This delightful disc, performed by one of the most admired sopranos of today, accompanied by her long-time collaborator, pays homage to an important musical tradition and part of performance history, and to four great sopranos from the past.
The repertoire includes the encore-songs, mainly by American composers, performed by Kirsten Flagstad, Eileen Farrell, Helen Traubel and Eleanor Steber at the end of their recitals. As Christine Brewer writes in an intimate performance note: ‘These little gems evoke an era of recitals not often encountered these days. Stepping back into that era has been a joy to Roger and me, and I hope it will bring back memories to those who might have heard these women sing these songs, or perhaps ignite a new love affair for younger listeners!’
Homer: Sing To Me, Sing
Kramer: Now Like A Lantern
Tyson: Sea Moods
Ronald: O Lovely Night!
Rogers: At Parting
Carpenter: The Sleep That Flits On Baby's Eyes
Sargent: Hickory Hill
Youmans: Through The Years
Nordoff: There Shall Be More Joy
La Forge: Hills
Bridge: Love Went A-Riding
Firestone: In My Garden
Romberg (S): Will You Remember?, "Sweetheart"
Firestone: If I Could Tell You
Anon/Moore/Flotow: The Last Rose Of Summer
Vicars: The Song Of Songs, "Chanson Du Coeur Brisé"
La Montaine: Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
Arlen: Cabin In The Sky - Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe
Bernstein: On The Town - Some Other Time
Charles: When I Have Sung My Songs
“It is her ability to reduce her sound that enables her to avoid bringing too much power to 'The Last Rose' and to put across Bernstein's 'Some other time' in a relaxed and intimate manner...Brewer's own [encore], 'Review', has the final word...It's fun and provides a final encore for which it was well worth staying till the end.”
“unlike many dramatic sopranos, Brewer here demonstrates a clarity of enunciation and a variety of tone that suits this lighter material...Irresistable.”
14th April 2011
“Brewer, in tremendous voice, carves out a niche as [Flagstad, Farrell, Traubel and Steber's] successor, partly because the majestic quality of her delivery equals theirs, but more importantly because she, like they, has the ability to make this repertoire live and breathe without sounding mawkish...And Brewer's pianist, Roger Vignoles, sounds as if he's thoroughly enjoying himself.”
“Brewer hosts her party with flair, unselfconscious enjoyment and unerring style. Never do we sense the opera singer trying to appropriate an alien domain...Vignoles is indeed unfailingly sympathetic, but so much more: an animator and colourist whose rhythmic energy and legerdemain contribute crucially to the success of the whole delightful, offbeat recital.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.