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Out of the Shadows

“Lisa Delan has put together an enjoyable and valuable programme here. These are songs one hears rarely, if at all; some of them, in fact, have never been recorded before. ...there’s a satisfying sense of stylistic diversity ...her musicianship and responsiveness to the text are never in question. Kevin Korth provides superb support, full of colour and character. The recorded sound is up to Pentatone's usual high standards. Warmly recommended.”

— Andrew Farach-Colton, Gramophone

“Delan brings both clarity and rhetorical relevance to her approach to each of the 31 songs on this album. Thus, while the album as a whole will be a journey into unfamiliar territory, Delan’s command of these songs definitely makes the journey worth taking.”

— Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio

Out of the Shadows: Rediscovered American Art Songs is a welcome rarity. Delan’s direct, humanistic approach strikes just the right balance between liquid emotion and straightforward braininess throughout the album… there’s food for thought and reflection in these songs that most listeners will have never heard, and Delan and Korth’s deep understanding of them is evident in the recording. The tranquility to be found here is something to be grateful for too.”

— Jon Sobel, Blog Critics

“It is always a pleasure to rediscover first-quality lost music... but the attractiveness of the release lies less in what has or has not been recorded before than in the overall high quality of all the settings and performances, and the skill with which the various composers evoke emotions of many kinds, each of them heartfelt in its own way.”

InfoDad

December Celebration

“Lisa Delan delivers a colorful, spirited rendering…. Delan floats beautifully through the serene, lovely last verse… compelling, well-characterized renditions.”

— Joshua Rosenbloom, Opera News

“Soprano Lisa Delan, a singer of innate dramatic ability and an immediately winning sound serves these songs with dedication and musical ease.”

— Matthew Richard Martinez, ConcertoNet

“Soprano Lisa Delan and baritone Lester Lynch impress.”

— Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk

“...a very well-sung, fine-sounding recording.”

InfoDad

Interview with Elena See at Classical MPR about the CD

 

Angel Heart

“...a tender and emotionally astute children’s story told in words and music...”

— Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times

“...the wide-ranging timbres of the cellos evoke ethereal angels, a croaking, ill-tempered witch and Luna's inconsolable grief...”

— Jennifer Maloney, Wall Street Journal

Publishers Weekly article on the genesis and development of the Angel Heart project.

 

The Hours Begin to Sing

“Lisa Delan has established herself as a passionate advocate of contemporary art song, commissioning and singing the premieres of new works, as well as extending the life span of repertoire that might otherwise slip into oblivion.... she performs the songs with a sense of ownership and true connection. Delan's voice is rich and smooth through all registers, and she wields it expressively...”

— Joanne Sydney Lessner, Opera News

“...I can't do better than Nigel Simeone when he wrote in the June 2009 issue that Lisa Delan is a singer ‘with an unusually versatile voice, ranging from rich operatic tones to Broadway belt’. Here she is, with a distinguished team of instrumentalist friends, in a recital of contemporary American vocal works, most of which were composed for her and for this collection... superbly performed by all concerned.”

— William Hedley, International Record Review

“Her voice is... possessed of an unusual degree of richness. To this, she adds changes of colors according to the text, and the listener to her songs captures their meaning through her clear diction and articulation, and secure control of her vocal production.... the strong performances by all involved, and the expressive and flexible vocal production of the soloist all combine to make this a most worthwhile acquisition.”

— David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare

“This fascinating album combines the music of six diverse American composers into one long and fascinating recital by soprano Delan... she phrases here with exquisite lyricism and nice shading of the voice... a disc well worth acquiring.”

— Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare

“American soprano Lisa Delan is best known as an interpreter of American music. This new disk features three works written for the occasion, and we can consider these to be definitive performances... Delan sings all of these very well, and she obviously understands the varied texts. Complete texts are provided although Delan's enunciation almost makes them unnecessary.”

— Robert Benson, Classical CD Review

“I reviewed Lisa Delan’s first issue in this “series” back in 2009, And If the Song be Worth a Smile. I said then ‘I am not sure I have heard a finer American song album since Songs of America made its debut on Nonesuch about 20 years ago.’ Well, guess what? I can say it again, with a lot of confidence.... Lisa Delan is still the master of this sort of recital, even more affecting and in control than the last album. I for one will be thrilled if there is yet another and I can’t think of any reason why there won’t be.”

Audiophile Audition

“Delan’s handling of these very different works says a great deal about her vocal sensitivity and versatility... This recording is certainly a fine showcase for Delan, who is very well supported by pianist Kristin Pankonin and the other musicians here.”

InfoDad

 

Phenomenon

Phenomenal Woman gets a hybrid treatment of various styles that the poetry of Maya Angelou seems to inspire... mixing jazz, rock, blues, and more into seven individual songs with no related context. Lisa Delan eats them up and presents them in a fully persuasive manner. Those who love art songs will salivate over this one. The fine surround sound only seals the deal for me. Highly recommended!”

Fanfare

“The seven poems by American poet Maya Angelou... seethe and burst with emotion and resonate with the spoken Black idiom... Garner employs a variety of popular music types: blues, jazz, rock ‘n roll, and music theatre are all present here (and superbly rendered by soprano Lisa Delan, I might add).”

Sequenza 21

 

White Election

“In this recording [Lisa Delan] achieves an excellence that only a cycle of such breadth can draw from her. The recitative, sometimes with a suspenseful accompaniment, is here the realm of the exquisite artistry of Lisa Delan. This disc is very beautiful, and although essentially tonal, it is a quintessential collection of the work of the poet and musician.”

