Joshua Hopkins: baritone, Jerad Mosbey: piano
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Songs of Travel - The Vagabond / Let Beauty Awake / The Roadside Fire / Youth and Love / In Dreams / The Infinite Shining Heavens / Whither must I Wander / Bright is the Ring of Words / I Have Trod the Upward and the Downward Slope
Srul Irving Glick: South of North – Images of Canada / Wilderness on Centre Island / Vane / Grace / Northern River Falls / Privity / Stripe / Congregation At The Shoreline
Paul Bowles: Blue Mountain Ballads - Heavenly Grass / Lonesome Man / Cabin / Sugar in the Cane
Samuel Barber: Three Songs, Op. 45 - Now Have I Fed and Eaten up the Rose / A Green Lowland of Pianos / O Boundless, Boundless Evening
Wholenote Discoveries - December 2010 / January 2011
Themes of travel evoke the feelings of longing and at times, despair, and are well-loved devices of many poets. The song cycle embraced the idea of travel most famously with the works of Schubert and Mahler, but on this recording we get a wonderful, if at times tenously connected assembly of four contemporary cycles. The works of Vaughan Williams, Srul Irving Glick, Paul Bowles (yes, the Sheltering Sky Paul Bowles!) and Samuel Barber reach for the texts of great poets, including Nobel laureats. Robert Louis Stevenson, Richard Outram, Tennessee Williams, Czeslaw Miłosz and James Joyce prove beyond reasonable doubt that a great song cycle does not have to be sung in German. The young baritone Joshua Hopkins, a “product” of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, must have quite a trophy case at home: he is the winner of 2006 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, the Verbier Festival Academy’s 2008 Prix d’Honneur, Placido Domingo Operalia Competition, ARD Musikwettbeverb and the Julian Gayarre Singing competition. His baritone is of a powerful, virile, yet smooth variety, although some will quibble about the unexpected vibrato. The interpretation of at times difficult repertoire (try singing “during the artistic milking suddenly they lie down like cows” and make it convincing!) is flawless and well assisted by Jerad Mosbey’s intelligent piano playing. An interesting CD and a great addition to ATMA Classique’s winning streak. Robert Tomas
Winner of the 2006 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award and the Verbier Festival Academy's 2008 Prix d'Honneur, Joshua Hopkins has been hailed as "…an outstanding young baritone with a virile, vigorous yet velvety sound and an immediately evident dramatic authority." Mr. Hopkins has signed an exclusive recording contract with ATMA Classique and his first solo recital recording on the label includes English language songs by Vaughan Williams, Glick, Bowles and Barber.
This vocal recital features four contrasting and highly individual twentieth-century song cycles. Though apparently unconnected, Vaughan-Williams’ landmark Songs of Travel, Srul Irving Glick’s South of North - Images of Canada, Paul Bowles’ Blue Mountain Ballads, and Samuel Barber’s Three Songs, Opus 45 are united by the English language and by a strong sense of place - more specifically, by the underlying presence of nature.
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