PENTATONE releases a digital-only album how do I find you, a collection of newly composed songs commissioned during the Covid-19 pandemic, curated by mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, who performs them, together with pianist Kirill Kuzmin.
American mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke commissioned 17 gifted composers, offering them carte blanche to create what spoke most to them during this time. With themes ranging from harried parents working from home to societal injustice and the California wildfires, these songs provide a slice of life in challenging times. Taking its inspirations from folksong-style, jazz, and minimalism, and ranging from great lyricism and lush harmonies to austere means, the music featured on this album provides a fascinating cross-section of contemporary art songs.
Sasha Cooke has been called a “luminous standout” by the New York Times and “equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness” by Opera News. She has won two Grammy Awards, including one for her contribution to Mason Bate’s opera The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, released on PENTATONE in 2018. In 2021, she returned to the label with Violins of Hope. Kirill Kuzmin makes his PENTATONE debut.
The songs will receive their world premiere performances in Cooke’s one-night-only Great Performers Series recital with pianist Kirill Kuzmin, who is also featured on the album, at San Francisco Symphony in Davies Symphony Hall on January 30, 2022. Cooke and Kuzmin will re-team in Baltimore for the works’ East Coast premieres on March 6, 2022, at Shriver Hall Concert Series on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus.
Photo by Lynn Lane