“This recording, a sampling of Moore’s recent output interpreted by some of today’s best artists, shows why singers admire his work so much. … Moore’s perceptive and sensitive choices are matched by his ability to spin out phrases that play to singers’ strengths. Appleby sounds magnificent in ‘The Red Vineyard,’ an intimate setting of a piece in which van Gogh expresses a childlike wonder at the glory of color, and the tenor nails the slight melancholy in the closing ‘Souvenir’. Brian Zeger … emphasizes the lyricism in Moore’s sweeping piano lines. … Soprano Susanna Phillips is masterful in So Free Am I, with texts written by women from various historical periods, including two poems by sixth-century Buddhist nuns. …In each of the cycle’s seven songs, Phillips offers lustrous tone coupled with strong characterization, and Zeger’s accompaniment is marvelously clear and attentive. Brett Polegato’s gorgeous baritone closes the program with John Keats’s Ode to a Nightingale. Moore shows great finesse setting the dense beauty of the text’s eight stanzas, and has created a cycle that, like the other two, many singers would do well to add to their arsenal. Zeger combines clarity and sensitivity in Moore’s florid piano part. … Recording engineer Adam Abeshouse shows all three singers and the pianist in the best possible light.” —Bruce Hodges, Juilliard Journal
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