Opera News reviews our recent release The Radio Hour featuring music by composer Jake Heggie in their April issue!
“…a score that gleefully…switches styles, [and] the versatile and game members of the John Alexander Singers sound like they’re having great fun as they sing, croon, chant, laugh, snap, clap and swoop; most listeners will, too. The disc also contains Patterns, for mezzo-soprano, women’s chorus, and piano, to a text by Amy Lowell… Graham’s lustrous, shapely mezzo soars gracefully over the arpeggiated piano accompaniment in the passionate middle section. Heggie handles the text tenderly and effectively. Graham also performs Heggie’s I Shall Not Live in Vain, a setting of Emily Dickinson’s poem, heard here in the composer’s arrangement for soprano with girls’ choir, handbells and piano. Heggie presents the text twice—once despondently, once joyfully—and Graham adeptly brightens her tone the second time around. The disc closes with “He Will Gather Us Around,” the spiritual Heggie wrote for his opera Dead Man Walking, presented in two versions: the one-minute, a cappella original (sung by Graham both here and at the opera’s world premiere) and Heggie’s longer SATB arrangement, which contains pleasingly lush choral writing and some creative musical development.” — Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News