Songs of Gardner Read
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Lovely, romantic songs by an American master.

Gardner Read writes: "As a longtime, committed composer of art songs and of choral music, I have always been drawn to poetry that is rich in vivid imagery - "where sheep lie down to wait for morning's dew," for instance, or "when moonlight falls on the water," or "while envious fireflies spoil the twinkling dew," and "eager people, banners dreaming, marble gleaming"- all evoke positive musical response to the poem's compelling imagery. On the other hand, poetry that is heavily philosophical in tone, is basically narrative-oriented, or is motivated by social protest, for example, seldom stirs the creative juices for me. Stylistically, my vocal music here recorded ranges from overt romanticism, to various degrees of impressionism, to an almost folklike simplicity, even naiveté. These different vocal styles, however, are not the result of calculated choice but are determined only by the perceived musical potentialities of the poetic text. A clearly defined melodic line and a varied and apt accompanimental support are the twin basic criteria that have always shaped my vocal writing."
Contents:
Gardner Read, composer
Three Songs for Mezzo-Soprano, Op. 68
D'Anna Fortunato, mezzo, John McDonald, piano

Gardner Read, composer
Nocturne
D'Anna Fortunato, mezzo, Melia Repko, harp

Gardner Read, composer
All Day I Hear
D'Anna Fortunato, mezzo, John McDonald, piano

Gardner Read, composer
Four Nocturnes, Op. 23
D'Anna Fortunato, mezzo, John McDonald, piano

Gardner Read, composer
Songs To Children, Op. 76
D'Anna Fortunato, mezzo, Clare Nielsen, flute, Melia Repko, harp, Jennifer Elowitch, Danielle Madden, violins, Susan Black, viola, Michael Curry, cello

Gardner Read, composer
Tears
D'Anna Fortunato, mezzo, John McDonald, piano

Gardner Read, composer
The River and the Leaf
D'Anna Fortunato, mezzo, John McDonald, piano

Gardner Read, composer
Ode
D'Anna Fortunato, mezzo, John McDonald, piano

Gardner Read, composer
A Sheaf of Songs, Op. 84
D'Anna Fortunato, mezzo, Ariel Quintet

Gardner Read, composer
Nocturnal Visions, Op. 145
D'Anna Fortunato, mezzo, John McDonald, piano

Review:
"Twenty years ago a record by D'Anna Fortunato of neglected songs by Amy Cheney Beach wound up on most critics' lists of the best discs of the year. Fortunato's latest album is a winner comparable to that solo debut record. This CD is of songs by Gardner Read (b. 1913), a leading American composer of his generation and a longtime adornment of the faculty at Boston University. The songs span a period of more than 50 years (1933-1985); all of them are accomplished, direct, melodically appealing examples of the American art song, and imaginatively responsive to a variety of literary interest....Most of the songs lie in the most lustrous areas of Fortunato's voice, and she has learned to sing English with such assurance that everything sounds utterly natural." (Boston Globe)
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