Love’s Signature: Songs for Countertenor & Soprano by Juliana Hall | MSR Classics MS1603

Love’s Signature: Songs for Countertenor & Soprano by Juliana Hall


Label: MSR Classics

Cat No: MS1603

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 5th May 2017



Love’s Signature traverses time and space to celebrate various types of love: characters from the plays of William Shakespeare (1564-1616) reveal universal human experiences of love throughout different times in our lives; the letters of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) exemplify the love we have for those specific people in our circles who touch us more personally; and the poems of Marianne Moore (1887-1972) speak of how one’s love for an art form like music can provide inspiration and beauty to enrich life.

Juliana Hall is an American art song composer whose works have been described as “genuinely moving” and “brilliant.” Hall has written more than 40 song cycles, vocal chamber works and instrumental solo and chamber works, and her music has been heard in concerts worldwide, with performances at the Ambassador Auditorium, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Herbst Theatre, Library of Congress, Ordway Theater, Théâtre du Châtelet, Weill Recital Hall and Wigmore Hall. Festival appearances include the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, London Festival of American Music, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Ojai Music Festival, SongFest and Tanglewood Music Center. Widely performed, Hall’s work has been programmed by the ANA Trio, Calliope’s Call, Capital Fringe, Casement Fund Song Series, CHAI Collaborative Ensemble, Cincinnati Song Initiative, Contemporary Undercurrent of Song Project, Denver Art Song Project, Ensemble for These Times, Feminine Musique, Fourth Coast Ensemble, Joy in Singing, Lynx Project, Lyric Fest, Mallarmé Chamber Players, Song in the City, Sparks & Wiry Cries, Voices of Change and Zenith Ensemble. Special performances include selections from her song cycle Night Dances on Dawn Upshaw’s First Songs project at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York and a performance of her tenor song cycle The Holy Sonnets of John Donne at a Holy Week meditation service in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Several of Hall’s works have been recorded for the Albany and Vienna Modern Masters record labels, and her songs have been broadcast in the United States by NPR radio network stations, WGBH Boston and WQXR New York, and internationally by Radio France, Radio Horizon Johannesburg, Radio MonaLisa Amsterdam and the BBC. Hall began her musical career as a pianist, studying with Boris Berman, Jeanne Kirstein, Seymour Lipkin and Lee Luvisi. She was a composition major at the Yale School of Music, where she earned her Master’s degree in Composition, studying with Martin Bresnick, Leon Kirchner and Frederic Rzewski. Hall completed her formal composition studies with composer Dominick Argento in Minneapolis. In 1989, Hall was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition.

O Mistress Mine] gorgeous language is woven through a piano line that ranges from the piquant to the smooth. The choice of countertenor to voice these songs is an inspired one, and Darryl Taylor delivers the words with sensitivity and emotional involvement, while the composer herself provides first-rate accompaniment... a pleasant, involving and attractively structured cycle... [Hall's settings] they fit the texts well and give Narucki and Berman ample opportunity to emote and express. All these works are world première recordings, and all will be of interest to fans of modern music for vocal recitals.” - Mark J. Estren, InfoDad (March 2017)

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