Nov 01 2015

Announcing Holiday Harmonies

by at 11:48 pm

It’s out, it’s out! Here it is! Hot off the press! Get it on Amazon or on ITunes! Way back when in February, I had the great pleasure of rehearsing and then recording with a fabulous group of artists in New York City. I admit, it was a little strange to be singing Christmas songs in February with such intensity, but what an experience it was. One worth taking a short pause from dissertating. And now it is finally ready for you all to hear! This CD features soloist Jamie Barton, whom a quick google will reveal to be a young and rising star in the opera world, most recently with an excellent review of her performance at the Met in the New York Times. It has beautiful piano and harp supporting the choir, stunning arrangements, wonderfully rich voices. It sounds like you are standing in the middle of a warm, glimmering, intimate choir. Maybe it feels like you are, in fact, a Christmas tree in the middle of the choir.  This is not the typical array of carols…it has carols, yes, but it also has a simple children’s song and the most profound choral singing of newly composed music mixed in with the old. Just enough fiddling with the tried and true to be traditional without any stuffiness. If you get the album, you will even see a photo of me in the album notes. The day we recorded at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in Harlem was frigid and the heating system was off so the noise wouldn’t get into the microphones, so we were not exactly warm, but our voices were! And our conductor, Judith Clurman, not only was in her element directing the music and shaping it according to her vision, but also made us an excellent chocolate cake with pantry odds-and-ends on top to get us through the long day of hyper-focus. Please listen, please gift for the Christmas season. Read a bit more and listen to the sampler here.

And if you’re thinking maybe Christmas isn’t your thing, here’s Clurman’s album (which I am not on) from a year ago, Cherished Moments, which is extraordinary in its own right and speaks to everything familiar in my world of Jewish and Western classical music traditions and brings to reality what had always lain in the realm of the imaginary meeting of those worlds in my mind. I have been returning to it throughout the year, as it tracks the Jewish liturgical calendar and life cycle. Soon would be a good time to meet it at Chanukah.

Today was the warmest Nov 1 on record for the UK. Warm and sunny. What a way to ring in the winter and holiday season!

No responses yet

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply