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The Cave of Wondrous Voice: Chamber Music and Songs of Mark Abel
The music in this album sings and dances, in Abel’s “colorful blend of styles that serve the emotional nature of each work to bracing and poignant effect” (Gramophone). It further clarifies why Abel is “one of the most interesting figures in American contemporary music” (Pizzicato).
Composer Mark Abel has been based in California for the past three decades. Abel’s idiom eludes easy pigeon-holing. It includes chamber music and vocal works, whose contours extend from art song to larger forms with orchestra to a 103-minute chamber opera, Home Is a Harbor. This is Mark’s fifth release on Delos.
The incomparable David Shifrin begins the program with Intuition’s Dance, a combination of frolic and dreamy ruminations in which he is joined by pianist Carol Rosenberger. (This is the first time Shifrin and Rosenberger have recorded together since their memorable albums in 1984!) Next comes the remarkable Hila Plitmann singing the powerfully moving Four Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva — the first-ever setting of Tsvetaeva’s poetry in English translation. She is joined by Rosenberger and English hornist Sarah Beck.
Colorful and haunting, The Elastic Hours are brought to life with virtuosity by Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker and Dominic Cheli. This is Sabrina’s first Delos recording since her success with the Brahms Hungarian Dances in 2018 (DE 3558). In the richly lyrical Clarinet Trio, Shifrin and Rosenberger are joined by Fred Sherry for a musical journey beginning with “The Unfolding,” moving to “Taking Flight,” and finally ending with a peaceful and tender “In Good Time.”