Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?  
Keyword Search
 in   
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews



 
See latest reviews of other albums...

Henry Fogel
Fanfare, September 2017

The performances here range from good to considerably better. Nicole Cabell’s singing of just over half the songs is exquisite: delicately shaded, tonally lovely, and sensitive to the texts. Neither of the two male singers has a voice with the distinctiveness of hers, but both are fine singers and more than do justice to the songs. Tenor Alek Shrader really understands the French style. The usual range of subjects—love, grief, nature, and religion—are all covered in Boulanger’s melodies. Some songs are surprisingly passionate from a composer whom history has painted as a reserved and controlled personality.

The instrumental works, all miniatures, are skillfully crafted (as one would expect from a life-long pedagogue), but also display a spark of ingenuity and inspiration. …There is throughout the disc a great deal of variety of mood and color, which helps to maintain interest. Pianist Lucy Mauro does yeoman’s work as both soloist and as collaborative pianist, though without demonstrating a really strong musical personality. The cellist and organist are quite good as well, and the well-balanced and natural recorded sound is also a plus. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



David Reynolds
American Record Guide, July 2017

The soloists are excellent. One can hear-immediately that bass-baritone Edwin Crossley-Mercer has an advantage over Nicole Cabell and Alek Shrader as a native French speaker. Crossley-Mercer’s sinuous, sexy voice makes one want to hear more of him in this repertoire. Nevertheless, Cabell and Shrader have been well-coached in their French. Cabell’s voice has a throbbing vibrato that took my ears a little while to get used to. She enunciates clearly and manages well in music that is perhaps a little low for her and doesn’t ask her to soar to high notes. Shrader’s beautiful voice has darker colors than I would have suspected given his operatic roles. He too manages the texts well without sounding quite as comfortable as Crossley-Mercer does. Pianist Lucy Mauro accompanies superbly. Much of the color of Boulanger’s settings is in the piano part, and Mauro supports and leads her soloists without ever overshadowing them. Her traversal of Boulanger’s piano works is very good.

Cellist Amit Peled plays the works for cello and piano (with Mauro) exquisitely. Francois-Henri Houbart does justice to Boulanger’s organ works. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Gary Higginson
MusicWeb International, June 2017

…I have found much of this music very beautiful and moving, and the performances have enhanced my enjoyment. Both singers seem ideal especially the warm toned Alek Shrader and the Cavaillé Coll organ at the Madeleine Church in Paris which Mademoiselle knew well is a typical bundle of French joy, with the Trois improvisations being particularly pleasing. All performances allow the music to speak although the piano when accompanying… © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Pamela Margles
The WholeNote, April 2017

The 26 songs prove worthy of being in every recitalist’s repertoire, especially as performed by these fine singers—the thrillingly expressive soprano Nicole Cabell, the robust yet nuanced baritone Edwin Crossley-Mercer and the versatile, characterful tenor Alek Shrader.

The Trois pièces for cello and piano are Boulanger’s most frequently performed works. Amit Peled’s impassioned cello and Lucy Mauro’s elegant, sensitive piano provide the most engaging interpretation I’ve heard.

But it’s organist François-Henri Houbart’s dramatic yet delicate performances of the Trois improvisations which I found most thrilling. © 2017 The WholeNote Read complete review




Jeff Simon
The Buffalo News, March 2017

…what you’ve got here is historic and very great indeed: the first recording of music by one of the most important figures in all of 20th century music but one whose own music has been kept under virtual lock and key since her death in 1979 at the age of 92.

Her name is Nadia Boulanger.

Listen to these songs, piano pieces and works for cello and piano and you’ll, in fact, be dumbfounded that it took so long for this music to have its world premiere on record. So much of it is is of a beauty that belies that other, majestic life she led, as a pedagogue who transformed American musical composition in the 20th century. © 2017 The Buffalo News Read complete review





Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group