Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount



CD & Download: CDBaby

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981)
Despite and still
Nuvoletta op. 25 (1947) [5:21]
Hermit Songs op. 29 (1952-53) [17:17]
The secrets of the old op. 13 no. 2 (1938) [1:26]
Sure on this shining night op. 13 no. 3 (1938) [2:32]
Despite and Still op. 41 (1968-69) [10:53]
Monks and Raisins op. 18 no. 2 (1943) [1:24]
Rain has fallen op. 10 no. 1 (1935) [2:36]
Three songs op. 45 (1972) [7:16]
Melissa Fogarty (soprano); Marc Peloquin (piano)
rec. Concert Hall, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, 10, 12, 14 January 2011. DDD

Experience Classicsonline

I was pleased to make the acquaintance of soprano Melissa Fogarty and especially in this Barber song recital. How easy it would have been for Fogarty and Peloquin - who also share an interest in Del Tredici - to have opted for one of those standard diffuse anthologies. Instead we get a well-targeted and aptly sung survey of the soprano songs of one composer, the glorious Samuel Barber. This is her second album after the “Handel: Scorned and Betrayed”.
Words are clearly important to her as is clear from her attention to sung clarity. My only criticism is that I wondered about her range of dynamics and the extent to which she truly achieves quiet singing. These doubts might be down to the vividly confronting recording which wonderfully engages with the theatrical drama of many of these songs. After all Barber’s operatic lineage came to him via his aunt the contralto Louise Homer.
Fogarty is a many talented, hard-working and attractive singer who has all the marks of a star in waiting. I shall not be surprised to hear that she has figured on one of the major US talk shows: Letterman or Leno. Their researchers should be scheduling an appearance soon. Her lineage runs back to such towering Barber figures as Horne, Price and Steber. One wonders why no-one has yet offered her the opportunity to tackle Barber’s Knoxville for which her intelligence, operatic chops and poignant sensitivity make a perfect fit. Even so she is not so grand that she turns down weddings and funerals. As she explains in her website she has “experience in just about every religion and denomination. Parties too! … Not just classical. American Song Book Standards and 1960s and 1970s rock are also a specialty.”
Fogarty’s Barber song nexus was forged back in her days as a student at the Eastman School of Music and was further expressed during last year’s Barber centennial where her New York Bargemusic concert with Peloquin attracted much critical praise.
The tricky Nuvoletta is a piece of operetta bravura. Written with grant aid from the Coolidge Foundation, Hermit Songs sets anonymous poems by Irish monks and scholars from the 8th to the 13th centuries. The translations are by W.H. Auden, Chester Kallman and Sean O’Faolain. It was premiered by Leontyne Price in 1953 at the Library of Congress, with Barber as the pianist. Fogarty handles their often brief sour and sweet subtleties, frilly abandon, stony chiming and operatic dignity with all the practised acumen of someone who has performed these songs for quite some time. The reflective experience brought to the playing and singing is patent. The Monk and His Cat (tr. 9) brings off the resolution of delightful lyrical line and gawky-sweet piano. The final song (Desire for the Hermitage) finds Barber marrying lyrical sweetness and direct pianistic eloquence.
The five songs setting poems by Robert Graves, Theodore Roethke and James Joyce, of Despite and Still were composed in the wake of the ‘failure’ of Antony and Cleopatra at the Met. Fogarty here picks up on the blend of stand and deliver declamation and musing introspection. Despite and Still with its swirling and trilling dark waters from the piano is deeply and operatically impressive. Have these songs been orchestrated they would be apt to the treatment. The cycle is again dedicated to Leontyne Price who premiered it in New York in 1969.
Three Songs, Op. 45 was written during the same period. The stellar chill of Now Have I fed contrasts with the pirouetting carefree delight of A Green Lowland of Pianos also clearly the inspiration of one of the packages internal paintings. Sure on this Shining Night sets words by James Agee who also wrote the poem later set by Barber for Knoxville.
The design of the CD package and especially the smile-inducing drawings (Good News Bible meets surrealism) by Bryce Edwards are as much part of the success of this disc as Marc Peloquin’s always thoughtful and adept playing of the Baldwin SD-10 piano. No texts provided, though given Fogarty’s attention to enunciation this only intermittently presents a challenge.
Intelligence, operatic chops and sensitivity make Fogarty and Peloquin a perfect fit for this serious sequence of Barber songs.
Rob Barnett 


























































































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.