Preludes to Passion is a 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; from Poulenc's shimmering Sicilienne 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 were originally composed as vocal compositions -Bartok's Wedding Song from Poniky from his Four Slovak Folk Songs for mixed chorus and piano. The chorus parts sing beautifully from the keyboard, alongside the original accompaniment, transforming the song of love and regret into a dramatic two-piano setting. Paul Hindemith's The Swan was composed for four-part a cappella chorus, set to a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke. Here it is performed with the text recited alongside the music, by Metropolitan Opera Chorus baritone Roger Andrews.
The CD also includes short works by Peter Schickele, Leo Kraft, Bohuslav Martinu, Eric Ewazen and Steven Rosenhaus.
Laura Leon, piano; with Dorothy Lawson, cello and baritone Roger Andrews.
Cover art and design by Karen Leon.