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Artsong Update, October 2002

"It grabs you and doesn't let go. Darryl Taylor's new CD is a collection of some twenty art songs that covers a wide range of expression and demonstrates just how versatile this singer can be with formidable powers of expression and a beautiful voice.

This CD should win a greater audience for African-American art song with its world-class singer, high quality sound and the last recorded work of William Warfield reading/singing eight poems by Langston Hughes as an added bonus."

"This collection is a gem! Langston Hughes was a very "musical" poet who was inspired by a variety of forms, from jazz to classical. His poetry in turn inspired a whole generation of composers, thirteen of whom are represented here in fifteen art songs. Additionally, eight Hughes poems are read by William Warfield."

Robert Baxter

"Tenor Darryl Taylor embarks on a more rewarding artistic journey in a collection of songs based on the poems of Langston Hughes. Taylor does not command the vibrant tone or the vocal charisma of a Domingo, but he sings with commitment in this fine collection.

Accompanied by pianist Maria Corley, Taylor catches the quiet intensity of John Musto's "Litany" as well as the joyous verve in William Grant Still's "A Black Pierrot."

Copyright restrictions prevent Naxos from providing texts. Taylor compensates by singing the words with clarity and expression.

Hughes has inspired a range of composers from Kurt Weill to contemporary songsmith Ricky Ian Gordon. Margaret Bonds provides a powerful score for "The Negro Speaks of Rivers."

Adding to the appeal of this compilation is the vivid voice of narrator William Warfield reciting excerpts from Hughes' work."

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