Neil / Spencer: Walking the Sparrows
Artist: Neil / Spencer
Title: Walking the Sparrows
Product Type: COMPACT DISCS
Waking the Sparrow, from classical and baroque guitarist Robert Nathanson and soprano Nancy King, performing as Duo Soreno, is the result of a twenty-year long journey exploring the grandeur of the human voice blended with the vibrancy of the guitar. Interpreting the work of five notable modern composers who were, in turn, inspired by the words of poets throughout the ages, Nathanson and King deliver a stunning performance that is rich in it's variety and impressive in scope. The album opens with William Neil's "Out of Darkness into Light", which adds violin, saxophone, bassoon and contrabassoon to Duo Soreno's arrangement of what the composer described as a "mystery play interpreting through composed and improvisational music the prayer-like text written by Malgosia Sawczuk." Along with violinist Danijela Žeželej-Gualdi, the duo interprets "Open the River," with text from "To the Hand," a poem by W.S. Merwin. The remaining pieces on Waking the Sparrow feature only Nathanson and King. "A Song of Unending Sorrow" is a three-movement setting for guitar and soprano, inspired by composer Jing Jing Luo's interpretation of a work by the Tang Dynasty poet Ba Juji. The performance, at once both simple and intricate, captures the ecstasy of love and the sorrow of loss. Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award-winning composer William Bolcom's "Three Cabaret Songs" arise from his collaboration with poet Arnold Weinstein and are here for the first time arranged for soprano and guitar by guitarist Michael Lorimer. Inspired by the seasonal aspect of much of haiku poetry, "Waking the Sparrows: Five Haiku Songs" was composed for Duo Soreno by David Ketchley. It's lyrical and dramatic exploration of the timbral possibilities of voice and guitar evoke a haiku-like aura of Spring.