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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Maria Schneider & Dawn Upshaw

Winter Morning Walks (ArtistShare)

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The most beautiful sound in all the world…Maria's. So Leonard Bernstein might've commented on how our finest jazz orchestra composer attains comparable artistry with chamber orchestra. Setting two groups of poems, Schneider catches the wings of soprano Dawn Upshaw, whose singing swells and soars with a deep-hearted glow. Ted Kooser’s winter poems tiptoe with Frost-like reflection, which Schneider wraps exquisitely in crystalline yet wind-supple gestures. It’s gorgeous stuff, yet Schneider fragments her flow when needed, and smartly contrasts Kooser’s wide-eyed wonder with Carlos Drummond’s knowingly droll verse, including “Quadrille,” a wry meditation on unrequited love’s cruel turns.