V0436. CAROLE BOGARD,w. John Moriarty (Pf.); Beth Orson (oboe): A Collection of American Songs. [This is truly a treasure of a superb recital!] 2-Parnassus 96021/22. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 60634521223
“With a release such as this, we can only figure that the producers hope that there remains a contingent of listeners still interested in hearing what some American classical songwriters were up to during the last century. You may be surprised. This collection, taken from recordings made during a 15-year period–from the late-1960s through the early-’80s–covers a lot of ‘repertorial’ and historical ground, but stylistically, with the exception of the more adventurous Copland and Flanagan songs, the differences are small. Some will welcome this, for the music generally is ever-so-tonal and tuneful and easy on the ear while displaying each composer’s unique way with English words and ‘modern’ sentiments. And soprano Carole Bogard is a natural-born interpreter, in every sense: she not only knows the language but, with her confident, personable delivery, she convinces you that she really cares about each song and wants you to feel the same. Her tone is bright and sharply focused, her pitch impeccably well-tuned, her diction clear and intelligible, her phrasing sensible.
The best-sounding material is on the first disc - the Duke and Cumming songs from a 1980s Cambridge LP and the Rorem pieces, recorded for European broadcast in the 1970s. However, there’s nothing here sonically that should give anyone pause….the very generous timings of the two discs bring the total program to more than two and one half hours of music. But who’s really complaining? I just hope that the producers of this recording are correct and that there really are listeners out there who care about American art song and will spend some pleasurable moments getting to know it. Here’s your chance.”
- David Vernier, ClassicsToday, 8 Aug., 2001
“Here, Parnassus is pleased to present a superb collection of American songs, half of them previously unpublished, and in two cases accompanied by the composers.
CAROLE BOGARD: A COLLECTION OF AMERICAN SONGS includes major song cycles of John Alden Carpenter, Aaron Copland, and Ned Rorem, all accompanied by the distinguished pianist and conductor John Moriarty. Groups of songs by John Duke and Richard Cumming feature the composers as pianists. In a group of songs by the late William Flanagan, the pianist is the famous composer David del Tredici, here making a rare appearance as a performer.
This set, one of the most extensive collections of American art song on CD, presents many otherwise-unavailable songs (only those of Copland can be considered ‘standard repertory’). They are sung by one of the most distinguished interpreters this literature has ever had. Ned Rorem considers her, as quoted in the booklet, one of the ‘three American singers of importance to the agonizing art song’.
The songs by Flanagan, Duke, and Cumming were previously released on now-scarce LPs by the Desto and Cambridge labels. The songs of Carpenter, Copland, and Rorem, from European broadcasts, are all previously unpublished.
The accompanying booklet includes extensive program notes and complete texts of all the songs."