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If You Love for Beauty

4.6 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 25, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Showcasing Metropolitan Opera and GRAMMY Award-winning mezzo-soprano Cooke, and The Colburn Orchestra led by Gilad. The recording includes Mahler's 'Ruckert-Lieder,' the aria Am I in Your Light? from Doctor Atomic by John Adams, Chausson's sweeping Poème de l'amour et de la mer, all with full orchestra, and two Handel arias, Scherza infida and Ombra mai fu performed with chamber orchestra. The members of The Colburn Orchestra create a distinct orchestral sound (a great one), and Maestro Gilad elicits sensitive and lyrical interpretations of the repertoire. This recording won the Audio Oasis Award even before it was released, at THE SHOW in Newport, 2012.


Mezzo Sasha Cooke made a striking impression as Kitty, the wife of J. Robert Oppenheimer, in the Met premiere of Doctor Atomic five seasons ago. The high point of her performance was her seductive love duet with Gerald Finley's Oppenheimer, which included her aria 'Am I in Your Light?' Cooke leads with that piece on her excellent debut solo CD, If You Love for Beauty, in which she is sensitively accompanied by Yehuda Gilad and the Colburn Orchestra.

Cooke's attractive, erotic stage presence struck plenty of sparks in Doctor Atomic, but without question she also delivers the vocal goods. She possesses a firm fruity mezzo, straight-toned in quality, which allows the listener to luxuriate in her unerring sense of pitch. And she has a strong yet subtle interpretive ability, one that draws the listener in. She doesn't play to the balconies; she makes you come to her, as did the much-lamented Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Still young, Cooke has not yet settled into any specific fach; this CD includes music by Adams. Chausson, Handel and Mahler. . .

Cooke's performance is an exercise in simplicity. In 'Ich atmet' einen linden Duft,' she floats a beautiful mezza voce as soft as the linden fragrance she is describing. 'Liebst du un Schonheit' is sung with hushed intimacy, and 'Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen' comes wrapped in a quiet, confessional tone of resignation and introspection. 'Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder' captures the correct rapid-fire, gently comic air of frustration. In the stark 'Um Mitternacht,' Cooke rises movingly from the depressive episode depicted in the opening to the great epiphany of the final lines.

Cooke lightens her voice considerably for the two Handel selections, 'Scherza infida,' from Ariodante, and 'Ombra mai fu,' from Serse. In the latter, she gives the opening note of the verse a glorious sustained crescendo. . . --Opera News, Eric Myers

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Colburn Orchestra
  • Conductor: Yehuda Gilad
  • Composer: Adams, Chausson, Handel, Mahler
  • Audio CD (September 25, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Yarlung
  • ASIN: B008LEJH42
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,040 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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February 5, 2013
Format: Audio CD
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September 4, 2016
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September 19, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
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November 6, 2012
Format: Audio CD
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July 30, 2017
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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July 24, 2015
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