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Jason Victor Serinus
San Francisco Classical Voice, May 2020

…Cook remains a superb, rich-voiced artist who, when it comes to singing, is willing to risk exposing her limitations for the sake of expression.

…The recording/engineering/editing of Dmitriy Lipay, who also records the Seattle Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, excellently captures the dimensions of MOR’s artistic home, Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall in Seattle’s Benaroya Hall. © 2020 San Francisco Classical Voice Read complete review

Records International, May 2020

The Parting explores the life and art of Miklos Radnoti, one of the most important poetic witnesses to the Holocaust, and one of its tragic victims. Radnoti’s poems express emotions from love and enchantment to absolute loss, and the work includes texts found in his jacket pocket after his death. This opera is a profound meditation on what it is about art that outlives us, that enables us to be creative even in the face of unimaginable adversity, and reminds us to guard against hatred and to celebrate what makes us human. Libretto included. © 2020 Records International

David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2020

Having already received awards for his opera, After Life, Tom Cipullo adds a further score for Music of Rememberer, the group ensuring we do not forget the Holocaust.

Stylistically he is a disciple of lyrical scores composed in the world of opera belonging to the late 19th century verismo Italians. Rather at odds with his mentors, including Thea Musgrave, he joins a new generation of American composer who reject atonality in favour of the music that has a ready audience. This newly completed work, The Parting, renews the working relationship he enjoyed with the librettist, David Mason, with whom he fashioned, After Life. The story here relates the great Hungarian poet, Miklos Radnoti, who died on a Nazi death march. It was only after the war that his body was exhumed, and in his jacket pockets were poems he had written, many recounting the gruesome sights he had seen. Mason has used them in a supposed final evening that Miklos shared with his wife, Fanni, the other character in the opera being Death. I am sure that it is far more easy to compose music of happiness, and factor of capturing suffering is much more problematic, particularly when you only have an accompaniment from just five instruments that limit his range of tonal colours. Still there are some moving moments captured by the rounded voice of the baritone, Michael Mayes as Miklos, and soprano, Laura Strickling, who carries much of the score, as Fanni. The words are printed in the booklet, and the message they contain is one we must never forget. The opera is in one act lasting just over sixty-five minutes, and is here receiving its World Premiere Recording, the actual sessions taking place two days after it first staging in Seattle. © 2020 David’s Review Corner

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