On this remarkable recording, OUT OF THE SHADOWS: REDISCOVERED AMERICAN ART SONGS, a century’s worth of treasures emerge from the shadows of both memory and history. The discovery of these songs began years ago, when soprano Lisa Delan was a student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Her teachers, some of whom were contemporaries of the composers, recognized the artistic value of several of these works. Knowing that Ms. Delan would imbue them with special interpretive qualities, they presented her with copies of some of the music now on this disc. She decided to go further, to discover additional Americana—a kind of musical excavation that would bring to light and to life a body of art songs that deserved to be better known.
Mined from extensive research, the gems on this CD are priceless additions to the art song genre. They form a compelling body of literature that, until now, has been underrepresented or completely unrepresented on recordings. These songs honor the universality of the human experience—love, loss, faith, joy, sadness, nostalgia—in uniquely American settings. The spirit, pragmatism and romanticism of a country born in revolution and maturing in reason and hopefulness is evident in these works. It’s all here, in 31 songs by ten composers. The tonal palette of each of these composers reveals a singular style, in hues rich, varied and distinctively American.