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MusicWeb International, May 2012

The songs are highly attractive nonetheless: tuneful, harmonically delicate, nearly all gently contemplative, and indeed sounding more British than American, an impression deepened by Donald George’s surprisingly British English-sounding accent and style. Many of Lang’s songs have Scottish or Irish elements, and the lovely Irish Love Song op.22 was in fact one of her most successful works, reportedly running to over 120,000 copies when published.

Twenty-five songs in 48 minutes indicates an inclination towards considerable brevity, and indeed there are only two songs over three minutes. Objections might be raised regarding the artistic value of setting Edward Lear’s doggerel to music, but Lang carries out that thankless task with panache and wit, including an amusing new ‘flight of the bumble-bee’ in ‘There was an old man in a tree’. Elsewhere the generally American poetry is more deserving, but Lang in any case unfailingly injects her chosen texts with fresh blood.

Donald George has a good voice and even better diction. He sings with great expression, resisting any temptation to turn melodramatic. Lucy Mauro’s accompaniment is thoughtfully understated, complementing always rather than bossing. Mauro and George have been performing together as DuoDrama for five years, and this is their debut CD.

Sound quality is impressive. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Ira Byelick
American Record Guide, January 2012

Donald George—with his attractive, slightly dark tenor voice and warm vibrato—is a good choice…Lucy Mauro’s playing is crisp and well suited to the music… © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

Margarida Mota-Bull
MusicWeb International, December 2011

I had the pleasure of reviewing this one. Again, as with the Mozart DVD, it was a wonderful surprise. Lang was nearly forgotten, largely due to herself, as she destroyed many of her works but she was a fascinating woman composer who lived nearly 105 years! It was a delightful, refreshing experience to listen to her music and to talk to the performers who had the brilliant idea of making this CD. Initiatives such as these, deserve to be acknowledged in any possible manner. To me, the revelation of the year! © MusicWeb International

Margarida Mota-Bull
MusicWeb International, October 2011

Love is everywhere is the title of this CD with Lang’s songs and also the name of the first piece in the album, which is part of Songs of Love Gained and Lost. The songs in the present CD (volume 1) are organised by themes. Besides the one already mentioned, the others are: Songs for Lovers of Children, Nonsense Rhymes and Pictures, and finally, Parting Words and Songs. Though for me personally, the Songs of Love Gained and Lost are the most charming, I must say that I found them all not only extremely accomplished but also possessed of an incredible freshness that both touched and moved me. Love is everywhere, Irish Love Song (which are part of the first theme) and Snowflakes (which is part of the last group) are exquisitely beautiful pieces, with appealing melodies, where text and music merge in perfect harmony; always a sign, I think, of an exceptionally good song. Some of Ms Lang’s other songs, as for example Deserted, Ghosts or The Sandman reminded me of German Lieder, which is perhaps not surprising, as she knew Wagner and other German musicians, and also studied violin and counterpoint in Munich when she was nineteen years old. Lang’s music is witty, full of a fine, subtle sense of humour, wonderfully demonstrated in the amusing though refined lines of the Nonsense Rhymes and Pictures Songs. Moreover, I was amazed at her extraordinary talent to illustrate the poems in music. In this CD the texts are from American poets but, as far as I am aware, they were not created as lyrics for a song, yet, Lang almost gives us the impression that they were. This is a tremendous achievement and a difficult skill that even some of the greatest composers were not always able to master; however, Ms Lang did and with great accomplishment.

Throughout the disc, I had the impression that this recording was a labour of love for tenor Donald George and pianist Lucy Mauro…George’s and Mauro’s care and dedication in performing and bringing these songs to the general public is patent in every single track of the CD. Undoubtedly, there is a great musical rapport between the two, creating a harmonious partnership between voice and piano, which effectively enhances the songs. Donald George is in great form here and Lang’s pieces suit his voice. He sings them with obvious enjoyment and great expression, as if narrating a story in song. His tone is very warm and his diction crystal clear, which enriches the whole experience, as one can distinctly perceive each sound, each vowel, each word and its meaning within the context of the full lyrics. Lucy Mauro’s piano accompaniment serves George’s vocals perfectly. The piano never overpowers the voice; it highlights and completes it. Mauro performs the pieces with apparent delight and marvellous clarity, displaying not only an excellent technique but also a detailed understanding of Lang’s scores.

The sound quality of the recording is excellent. It is clear that remarkable care went into each detail and the CD is well presented in a stylish, subtle package with sunny colours. It includes a leaflet with detailed information in English about the composer, as well as artists’ biographies. Intelligently, instead of just having the usual booklet notes, we are offered an excellent companion disc, which contains a wealth of interesting items: Copies of original selected manuscripts, the cover of Lang’s songbook, the texts to the songs in volumes 1 and 2, and finally, a real treat for anyone who can play the piano: The complete scores of the songs in volumes 1 and 2. Volume 2, entitled New Love Must Rise, is due to be launched in January 2012.

For me, this CD was an immensely enjoyable journey of discovery and I took great pleasure in listening to the work of a composer whom I knew nothing about. Lang’s music is positively delightful and any initiative, which brings such gems to the public knowledge, deserves to be highly applauded. I can hardly wait for volume 2 to appear!

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