LSM Newswire

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Laitman's Mystery Garners Further Acclaim in Patricia Green's New CD


Laitman's Mystery Garners Further Acclaim in Patricia Green's New CD


"Laitman is one of the best and most prolific song writers at work today," writes Robert Moore in the American Record Guide Review of Patricia Green's new Blue Griffin release, Unsleeping, in which the Canadian mezzo-soprano pays tribute to six living international composers, with Laitman singled out to represent the United States with a song cycle titled Mystery. This version of the 1998 cycle, originally composed for baritone and recorded on Laitman's eponymous first solo CD, has already received several glowing reviews, and serves as a testament to the composer's extraordinary skills in adapting her remarkable art songs to a variety of voice types, making them accessible to a wider tapestry of vocal talent. In speaking of her approach and method, the composer says:

"In my vocal writing, I always compose the vocal line first. I custom construct each melody to emphasize the words or phrases of a poem that I find most important. I also take great care to create a musical line that will work well for the voice. Of course, other musical aspects factor into my work, but having a primary focus on melody makes my songs particularly adaptable to other voice types — so long as the accompaniment can function in another key and the text remains appropriate."


The song cycle consists of five settings to poems by American poet Sara Teasdale. Of the current recording Gramophone Magazine writes: "The teaming of composer Lori Laitman and poet Sara Teasdale in Mystery results in five songs of generous lyricism and propulsive ardour." Colin Clarke of Fanfare Magazine says: "Laitman… has made her name in the field of art song, and it is not difficult to hear why. These are exquisitely crafted miniatures. The delicious love song, "Spray" (the cycle's second movement), is most movingly and tenderly rendered here. The quasi-improvised nature of the piano part to "The Mystery" gives it almost a late-night jazz feel before "The Rose" introduces the character of Pierrot in a portrayal of deeply felt regret."


The youngest composer featured on this new recording, Lori Laitman's "exceptional gifts for embracing a poetic text and giving it new and deeper life through music" (The Journal of Singing), finds the composer with over 200 songs to her credit, setting the words of classical and contemporary poets with uncanny skill and unmatched beauty. Laitman's own fourth solo CD, Within These Spaces, was released in May 2009 by Albany Records. The composer's full-length opera, The Scarlet Letter, to poet David Mason's libretto on Hawthorne's literary masterpiece, opened to splendid accolades in November 2008.


Laitman is currently composing Vedem, a Holocaust oratorio commissioned by Music of Remembrance. The work is based on the story of the underground magazine published at the Terezin concentration camp, and weaves poet David Mason's haunting new libretto with poetry written by the Czech boys imprisoned at the camp. Vedem will premiere on May 10, 2010 in Seattle, WA, and will feature musicians from Music of Remembrance as well as the famed Northwest Boy choir. The busy composer's calendar in the upcoming months will see her presenting master classes and workshops at Cleveland Institute of Music, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, The Buckeye NATS Fall Workshop, Colorado College, and the Virginia NATS Spring Conference.


Find more information about Lori Laitman's music on her official website at: www.artsongs.com.

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