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Sings Peter Lieberson: Neruda Songs

Sings Peter Lieberson: Neruda Songs

18 Dec 2006
4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 18 Dec. 2006
  • Release Date: 25 Dec. 2006
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 31:06
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001F0NEO8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,490 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
A short collection of songs by Lorraine Leiberson, composed by her husband Peter from the love poems of Pablo Neruda.
"Blee" I hear you say, "Love Poems set to saccharine strings, no thanks!"
Well there's more to this piece than that sort of bland sappy sentiment, Lieberson a life long Buddhist said that he liked the way the songs/poems mirrored the various faces of love. Just as there will be passion and pleasure there must surely come death, loss and despair. That side of the human condition has always drawn and fascinated me, just how do we cope with such pain and grief? For me music is already a powerful reminder of both pain and pleasure without even considering such profound subject matter. Lieberson died after a long illness and this music offers a glimpse of her obvious skill as a singer and also of her relationship with her husband.
When interviewed and asked if the last song "Amor Mío Si Muero Y Tu No Mueres" (My Love If I die and You Don't), offered him any comfort, dealing with one partners' acceptance of their death and asking their lover to move on. Peter Lieberson said simply "No....I don't think I will ever get over it."
We live in a brutal age where little remains that has value, people are lost and forgotten under the weight of our modern obsession with "getting over it" and "moving on". Lorraine Leiberson brings the work to life with her soaring mezzo-soprano voice yet I wouldn't suggest this is uplifting. On the contrary it's a little bleak and poignant, she breathes life into the music just as she herself is fading from view.
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Format: Audio CD
I have rarely been so touched at a deep emotional level as I have been by this collection of five songs written as a passionate gift of love by composer Peter Lieberson for his wife, the mezzo Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, a transcendent artist. Everything about the work -- from the outpouring of glorious sound and passion from Ms Lieberson to the texts by Pablo Neruda to the rich sounds of the Boston Symphony under James Levine playing Lieberson's richly romantic music -- adds to the emotional power of the performance. If one then understands that this music was written during a time when Ms Hunt Lieberson was struggling with the cancer that ultimately killed her, that the recording was made not out of desperation but out of hope during one of her periods of modest remission, and that she died not long afterwards, it makes the experience all the more powerful.

One must add that there are two other similarly nonpareil recordings -- eerily enough with singers who were either mezzo-soprano or contralto -- that are classics at least partly because they were made just before the singers died: Jan de Gaetani's recording of her husband's chamber orchestrations of songs by Mahler and Berlioz (including a heartbreaking 'Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen') and, of course, Kathleen Ferrier's 'Das Lied von der Erde' with the touching dying-away of her last words 'Ewig ... ewig ... ewig'.

One can only hope that Hunt Lieberson, Ferrier and de Gaetani are singing together in Heaven. Ave atque vale.

Scott Morrison
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Format: Audio CD
Even if the music were not so unutterably beautiful, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's vocal performance alone would be enough to make this a five-star recording. As it is, Peter Lieberson's exquisite setting of these five Neruda sonnets serve as an extraordinary vehicle of love and of loss, a ravishing musical love letter from husband to wife. One feels privileged to be party to such a movingly personal and (as pointed out so many times in the press reviews) painfully poignant work.
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Format: Audio CD
These songs are glorious , even if you leave their tragic background out of account. Like Ferrier's 1952 Das Lied , it is the wonderful performance that matters. Hunt Lieberson's singing is quite a thing to marvel at . Both her carrying of the melodic lines and her sense of the beauty of the poetry .

The settings are masterful . I cannot understand the previous reviewer , the sinuous melody of the last song has resonated in my memory for days . Its almost like an aural cross of the Four Last Songs and Sheherazade.

Very highly recommended and the reviews are not kind but wholly accurate
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