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Exhilaration - Dickinson & Yeats Songs

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 30, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

This album is the premiere recording of Gregg Kallor's richly imaginative settings of poems by Emily Dickinson and William Butler Yeats, featuring mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala and Kallor at the piano. Kallor and Zabala premiered these song-cycles at Carnegie Hall's recital hall in 2007. Also included on the album are "Song" (a setting of Christina Rossetti's poem) and Kallor's original "Lullaby."

"[These songs] are simply beautiful and poignant works... Well crafted? Definitely. Entertaining? Yes. Well performed? Absolutely. Lyrical? You bet."
-Sequenza21

"Kallor knows how to make these words sing, and Zabala gives perfect flight to them."
-Opera News

"Kallor's compositions are as touching, lilting, and vulnerable as the poems he sets."
-American Record Guide
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 30, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Single Noon
  • ASIN: B0019Z7V1Q
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #503,556 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
MOVING & BEAUTIFUL.
Adriana Zabala sounds magnificent in this album of fresh, beautiful new songs.
The Yeats set takes some well-known and some more obscure lyric poems of the great Irish master and sets them to music that is remarkably colorful, romantic and even, at times, jazz-influenced. (And funny! Make sure you check out "The Drunken Man's Praise of Sobriety.")
And still, the Dickinson cycle that gives the CD its name is the real gem here. It combines some of Emily Dickinson's most profound (and rather abstract) poems and sets them to beautiful, tonal (thank you!) music that is searching and heartfelt. I loved every one of these songs singly, but especially appreciated how well the texts were chosen to flow from one to the other and create meaning across the whole song-cycle. The first and last songs both begin with the word "Exhilaration" , but that word is imbued with the kind of unusual emotional shading that is pure Dickinson. And Kallor is uncannily able to follow Dickinson's every nuance; when you get to the end you really feel that you've arrived somewhere.
Kallor is someone to watch. Zabala, recital fans know, is a gorgeous singing actress -- a real treasure on the NY recital scene, who also turns up in interesting opera roles around the country. She got national attention for Philip Glass's 'Waiting for the Barbarians' when it was premiered in Texas. Sadly, I haven't heard of any NY premiere forthcoming. But I am very happy to have this album in the meantime.
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Format: Audio CD
Gregg Kallor's music is a sheer delight and an inspiration, and Adriana Zabala's voice is magnificent. Looking forward to future "exhilarating" performances!
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Format: MP3 Music
Gregg Kallor is fast becoming one of the Great American Song Writers - a group that includes Charles Ives, Aaron Copeland, Samuel Barber, William Bolcom, André Previn, Leonard Bernstein, Rickie Ian Gordon, Richard Danielpour, Jake Heggie among others. Where Kallor steps into a different arena from these is in his exemplary writing for piano collaboration: he has a sense of poetic line and how to ascend and descend that line dramatically in a manner that never asks for the singer to sacrifice vocal finesse for effect.

This recording is the recorded premiere of his songs in response to the poetry of Emily Dickinson and William Butler Yeats - not the easiest lyrics to set to music but they seem natural choices of Kallor. He is joined in this recital by the impressive American mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala who made her Carnegie Hall debut with Kallor, premiering Exhilaration, Kallor's settings of nine Emily Dickinson poems and the Yeats Songs - Kallor's setting of five splendid poems by Yeats. Zabala's voice is a seamless instrument, always beautiful no matter the range. Her immersion in the poetry is exemplary, of course aided by the fact that Kallor has placed the words to music in just the right way to capture Dickinson's exhilarating poetry. The balance and interplay between pianist and vocalist is as perfect as any collaborative presentation on record.

The CD opens with a Song set to a poem by Christina Rossetti, a sensitive opener for the recital. The full program is as follows:
Song (poem by Christina Rossetti)

Yeats Songs (poems by W.B.
Read more ›
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