October 14, 2016

Two reviews of I Hear America Singing

Two reviews of last weekend’s I Hear America Singing concert appeared today. One, written by Michael Caruso, [link] appeared in the Chestnut Hill Local. The other review, written by Tom Purdom, [link], appeared in the Broad Street Review. Both reviews make great reading and have many remarks that warmed our hearts. Here are some snippets, to whet your appetites to read the entire reviews by following the links we gave above.

From Michael Caruso’s review:

Suzanne DuPlantis was heard to great distinction in George Crumb’s “The Night in Silence,” […] was able to project it with unaffected intensity and delicate poignancy […] Loveliest of all was her rendition of local composer Kile Smith’s “There Is No Great and No Small,” […] Michelle Johnson sang some of the evening’s most disturbing songs […] with a glowing tone and imposing projection […] were sung as emotional catharsis as well as with musical artistry […] I was particularly impressed by Troy Cook’s rendition of Marc Blitzstein’s “Emily (The Ballad of the Bombardier)” […] Tony Boutte’s performance of “Sure on This Shining Night” by West Chester’s Samuel Barber reminded one and all what a true master the composer was […] Laura Ward offered exquisite accompaniment.

From Tom Purdom’s review:

Lyric Fest’s season opener ended with a new arrangement of Daron Hagen’s 2014 setting of Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing.” Hagen created the arrangement for this event and it made a perfect finale […] a moving WWII “Ballad of the Bombardier”; a Charles Ives cowboy saga; and Ned Rorem’s beautiful arrangement of “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair.” […] There were two other premieres on the program besides the arrangement of “I Hear America Singing.” […] Conahan did such a good job […] Kile Smith’s setting of a short, mystical text by Ralph Waldo Emerson […] for piano and mezzo-soprano, that was as light and sustaining as water […] The vocalists […] have impressive international resumes and voices to match […] Suzanne DuPlantis is an art song enthusiast who takes the texts of her songs very seriously […]

The last sentence of Tom Purdom’s review made us a little misty-eyed:

Lyric Fest’s quirky, unpredictable, beautifully executed programs have become one of the glories of my life.

May more and more Delaware Valley people have the chance to find us and see what glories we offer for their lives!

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