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Emma Kirkby, The Romantic Chamber Group of London - Amy Beach: Chanson d'amour (2002)

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Emma Kirkby, The Romantic Chamber Group of London - Amy Beach: Chanson d'amour (2002)

Amy Beach - Chanson d'amour (2002)
Emma Kirkby, soprano; The Romantic Chamber Group of London

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 227 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 157 Mb | Artwork included
Genre: Classical, Vocal | Label: BIS | # BIS-CD-1245 | Time: 01:05:45

Emma Kirkby, doyenne of the Early Music scene, here shows that she's just as comfortable in music of a more recent vintage. Amy Beach was a woman ahead of her time, performing as solo pianist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra by the age of 18. The same year (1885), she married Henry Beach and, no longer able to perform publicly (it would have gone against her social status), she instead settled down to composing. And delightful stuff it is, too, as Kirkby and friends demonstrate in this charming recital.

A number of the songs add violin, cello, or both to the piano and voice combination. "Ecstasy," for instance, has a most effective violin part that is an ideal foil to the purity of Kirkby's voice. Other highlights include the Schumannesque Browning Songs and the amiable Shakespeare Songs (the last of which, "Fairy Lullaby," is irresistible). The final item here, "Elle et moi," is an upbeat little number that suits Kirkby's lithe soprano to perfection. Occasionally, in some of the more lushly textured songs, such as "A Mirage" and "Stella Viatoris," perhaps a fuller voice would have been preferable, but then sample "Chanson d'amour" (written when Beach was only 21 and with a wonderful cello part in addition to the piano) and try to imagine it being better sung. The purely instrumental items are played with unfailing sensitivity and elegance. The Romance is straight out of the salon, while the much later Piano Trio (though actually based on early material) packs plenty of emotion and variety into its 14 minutes. The recording is exemplary, as are the concise notes and texts and translations.

Review by Harriet Smith, Amazon.com Editorial Review

Amy Beach’s best­selling piece was her setting of Pippa’s song‚ ‘The year’s at the spring’ with its famous conclusion: ‘God’s in His Heaven‚ All’s right with the world’. Some such feeling pervades all these compositions. Not at the level of religious or philosophical exaltation‚ but in general mood they offer a pretty‚ genial adornment in music for a world which seems to trouble no aspect of the composing process: harmony‚ rhythm‚ form and‚ in song‚ selection of words and the manner of their setting‚ all tell of contentment. The pieces are ‘jolies’‚ ‘gemütlich’‚ ‘nice’. So are the performances‚ with Emma Kirkby’s soprano the very voice of Browning’s Pippa passing‚ all innocence and gladness.

Of course‚ the listener may not always respond in kind. Personally‚ this one grew less sweet­tempered by the minute. A very little of this faultlessly­crafted complacency sets me up in optimism for the day; any more and thoughts of the daily realities (massacres and muggings‚ cancers and corruptions) begin to protest. Amy Beach was not a stranger to pain. An infant prodigy (they say she sang 40 tunes in perfect pitch at the age of one)‚ a virtuoso pianist (soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at 18)‚ she married a doctor who died and left her grief­stricken but ready to start up again. Her published compositions reached Op 152‚ and in a recent (but not necessarily up­to­date) account two­thirds of them were said to have been recorded. So we don’t have to feel either that she was one of the ‘full many a flower born to blush unseen’‚ or that this present record is a bravely pioneering issue.

There is a gentle‚ mild pleasure to be found in this drawing­room music‚ and certainly any drawing­room that was graced by artists such as these would be fortunate indeed. The in­strumentalists have a fine delicacy of touch and energy of approach‚ so that the music is not allowed to languish into mere commonplace. Emma Kirkby sings with her customary purity of tone and powers of sweetly softening. The colouring ranges from white to pink or light blue‚ nothing deeper; and this would not matter if there were a real legato and/or a less bland expressiveness. My own feeling is that out of so much talent‚ the composer should have produced something less complacent than what we have here‚ and that the singer‚ at this stage in her career‚ might more happily be looking for music which would expand rather than confine the range of her expressive powers.

