Release Date: November 10, 2023
Few forms in classical music are as underrated as the song cycle. It is easy to be betrayed by the seemingly-modest set-up – piano and solo voice – requiring well-calculated finesse from a composer to seize its minimalist power and bring it into full bloom. UNHOLY SONNETS, a collection of songs by German-born American Samuel Adler, succeeds greatly in this effort.
Although all works presented are in English and the tonal language is decidedly modern, there is much that harks back to the German art song tradition of the 19th century. Despite the title, these are largely quiet, pensive pieces, confidently resting in a tranquil serenity.