released 2000 Musical Tapestries Inc.
Music for a G'day Productions
Preludes to Passion is a beautiful collection of short works for the piano, ranging from J.S. Bach's Allemande from his French Suite No. IV, to Sting's tender song The Secret Marriage, arranged for cello and piano featuring cellist Dorothy Lawson of the acclaimed Ethel Quartet; from Poulenc's shimmering Sicilliene from his Suite Francaise to Aaron Copland's reflective In Evening Air, arranged by the composer from his film score for the moving post-World War II documentary "The Cunningham Story."
Several works on the recording were originally composed as vocal -Bartok's Wedding Song from Poniky from his Four Slovak Folk Songs for mixed chorus and piano. The chorus parts sing beautifully from the piano, alongside the original accompaniment, transforming the song into a dramatic two-piano expression of love and regret. The heartbeat and emotion of Sting's The Secret Marriage has the piano joined singing cello lines. Paul Hindemith's The Swan was originally composed for four-part a cappella chorus and set to a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke. Here it is re-expressed at the keyboard with the text recited alongside the music by Metropolitan Opera Chorus baritone Roger Andrews.
The CD also includes short, beautiful works by Peter Schickele, Leo Kraft, Bohuslav Martinu, Eric Ewazen and Steven Rosenhaus.
Laura Leon, piano; with Dorothy Lawson, cello and baritone Roger Andrews