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Jed Distler, November 2015

Out of the five singers, I respond most positively to Donald Graham’s suave baritone, Gianna d’Angelo’s effortless high-register agility, and Phyllis Curtin’s impressive sense of rhythm (her deft handling of short notes in “The Nightingale”, for example). Like many composers who play the piano, Rorem shines as an accompanist, as his crisp, sensitive support bears out… © 2015

Robert McColley
Fanfare, March 2007

Each of the five singers makes it clear why Rorem enjoyed performing with them. I had never heard Regina Sarfaty before, though she was active for decades in grand opera and concerts, so I was especially struck by her singing in the Pulitzer Prize-winning song, The Lordly Hudson (1947, poem by Paul Goodman) and in the chillingly comic depiction of insanity in text, voice, and piano in Visits to St. Elizabeths (1957, poem by Elizabeth Bishop).

All the songs demonstrate Rorem’s talent for direct communication and creating music that supports texts and intensifies their meanings. The earliest songs are fine, the later ones perhaps more likely to surprise with unusual turns of the vocal line and dramatic effects in the piano. © 2007 Fanfare  Read complete review

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