaniments are hyperactively virtuoso, drawing on the full compass of the piano – a refreshing change from so much of the literature, but you're left wondering who else could play them like this. There are moments of repose, some in the witty mini-cycle Songs toDance from 1989. I will breathe a mountain (1990) sets 10 American women poets, each song reflecting their personalities in a different style.
'The Fish' is an amusing poem by Elizabeth Bishop, a helter-skelter ride as dizzy as some of Sondheim's patter-songs. 'Messing about in boats', one of three poems based on The Wind inthe Willows, makes an easy-going habanera.
This is a fascinating collection from one of the most individual American composers, who shouldn't be forgotten in the minimalist onslaught.
Full texts of songs are an asset, it's vividly recorded and is delivered with effervescent enthusiasm by both performers.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010