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Joanne Sydney Lessner
Opera News, March 2015

Zona is at her best in lively numbers like [the “Indian Summer—Blue”]…where her voice takes on added focus, and her direct and slyly self-knowing delivery is the driving force.

Kathleen Tagg is the excellent, expressive pianist. © 2015 Opera News Read complete review




Steven Ritter
Audiophile Audition, February 2015

HEGGIE, J.: Out of Darkness (Music of Remembrance) 8.559770
HEGGIE, J.: Connection: 3 Song Cycles (Zona, Tagg) 8.559764

Jake Heggie just might be the best art song composer since Ned Rorem. There is very little of his music that I have heard that is not, at least, highly engaging, and can think of few composers today who wed the word and melody in such a natural, unaffected manner, perfectly suited to the speech. These discs just bolster that opinion.

What strikes me through all of these pieces is the remarkable consistency of approach; Heggie doesn’t seem to be one who is too concerned about stylistic “development” over the years. Instead he focuses—always—only on the texts at hand, and their dramatic possibilities. I am not sure that a blind hearing would indicate a distance of 15 years between these pieces. Nothing wrong with that—consistency and quality is all that matters, and this composer has those in spades. Excellent performances and recordings. © 2015 Audiophile Audition Read complete review



Erin Heisel
American Record Guide, November 2014

This is an exceptional program of Jake Heggie’s wonderfully varied songs. Performed together, the cycles make a strong statement about female strength and identity in a world that defines women through the men around them.

Zona and Tagg are both excellent. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Richard Whitehouse
Gramophone, September 2014

…Heggie reveals an adept handling of the voice-and-piano medium…it would be wrong to deny the ready appeal of these songs, not least with Regina Zona and Kathleen Tagg as such sympathetic exponents. Certainly…[listeners] will find much to enjoy here. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Paul Corfield Godfrey
MusicWeb International, August 2014

Here we have another disc of his songs which contains the first complete recording of the cycle Eve-Song. Naxos commendably have not only supplied booklet notes by the composer and performers, but also include the complete texts of the songs.

…there is…a considerable amount of very beautiful and very effective music in these three song cycles. We must express our thanks to Naxos for making them available. Those who admire the abilities of Heggie will obviously want this release for Eve-Song, and will have the advantage of discovering two other works from the composer’s earlier career. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Infodad.com, July 2014

The three cycles here all have effective moments, and the four movements of Songs and Sonnets to Ophelia also offer some particularly affecting ones, which Zona brings out movingly and with very fine support from pianist Kathleen Tagg. © 2014 Infodad.com Read complete review



Robert Cummings
Classical Net, July 2014

Soprano Regina Zona turns in splendid performances in all songs. She adapts to the chameleonic character of the songs with seeming ease, never missing a dramatic turn or falling short on a vocal challenge. Indeed, she hits the plentiful high notes with confidence and portrays the characters here with an unerring sense for their emotional state. Kathleen Tagg makes a fine accompanist, skillfully negotiating the considerable melodic and rhythmic complexities in the piano writing, while maintaining a deft sense for dynamics and vocal/piano balance. The sound reproduction is excellent. For admirers of Jake Heggie and those interested in contemporary song, this disc is a must. Even more tradition-minded listeners will find much here to their liking. © 2014 Classical Net Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2014

Jake Heggie is one of America’s most prolific song writers with over two-hundred and fifty already completed, the present disc covering song cycles from the 1990s. The most extensive work—lasting almost half an hour—surrounds Philip Little’s eight parodies on the biblical creation of Eve and all that followed. Throughout the previous two cycles the piano colourfully comments on the words, but here plays a major role to Regina Zona’s powerful projection of words…she is a worthy champion for Heggie and is excellently partnered by the South African-born pianist, Kathleen Tagg. An ideally balanced recording. © 2014 David’s Review Corner





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