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The origins of this disc are obviously deeply routed in the bel canto tradition. The term bel canto simply means "beautiful singing" but has come to be known as the operas of the first half of the 19th century specifically those operas composed by Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini and early Verdi. They were my first introduction to the coloratura repertoire and the bel canto style, which embodies all of the necessary elements for great singing and remains my vocal emphasis. The scholar and the singer within me are very happily married in this repertoire where ornamentation on the repeated sections allows the classical singer the freedom to improvise within the style of that composer. The physical stamina necessary to deliver these florid lines with legato and the right amount of rubato require an accompanist who understands these challenges; literally breathing and thus phrasing with the singer.
Within this recording are two settings of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, two of Goethe's Faust, and two "Jewel Songs". These pieces offer great fun to both the singer as interpreter and to the listener in discovering the different renditions of each respective composer. It is a wonderful and exciting journey to see how this style of writing a beautiful florid vocal line has continued throughout the centuries with each composer adding his own particular mark of beauty. This project is representative of that tradition. Running Through The Years takes a journey from 1797—1990.
I hope you enjoy the journey as much as we did!