The WholeNote Nov. 2017 Review: David Olds

“Donna Greenberg has chosen 13 unrelated poems from James Joyce’s Chamber Music (1907) to compose a song cycle that tells the story of unrequited love. She too touches many styles from classical to jazz to folk to tell her musical story, creating interesting accessible music. Her songs complement her voice perfectly, while superstar jazz pianist Mark Kieswetter performs and arranges for piano, voice, strings, winds and harp. The vocal and piano performances are extremely musical, especially in My Love is a Light Attire where the subtle piano introduction leads to straightforward singing about the splendours of love, setting the stage for an emotional wash of strings and shifting harmonies. Greenberg seems to be the most in her element in the jazzier O Cool, which features an extended piano solo and nice doubling of voice and clarinet against the bass line. It is great to hear Greenberg vocalize at low pitches against low instrumental timbres in Sleep Now, about insomnia and betrayal. Though not as dense as Jerrom’s, Greenberg’s song cycle is moving, smart and lyrical.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s