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American Song Cycles

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 27, 2004
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 27, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Albany Records
  • ASIN: B0001XAQBO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #545,986 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I yield to no one in my respect and admiration for tenor Paul Sperry's service to contemporary American song-writing. I have heard him in live recitals more times that I can count because of this dedication to the furtherance of songs by American composers. He has commissioned and premièred innumerable songs from upwards of thirty American composers. Further, he has such excellent diction that he has served American poets as well, since one can understand almost everything he sings without reference to a printed text. Never blessed with a beautiful voice, he has managed his meager vocal endowment with brains, guts and art. The songs on this CD deserve to heard and one expects they might not have been heard at all if it weren't for Sperry's efforts. Still, the time has come for him to stop singing. The voice has of late become too much of a chore to listen to; he too often sings well under pitch especially in his upper range, and when singing above a mezzo-forte the voice too often becomes a squawl.

As to the music recorded here, some of the songs are really quite enjoyable and one can only hope that others will take them up. I'm sure that is Sperry's hope, too; he certainly has given his time, effort and money to promote this kind of music, including several recordings on the Albany label. On this disc I'd single out the witty songs of Daron Hagen, set to laugh-out-loud funny poems by Alice Wirth Gray. Sample text from 'Why We Have Cats': "That bitch, the woman/who lived next door,/took it on the lam/to Arizona and left/five cats...What did she think life was: a Learning Experience?" Hagen's music underlines the humor in tonal but unexpected harmonies.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
wonderful collection of contemporary american song cycles performed by paul sperry. so many contemporary compositions are never recorded; to get all 4 song cycles in 1 CD was a find.
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