LSM Newswire

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Exceptional Praise for Composer Laitmans Fourth Solo CD, Within These Spaces

American composer Lori Laitmans fourth solo CD of vocal works, Within These Spaces (Albany Records, 2009), has received glowing reviews from the music industrys most important critics, confirming yet again the composers incomparable gift and the enduring significance of her prolific musical oeuvre.

One hundred years hence, when critics look back at the art songs of our era, there will be many fine composers to laud and applaud, but few will deserve higher praise than Lori Laitman. Ķ states Gregory Berg (The Journal of Singing, 2010). 

With nearly 200 songs already to her credit, there seems to be not the slightest diminishment in the expressive impact of her writing or the bracing originality of her ideas.  To paraphrase a comment once made about the prolific Camille Saint-Sans, Laitman seems to create great songs as easily and naturally as a tree produces apples, and one might add that hers are especially delicious and distinctiveĶOne of the most striking features of this collection and indeed Laitmans entire oeuvre  is the endless variation and variety, coupled with an overarching sense of coherence and consistency.  Laitman has her own distinctive voice as a composer, but what makes it such a seductive voice is its limitless range of inflections, which stems from the even more limitless possibilities to be found in the world of words and ideas to which she is so devoted. A basic sort of excellence which one always finds in Laitmans songs is an unerring ability to write songs that can be sung (a simple-sounding proposition, but one that defeats many modern art song composers) and to set texts in such a way that they can be understood by listeners.  That Laitman achieves consistent success in this regard without writing cautiously is a shining testament to her impressive and still-improving skills as a composer. Finally, Laitman crafts her accompaniments with just as much care and sensitivity, and with a consistent understanding of what will work to perfectly complete the picture. ĶThese are superb songs sung superbly, and a composer as gifted as Lori Laitman deserves nothing less than that.
Laurence Vittes of Gramophone Magazine remarks: Lori Laitman opens windows onto small but deeply intimate emotional experiencesĶWhether it is Laitmans blend of rich American, sometimes populist tonality, out of which her deeply personal, angular vocal writing rises, or her descents into jauntier, more popular modes, she shows an affinity for identifying with the words she sets and a keen ear for poetry that will work effectively.
 Robert Moore (American Record Guide 2009) writes: Lori Laitmans songs demand conscientious listening, and the time invested in doing so yields rich rewardsĶI agree with The Journal of Singing that it is difficult to think of anyone before the public today who equals her exceptional gifts for embracing a poetic text and giving it new and deeper life through music. This is music of depth and richness that connects with the soul.
Colin Clarke of Fanfare Magazine says:  [Lori Laitmans] songs represent outpourings of great beautyĶ.Laitman tackles each poems subject mater with unfailing sympathyĶyet she can react with tremendous humor, too.  John Campbell of Artsong Update notes: Laitman has created a circle of living poets, talented younger singing professionals and an ever growing audience that trusts her gift. And, finally, James Manheim of Allmusic Guide recommends Loris music to those who make it come to life, the vocalists:  "...Laitman clearly [has] the elusive ability to pick texts that emotionally resonate with her. ...Recommended, especially to young singers, who will find music here that connects strongly with audiences."
Within These Spaces is a collection of thirty-four songs, composed since 2000, set to poems by classical and contemporary poets. The album takes its title from the first set of five songs to texts by Nebraskan women poets.


WITHIN THESE SPACES
Songs of Lori Laitman
Label: Albany Records
Catalog Number: TR1118
Running Time: 78:52
Composition Date: 2000 2008
Recording Dates: April, June 2005; July 2008
Recording Engineer: Edward John Kelly
Composer: Lori Laitman
Performers: Jennifer Check, soprano; Karyn Friedman, mezzo-soprano; Amanda Gosier, soprano; Sari Gruber, soprano; Warren Jones, piano; Lori Laitman, piano; Randall Scarlata, baritone.

To purchase Within These Spaces click on:

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