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Joyce DiDonato|Into the Fire (Strauss, Debussy, Gruber... / Live)

Into the Fire (Strauss, Debussy, Gruber... / Live)

Joyce DiDonato

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The sculptor Camille Claudel, radical experimentalist and lover and possible influencer of Rodin, has fascinated artists in various media ever since she was institutionalized under controversial circumstances. She has been played on film by both Isabelle Adjani and Juliette Binoche. Now it's the turn of American composer Jake Heggie, who wrote the titular song cycle here for the present performer, American mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato. The text by Gene Scheer, depicting several major artworks and turning points in Claudel's life, is highly evocative, and Heggie matches it with music that's complementary to the words and extremely flattering to DiDonato's voice. Sample "Shakuntala," which brings to life and into time Claudel's flowing, passionate sculpture of the same name. More radical than Heggie's work is the decision to let its medium, the combination of soprano and string quartet, "bleed" into the Richard Strauss and Debussy songs on the program, which are arranged for the same combination. Your mileage may vary on this, but in the live performance at London's Wigmore Hall, it helped build to Heggie's portrayal of Claudel's obsessive inner world. The audience's rapturous response to all this is retained, as are DiDonato's two encores, which have the relaxed quality (note the humorous false start of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer) of celebration after a job well done. Recommended.

© TiVo

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Into the Fire (Strauss, Debussy, Gruber... / Live)

Joyce DiDonato

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Schlichte Weisen, Op. 21 TrV 160 (Richard Strauss)

1
II. Du meines Herzens Krönelein (Transc. Steinberg for Voice & String Quartet) [Live]
00:02:20

Richard Strauss, Composer - Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo-soprano - Mark Steinberg, Transcriber - Felix Dahn, Poet - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited

2
I. All mein' Gedanken (Transc. Steinberg for Voice & String Quartet) [Live]
00:01:08

Richard Strauss, Composer - Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo-soprano - Mark Steinberg, Transcriber - Felix Dahn, Poet - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited

8 Gedichte aus "Letzte Blätter", Op. 10, TrV 141 (Richard Strauss)

3
III. Die Nacht (Transc. Steinberg for Voice & String Quartet) [Live]
00:03:12

Richard Strauss, Composer - Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo-soprano - Hermann Von Gilm, Poet - Mark Steinberg, Transcriber - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited

Schlichte Weisen, Op. 21, TrV 160 (Richard Strauss)

4
III. Ach Lieb, ich muss nun scheiden (Transc. Steinberg for Voice & String Quartet) [Live]
00:01:57

Richard Strauss, Composer - Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo-soprano - Mark Steinberg, Transcriber - Felix Dahn, Poet - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited

3 Lieder, Op. 29, TrV 172 (Richard Strauss)

5
I. Traum durch die Dämmerung (Transc. Steinberg for Voice & String Quartet) [Live]
00:04:02

Richard Strauss, Composer - Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo-soprano - Otto Julius Bierbaum, Poet - Mark Steinberg, Transcriber - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited

Molto adagio sempre cantante doloroso (Guillaume Lekeu)

6
Molto adagio sempre cantante doloroso (Live)
00:11:20

Joyce DiDonato, MainArtist - Guillaume Lekeu, Composer - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

3 Chansons de Bilitis (Claude Debussy)

7
3 Chansons de Bilitis, L. 97: I. La Flûte de Pan (Transc. Heggie for Voice & String Quartet) [Live]
00:02:49

Claude Debussy, Composer - Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo-soprano - Jake HEGGIE, Transcriber - Pierre Louys, Poet - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

8
3 Chansons de Bilitis, L. 97: II. La Chevelure (Transc. Heggie for Voice & String Quartet) [Live]
00:04:10

Claude Debussy, Composer - Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo-soprano Vocals - Jake HEGGIE, Transcriber - Pierre Louys, Poet - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

9
3 Chansons de Bilitis, L. 97: III. Le Tombeau des naïades (Transc. Heggie for Voice & String Quartet) [Live]
00:04:02

Claude Debussy, Composer - Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo-soprano Vocals - Jake HEGGIE, Transcriber - Pierre Louys, Poet - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

Camille Claudel - Into the Fire (Jake Heggie)

10
Prelude - Awakening (Live)
00:01:27

Joyce DiDonato, MainArtist - Jake HEGGIE, Composer - Gene Scheer, Poet - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

11
I. Rodin (Live)
00:04:27

Joyce DiDonato, MainArtist - Jake HEGGIE, Composer - Gene Scheer, Poet - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

12
II. La Valse (Live)
00:04:41

Joyce DiDonato, MainArtist - Jake HEGGIE, Composer - Gene Scheer, Poet - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

13
III. Shakuntala (Live)
00:05:07

Joyce DiDonato, MainArtist - Jake HEGGIE, Composer - Gene Scheer, Poet - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

14
IV. La petite châtelaine (Live)
00:04:37

Joyce DiDonato, MainArtist - Jake HEGGIE, Composer - Gene Scheer, Poet - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

15
V. The Gossips (Live)
00:04:21

Joyce DiDonato, MainArtist - Jake HEGGIE, Composer - Gene Scheer, Poet - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

16
VI. L'age mûr (Live)
00:03:05

Joyce DiDonato, MainArtist - Jake HEGGIE, Composer - Gene Scheer, Poet - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

17
VII. Epilogue - Jessie Lipscomb visits Camille Claudel, Montdevergues Asylum, 1929 (Live)
00:05:39

Joyce DiDonato, MainArtist - Jake HEGGIE, Composer - Gene Scheer, Poet - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

4 Lieder, Op. 27, TrV 170 (Richard Strauss)

18
IV. Morgen! (Transc. Steinberg for Voice & String Quartet) [Live]
00:04:34

Richard Strauss, Composer - Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo-soprano - Mark Steinberg, Transcriber - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited

Silent Night (Franz Xaver Gruber)

19
Silent Night (Transc. Brentano Quartet for Voice & String Quartet) [Live]
00:04:30

Franz Xaver Gruber, Composer - Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo-soprano - Brentano Quartet, String Quartet

© 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2018 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

Album review

The sculptor Camille Claudel, radical experimentalist and lover and possible influencer of Rodin, has fascinated artists in various media ever since she was institutionalized under controversial circumstances. She has been played on film by both Isabelle Adjani and Juliette Binoche. Now it's the turn of American composer Jake Heggie, who wrote the titular song cycle here for the present performer, American mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato. The text by Gene Scheer, depicting several major artworks and turning points in Claudel's life, is highly evocative, and Heggie matches it with music that's complementary to the words and extremely flattering to DiDonato's voice. Sample "Shakuntala," which brings to life and into time Claudel's flowing, passionate sculpture of the same name. More radical than Heggie's work is the decision to let its medium, the combination of soprano and string quartet, "bleed" into the Richard Strauss and Debussy songs on the program, which are arranged for the same combination. Your mileage may vary on this, but in the live performance at London's Wigmore Hall, it helped build to Heggie's portrayal of Claudel's obsessive inner world. The audience's rapturous response to all this is retained, as are DiDonato's two encores, which have the relaxed quality (note the humorous false start of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer) of celebration after a job well done. Recommended.

© TiVo

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