Scherzo

“Another winner featuring the charming presence of Lisa Delan! These 32 poems that Gordon Getty has set to music have the thematic and musical unity to constitute a real cycle.... Delan’s vocal artistry is well adapted to expressing the shifting, swiftly surging emotion in such run-on lines as “The bell within the steeple wild / The flying tiding told: / How much can come, / And much can go, / And yet abide the world!” As a song interpreter she may well be unequalled.”

Sequenza 21

“Miss Delan adds luminescence... with a creamy, soothing tone that can be spellbinding.”

Opera Online

“Soprano Lisa Delan, a Getty favorite, performs the cycle with attractive facility and understanding.”

Opera News

“The White Election stands as a clear masterpiece... you'll hear a kind of melodic quaintness that suits the poems quite well - more of the 19th than the 20th Century. The physical sound has a spatial fullness, yet the miking on Ms. Delan's voice is precise and intimate. Delan projects well... Each work here is a small jewel and should please just about anyone, whether you're familiar with Emily Dickinson's poetry or not.”

American Record Guide

“Getty consistently captures in music the spirit of Dickinson's poems, amplifying or commenting on the words without ever detracting from their power or their beauty. Lisa Delan has a lovely, bright soprano voice that she can color appropriately...”

Fanfare

“Getty...steps into Dickinson's world and ushers us in there, too, by making us linger on the words instead of read them, more fleetingly, on the page. It's touching how he takes her words to heart. It's also impressive how Delan steps into her character, even dressing for a performance in period clothing.”

Buffalo News

 

And If the Song be Worth a Smile

“...especially fine and worthy of attention is the vocal artistry of the American soprano Lisa Delan. Not only does she have an extremely attractive voice, displaying remarkable agility and musical precision, but she imbues her renditions with tremendous personality, which is utilized generously...”

Fanfare

And if the song by worth a smile... In this case, it is. Even chuckles and loud approval. The soprano Lisa Delan is a singer with a sharp voice, penetrating but light. But she is also an actress with a comic persona that is revealed aurally, hinting at what it must be like to see her live... This is an attractive lighthearted recording, and is sure to bring you some smiles... Each composer and also each performance given by Lisa Delan merits interest and great praise... We strongly recommend this CD.”

Scherzo

“This recital by the wonderful American soprano Lisa Delan created pleasant peril for me, and I don’t mind admitting it. Lord, but there’s so much diversity here! These seventeen songs by six composers – William Bolcom, Gordon Getty, Jake Heggie, David Garner, John Corigliano, and Luna Pearl Woolf – range from cabaret and blues to genuine art song and modern folk-inspired. The lyrics cover the whole poetic spectrum... thoroughly enjoyable and provocative...”

Sequenza 21

“Even though she is presenting music by the most varied compositional voices, soprano Lisa Delan holds the program together with a personality that's strong enough to make you forget the example of Bolcom and partner Joan Morris in the Cabaret Songs and also in John Corigliano's satirical Dodecaphonia, which was also composed for them.”

AllMusic

“An attractive recital of songs by six living American composers... The performance by Lisa Delan reveals her to be a singer with an unusually versatile voice, ranging from rich operatic tones to Broadway belt, with excellent diction and imaginative characterization. Delan has the ability to tell a story through song very effectively, and this is put to advantage throughout this recital.... This is an interesting and enterprising programme, consistently well performed by all concerned, recorded in fine, well-balanced sound, and with a booklet that includes detailed notes and complete texts.”;

— International Record Review

“If ever a collection of new, American songs could put a smile on your face, it's surely this one, sung by the versatile soprano Delan. Her singing is full of thoughtful detail and rings clear (yes, you can actually hear the words), plus her acting is dramatic enough to be direct but is never over-the-top. William Bolcom's Four Cabaret Songs is Broadway bound as is Gordon Getty's Poor Peter, accompanied by Delan's claps and stomps. John Corigliano's Dodecaphonia makes fun of 12-tone music and composers and his Marvelous Invention is a rhapsody on a woman's new iPod.. Hence, his work is tonal and very funny.”

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

“I am not sure I have heard a finer American song album since Songs of America made its debut on Nonesuch about 20 years ago. .... Here we have four lovely examples sung to perfection—perhaps one may even say acted—by Lisa Delan… [She is] fully appraised of the requirements of each of these songs, and easily offers a consequent expressive nuance....”

Audiophile Audition

“Delan [has] an attractively robust, flexible soprano and easy access to a chesty belt. .... Getty gives her room to soar, particularly in "Where is My Lady?" and her vocal beauty and facility stand her in even better stead in the high-lying lines of Woolf's beguiling, undulating tone poem... Delan expertly dispatches the difficult demands of rhythm and range in three complex, compelling songs of Garner's to texts by nineteenth-century German writer Annette von Droste-Hülshoff...”

Opera News

 

Joan and the Bells

“Delan... sang Joan handsomely, her soprano as true and steady as the character would want.”

San Francisco Classical Voice

“Lisa Delan evocatively recreates the role of Joan in a moving account that goes some way to prove you can't beat a good old fashioned burning at the stake to get the adrenalin flowing.”

HiFi+magazine

“Joan's soliloquy as she awaits her execution is dramatically and movingly sung by Lisa Delan...”

Musical Opinion

“Getty's music is fluent and well orchestrated... [It] is beautifully sung by Lisa Delan...”

International Record Review

“Lisa Delan gives a tender portrait of the maid in her cell, repentant for having forsaken her spiritual "voices" at the time of her trial.”

Classik Reviews

“Soprano Lisa Delan has the right instincts for the title role as well as a sweetly innocent timbre...”

ClassicsToday.com

“Lisa Delan sings beautifully and with absorbing drama.”

MusicWeb

 

Young America

“Special praise goes to baritone Chernov, soprano Delan, and bass Hunka for their clear, committed singing...”

Fanfare