Monday 2 November 2020

The Financial Times awards Unexpected Shadows with 5 stars



It is part of the DNA of American composers that they inherit the whole history of song in the US, embracing everything from musical theatre to jazz. At one extreme, Heggie gives us The Work at Hand, as gripping as Shostakovich, to texts written by poet Laura Morefield when she was suffering from terminal cancer. At the other we get Statuesque, imagined monologues by famous statues of women, which ends with a near-cabaret showpiece number by the Louvre’s Winged Victory.

 

"Unexpected Shadows," performed by Matt HaimovitzJake Heggie, and Jamie Barton, was awarded with 5 stars from the FInancial TImes! Read the full review below:

 

While the German Lied or art song seems in the doldrums, American song is powering ahead. Thanks to composers as diverse as Bernstein and Barber, William Bolcom and Ned Rorem, there is now a huge amount of material out there. Leading the pack at the moment is Jake Heggie. Now 59, Heggie has made his name with some big successes in opera, notably Dead Man Walking and Moby-Dick, but his output of songs is just as important.

Look no further than this hugely enjoyable selection from mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton with Heggie himself as accompanist. They have put together a brilliantly varied programme, including three song cycles on the theme of women.It is part of the DNA of American composers that they inherit the whole history of song in the US, embracing everything from musical theatre to jazz. At one extreme, Heggie gives us The Work at Hand, as gripping as Shostakovich, to texts written by poet Laura Morefield when she was suffering from terminal cancer. At the other we get Statuesque, imagined monologues by famous statues of women, which ends with a near-cabaret showpiece number by the Louvre’s Winged Victory.

Barton is sensationally good at that, as she is depicting a proud line-up of American First Ladies, including Eleanor Roosevelt and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, in Iconic Legacies: First Ladies at the Smithsonian. The jury at Cardiff Singer of the World knew what they were doing when they awarded the young Barton the song prize, as well as the main prize, in 2013. This disc is surely in line to win awards itself.

 

[Check out the album here:]

 

Read the full review on the Financial Times