“The three cycles represented in this disk show [Ben Moore’s] talent for dramatic musical settings of interesting texts. As the composer remarks in the liners, all three have as underlying theme the wish for freedom. … It’s a well-thought out tonality Ben Moore creates in these songs, neo-romantic in their own way, with an excellently integrated vocal and piano nexus, a sophisticated, ultra-musical approach that wears well over many listenings. … Brian Zeger has a poetic touch and a flowing way with the piano parts. The vocalists approach the songs mostly in a very declamatory, operatic style—Paul Appleby as tenor for “Dear Theo”, Susanna Phillips, the soprano featured on “So Free Am I”, and Brett Polegato, whose baritone seems especially suited to “Ode to a Nightingale”. All cover their parts well and allow the music to bloom forth for us to enjoy and enter into. Moore has a true affinity with and talent for the song cycle. Anyone who appreciates the form and looks for something modern and contemporary-tonal will respond readily to these cycles. Moore and his music have conviction and a beautiful sense of line. Recommended.” —Grego Applegate Edwards, Classical-Modern Music Review
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