Review by Gramophone Magazine

Emma Kirkby, The Romantic Chamber Group of London - Amy Beach: Chanson d'amour (2002)



Emma Kirkby, soprano
The Romantic Chamber Group of London
Paul Barritt, violin
Charles Medlam, cello
James Lisney, piano

Tracklist:

Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (1867-1944)

01. Ecstasy, Op.19 No.2 (2:21)
02. Chanson d'amour (4:34)
03. A Mirage, Op.100 No.1 (2:54)
04. Stella Viatoris, Op.100 No.2 (2:53)
05. Rendezvous (4:49)
06. Three Browning Songs, Op.44 - I. The Year's at the Spring (0:56)
07. Three Browning Songs, Op.44 - II. Ah, Love, but a day! (2:54)
08. Three Browning Songs, Op.44 - III. I send my heart up to thee! (2:50)
09. Romance (5:51)
10. Three Shakespeare Songs, Op.37 - I. O Mistress Mine (2:31)
11. Three Shakespeare Songs, Op.37 - II. Take, O take those lips away (1:37)
12. Three Shakespeare Songs, Op.37 - III. Fairy Lullaby (2:05)
13. Piano Trio in A minor, Op.150 - I. Allegro (4:46)
14. Piano Trio in A minor, Op.150 - II. Lento expressivo (5:04)
15. Piano Trio in A minor, Op.150 - III. Allegro con brio (4:23)
16. Nähe des Geliebten, Op.35 No.3 (3:09)
17. Ich sagte nicht, Op.51 No.1 (2:17)
18. Wir drei, Op.51 No.2 (2:38)
19. Je demande à l’oiseau, Op.51 No.4 (2:07)
20. Canzonetta, Op.48 No.4 (2:09)
21. Elle et moi, Op.21 No.3 (2:56)


Exact Audio Copy V1.3 from 2. September 2016

EAC extraction logfile from 10. June 2018, 17:57

Emma Kirkby, The Romantic Chamber Group of London / Amy Beach - Chanson d'amour

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foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2018-06-13 02:00:42

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Emma Kirkby, Charles Medlam, James Lisney / Amy Beach - Chanson d'amour (1)
Emma Kirkby, James Lisney / Amy Beach - Chanson d'amour (2-12)
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR13 -2.64 dB -21.63 dB 4:34 02-Chanson d'amour
DR11 -3.97 dB -20.54 dB 0:56 06-Three Browning Songs, Op.44 - I. The Year's at the Spring
DR13 -2.10 dB -22.80 dB 2:50 08-Three Browning Songs, Op.44 - III. I send my heart up to thee!
DR13 -3.31 dB -23.13 dB 2:31 10-Three Shakespeare Songs, Op.37 - I. O Mistress Mine
DR12 -3.77 dB -23.97 dB 1:37 11-Three Shakespeare Songs, Op.37 - II. Take, O take those lips away
DR15 -8.52 dB -29.67 dB 2:05 12-Three Shakespeare Songs, Op.37 - III. Fairy Lullaby
DR13 -0.30 dB -24.04 dB 3:09 16-Nähe des Geliebten, Op.35 No.3
DR13 -3.71 dB -27.05 dB 2:17 17-Ich sagte nicht, Op.51 No.1
DR14 -2.69 dB -24.08 dB 2:38 18-Wir drei, Op.51 No.2
DR13 -6.05 dB -27.97 dB 2:07 19-Je demande à l’oiseau, Op.51 No.4
DR14 -4.05 dB -25.90 dB 2:09 20-Canzonetta, Op.48 No.4
DR12 -4.41 dB -23.95 dB 2:56 21-Elle et moi, Op.21 No.3
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 12
Official DR value: DR13

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 469 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Emma Kirkby, Paul Barritt, James Lisney / Amy Beach - Chanson d'amour
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR13 -5.01 dB -24.76 dB 2:21 01-Ecstasy, Op.19 No.2
DR12 -1.75 dB -21.67 dB 4:49 05-Rendezvous
DR13 -1.22 dB -22.27 dB 2:54 07-Three Browning Songs, Op.44 - II. Ah, Love, but a day!
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 3
Official DR value: DR13

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 469 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Emma Kirkby, The Romantic Chamber Group of London / Amy Beach - Chanson d'amour (1-2)
Paul Barritt, James Lisney / Amy Beach - Chanson d'amour (3)
The Romantic Chamber Group of London / Amy Beach - Chanson d'amour (4-6)
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR13 -10.17 dB -29.02 dB 2:54 03-A Mirage, Op.100 No.1
DR13 0.00 dB -20.79 dB 2:53 04-Stella Viatoris, Op.100 No.2
DR14 -5.42 dB -26.26 dB 5:51 09-Romance
DR14 -3.32 dB -23.91 dB 4:46 13-Piano Trio in A minor, Op.150 - I. Allegro
DR14 -5.21 dB -25.01 dB 5:04 14-Piano Trio in A minor, Op.150 - II. Lento expressivo
DR13 -3.02 dB -23.68 dB 4:23 15-Piano Trio in A minor, Op.150 - III. Allegro con brio
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 6
Official DR value: DR13

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 469 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

Emma Kirkby, The Romantic Chamber Group of London - Amy Beach: Chanson d'amour (2002)

All thanks to original releaser - A-Z

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