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Garth Baxter: Ask the Moon


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Composer Garth Baxter makes his Parma debut with a collection of his exquisite works for voice entitled Ask the Moon. This album is about the human condition and the pursuit of light in darkness. A setting of Sara Teasdale’s “Nights Without Sleep,” for voice and piano commences the album’s journey of introspection. Then there is Three Madrigals—“There is a Lady Sweet and Kind,” combines the elegance of the English art song with the character of a Stephen Foster folk tune; the performance of “The Silver Swan,” a dark Irish ballad of sorts, is evocative of the Leontyne Price recordings of Samuel Barber’s art songs; “Love Me Not for Comely Grace,” embodies its text, demonstrating the sweet, yet complicated burden of affections. Following is “Is This the Cost?” an elegiac exemplar of Baxter’s flair for dramatic writing derived from Act II, Scene II of his opera Lily (Lisa VanAuken, librettist). Four Views of Love begins with “When You Are Old,” a reflective setting of the classic Yeats text. Be prepared for an incredible climax that expresses fully the ranges of the piano and the human voice trailed by blissful catharsis. Closing the album is Skywriting, a cycle “drawing on words by Linda Pastan.” In the composer’s own words—“[Pastan’s] poems have so often touched me so deeply and in such a very personal way that it feels as if she has been listening to my thoughts. The title of the album, Ask the Moon, comes from the closing line of the final song, ‘Why are your poems so dark?’”
Facts
Item number NV6133
Barcode 896931004336
Release date 1/12/2018
Category Vocal
Label NAVONA
Media type COMPACT DISC
Number of units 1
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