Joseph Summer composer
Jessica Lennick soprano; Andrea Chenoweth soprano; Kellie Van Horn mezzo-soprano; Miroslav Sekera piano; John McGinn music director; Luke Grooms tenor; Paul Soper baritone; Clark Matthews solo french horn; Krista Reisner & Rohan Gregory violins; Peter Sulski viola; Guy Fishman cello; Robert Nairn, double-bass; Ian Watson conductor; Jessica Lizak solo flute; Gigi Mitchell-Velasco mezzo-soprano; Jeffrey Lang french horn; Elaine Comparone harpsichord; Noel Espiritu Velasco music director; John Boden, Frederick Aldrich, Robert Marlatt french horns; Bonita Williams double bass
GODDESSES is the third offering in Navona Records’ The Shakespeare Concerts Series, which presents several works by composer Joseph Summer from his collection of settings of Shakespearean scenes, sonnets, and soliloquies, Oxford Songs. These particular works are reflections on feminine divinity, from the literal – as in the triumvirate of Roman goddesses in the piece Honour, Riches, Marriage-Blessing – by way of the metaphorical – as exemplified by the depiction of women in the sonnets, In The Old Age Black Was Not Counted Fair and Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day – and to the figurative – contained in the idealized, eternal female characters of Juliet, Olivia, and Ophelia, respectively portrayed in the works, Gallop Apace You Fiery-Footed Steeds, If Music Be The Food of Love, and There Is a Willow Grows Aslant a Brook. Summer’s deep knowledge of Shakespeare’s works and rich compositional technique produce a musical and literary experience that adds layers of insight to Shakespearean characters and themes.