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Joanne Sydney Lessner
Opera News, March 2015

Caitlin Lynch’s rich, shimmering soprano shines with a resplendent inner light, brilliantly projecting the combination of fortitude and empathy that made Zywulska’s survival possible. [Out of Darkness is] a powerful and painfully beautiful work, and between Miller’s virtuosic chamber ensemble and Lynch’s impassioned, multi-dimensional embodiment of Zywulska, it’s hard to imagine a better performance. © 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

Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, December 2014

Now that anti-Semitism is beginning to throw shadows over Europe again, Heggie’s Opera of survival about the Holocaust is utterly important as a document of what must never happen again. The texts are horrifying but human and the music superhumanly beautiful. Should be heard by every living creature. © 2014 MusicWeb International

Richard Sininger
American Record Guide, November 2014

All these songs are beautifully performed by the three young soloists, Caitlin Lynch, Sarah Larsen, and Morgan Smith, accompanied by an excellent instrumental ensemble. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, October 2014

This is a disc to savour and return to for the beauty of the music, for the excellence of the performances and—most of all—for the message. Never forget the sufferings of millions of innocent people. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Paul Corfield Godfrey
MusicWeb International, July 2014

The singers are expressive, accurately toned and dramatically effective…The accompaniment is for chamber forces only…but provide plenty of contrast and indeed weight where required. The piano part is taken by an artist of the calibre of Craig Sheppard who blends perfectly into the whole… © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review, June 2014

The overall effect of Out of Darkness is intended to be uplifting and to provide some sense of closure, and the performers bring sensitivity and musicality to the entire project. Very well recorded by Naxos, and certainly heartfelt and emotive… © 2014 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2014

Out of Darkness brings together Another Sunrise, Farewell Auschwitz and For a Look or a Touch to form an ‘opera’ by Jake Heggie and librettist, Gene Scheer. The first is a look-back by Krystyna Zywulska, a Polish Jew who was a long-term survivor of Auschwitz, and relates the dreadful events she was forced to do if she was to live on a day by day situation. The second part is a group of eight songs Scheer has created from Zywulska’s poems written in Auschwitz where she had set them to well-known folk tunes and popular melodies…For a Look or a Touch recalls the plight of homosexuals in the days of the Holocaust…The disc is one of unending sadness, reminding us that we must not forget or it will happen all over again. Heggie, who was born long after all of this happened, has become a highly successful opera composer, and among a large number of works he has written more than 250 songs. Here he uses a mix of readily attractive tonal modernity and a look backwards in the cabaret style of Kurt Weill. Caitlin Lynch, Sarah Larsen and Morgan Smith are the superb vocal trio involved, the instrumental ensemble including the pianist, Craig Sheppard. World premiere recording in top quality sound. © 2014 David’s Review Corner

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