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Brian Asawa - The Dark Is My Delight And Other 16th Century Lute Songs / Tayler

3.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 14, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Andrea Rost ~ Brian Asawa - The Dark Is My De

Amazon.com

As one of the leaders of an exciting new generation of countertenors, Brian Asawa benefits not only from his distinctive voice, but also from his record label's publicity machine, which has made his name and his first two recordings strongly recognized by critics and listeners. Asawa's success at the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in 1991 and his many opera performances in the United States and abroad certainly haven't hurt his career. The voice we hear is unquestionably pretty and technically refined, but its throaty, dark timbre sounds more like the efforts of a man trying to sound like a woman. He just doesn't have that uniquely male countertenor quality exemplified by three of Asawa's more engaging colleagues--Andreas Scholl, David Daniels, and Daniel Taylor. That's not to say that these performances of some of the 16th century's loveliest songs are not eminently listenable and occasionally sublime. Asawa's agile voice projects a strong character coupled with an effortless delivery that will appeal to many listeners. He has an annoying habit, however, of singing slightly behind the beat and gradually leaning into longer-held notes. --David Vernier

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Come Again, Sweet Love Doth Now Invite
  2. His Golden Locks Time Hath To Silver Turn'd
  3. Flow My Tears
  4. It Was A Time When Silly Bees Could Speak
  5. Sorrow, Stay!
  6. Can She Excuse My Wrongs
  7. A Shepherd In A Shade His Plaining Made
  8. Time Stands Still
  9. Go, Crystal Tears
  10. I Saw My Lady Weep
  11. Away With These Self-Loving Lads
  12. Now Hath Flora Robb'd Her Bow'rs
  13. Author Of Light, Revive My Dying Sprite
  14. Come Let Us Sound With Melody The Praises
  15. Oft Have I Sigh'd For Him That Hears Me Not
  16. Turn Back, You Wanton Flyer
  17. This Merry Pleasant Spring
  18. There Were Three Ravens
  19. The Dark Is My Delight
  20. Willow Song
  21. Miserere My Maker
  22. Where The Bee Sucks
  23. O Death, Rock Me Asleep


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 14, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA Legacy
  • ASIN: B000003G9X
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #506,322 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Brian Asawa's voice is distinctive and that has not always worked to his advantage. There is no danger of confusing him with any other countertenor. In tone and quality he ranks with Scholl and Daniels and perhaps has a more fluid command of the higher notes. In this CD, he performs songs from the traditional countertenor repertoire with considerable freshness, spirit and humor. These are the popular hit songs of Shakespeare's era and while we don't know the details of how they were performed I like what Brian has done with these songs.
6 Comments 10 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on September 30, 1998
When you start the CD and sit back you will literally think you have died and gone to heaven! Brian Asawa is heaven on Earth!
If you have not heard anything from Brian, you are in for an extraordinary treat. Brian's voice is an incredible gift that every person should be exposed to. "The Dark is My Delight" is a wonderful display of Brian's range and vocal gifts. A collection of mostly 14th Century lute songs, it is a perfect subject for Brian's unique voice. "Come Again, Sweet Love" is a perfect opening song as it gives you his full range and style. In the beginning you cannot believe that this sweet, melodious voice can be coming from a human, muchless a male. You'll be thinking that throughout this wonderful CD.
There are few CDs that are so extraordinary but then again this is Brian's first CD. EVERYONE should listen and expose themselves to Brian Asawa's talents. He can only be looked upon as a rising countertenor star soon to be at the same level as the "great tenors!" I am not exaggerating. FIVE STARS and TWO THUMBS UP!!! There is nothing more I can say!
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This album of 16th century songs was VERY highly recommended to me by a store clerk at my local music retailer. I did not preview the album before buying it, but was intrigued by the seeming popular nature of the albums production and promotion. As a 20th centuruy composer and performer, I have dealt extensively with the human voice, in all it's many guises and forms. Asawa's voice has a sweet and fairly clean alto character, but the desired strenth and passion of the counter tenor labeling is obviously lacking. I do not doubt that future albums, perhaps featuring a more complex instrumentation and format will show that Mr. Asawa's voice can be something more than a young alto with an overindulgent rubato complex. The album is not the worst I have heard utilizing "non-traditional" male voices, but the clarity of line and sensitivity needed to convey emotion in these songs is something that perhaps is better left to a more tenured voice. I am ooking forward to seeing what the future brings us from Mr. Asawa, but I do hope he will be braver with the timbres and colors in his voice. It is truly a shame not to let the emotive quality of the counter tenor voice lead the way over "technical" purity.
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