Joseph Summer: The Tempest

Joseph Summer (composer), The Shakespeare Concerts Ensemble

Catalog #: TROY1609-10
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Format: Digital

Composer Joseph Summer, who has been fascinated with Shakespeare for most of his life, has composed The Tempest, using a libretto written by his daughter, Eve Summer. Summer is founder and executive director of The Shakespeare Concerts, which presents recitals and recordings of music inspired by the immortal bard. Summer comments that "Everything that Shakespeare limned in The Tempest is about the life of my family, in fine detail. It's not as if incidents of The Tempest make brief appearances, or indeed, happen only once. The plot elements embrace us repeatedly." He goes on to relate his family's banishment from Tennessee; sojourns on desert islands; and being adrift in the Indian Ocean.


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Track Listing

Title Composer Performer
The Tempest: A Chamber Opera Joseph Summer Christian Van Horn; Katherine Pracht; David Salsbery Fry; Kathryn Guthrie; Neal Ferreira; James Maddalena; Andy Papas; Glorivy Arroyo; Christopher Burchett; Ethan Bremner; Jessica Lennick; Andrea Chenoweth; Sophie Michaux; the Shakespeare Concerts Ensemble; Stefan Lano, conductor


  • "Summer has serious competition from other Tempest settings Yet Summer has something unique to say His musical language is comfortably tonal but sophisticated, ceaselessly inventive and often gripping; he's a vivid musical storyteller This release is a triumph for Summer and his superb forces."

    – Opera News

  • This well-recorded set will find wide appeal, and not just among opera lovers, but others who are seeking to add worthwhile new repertory to their music libraries. Enthusiastically recommended.

    – Fanfare

  • The scoring is expert. Summer's instrumental writing has a transparency that hides nothing his vocal writing shares the same sens of clarity, so that voices, though they may sing simultaneously, obscure neither word nor meaning. Vocal ensemble is used regularly and tellingly, for emphasis, economy and variety. It is difficult to imagine a finer performance, or recording, than this one.

    – Fanfare

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