In this, emerging tenor Kyle Bielfield’s debut recording, we are treated to a choice array of American songs both well-known and obscure, ranging from the earliest published domestic songs by Stephen Foster to selections by remarkable living composers like icon Ned Rorem and recently discovered Mark Abel. All of the texts, as
well, are by American poets. While the program favors more classically-oriented art songs (21 of them), the program’s final seven pieces – by Foster, Aaron Copland,
Irving Berlin and Leonard Bernstein – fall more into the category of classic Americana. The album’s central theme lies in its three different settings of beloved former American Poet-Laureate Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” arguably our nation’s best-known single poem; a work that Frost himself called “…my best bid for remembrance.”
While several of the composers here are represented by multiple songs (up to seven apiece), we have chosen not to block each tunesmith’s efforts together in the recording, opting instead to sequence the entire program with contrasting moods and tempi in mind, so as to make for a well-balanced and engaging listening experience overall. The following notes will cover the particulars of each composer’s life and representative works together in single, all-inclusive paragraphs. In order to convey a sense of running history, the composers will be discussed in chronological order, by date of birth.
Notes to be continued…
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