Vibrant mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and Colburn Orchestra bring you an album to play again and again offering something fresh each time. If You Love For Beauty, showcases Metropolitan Opera and GRAMMY® Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, and The Colburn Orchestra conducted by Yehuda Gilad.
Sasha Cooke pairs seamlessly with the Colburn Orchestra presenting John Adams' Doctor Atomic, Handel, and Mahler. Maestro Yehuda Gilad conducts with his famously engaging, sensitive flair.
Metropolitan Opera mezzo soprano Sasha Cooke's debut recording, celebrating Sasha in her early prime, won the coveted Audio Oasis Award and received high praise in Opera News. It is a dream come true that Yarlung were able to bring Sasha and this orchestra together for the concert and recording. These orchestra musicians, all members of the Colburn Conservatory conducted by Music Director Yehuda Gilad, enrich our lives in Los Angeles. Maestro Gilad elicits sensitive and lyrical interpretations of the repertoire.
"Yarlung has become known for using one stereo microphone or two mono microphones for our recordings. We 'cheated' for this recording, using two coincident Neumann U-47s for 95% of the sound from Sasha and the orchestra and two AKG C-12s for a small amount of reinforcement for the percussion and winds. We used microphone preamplifiers made for Yarlung by Elliot Midwood. We summed into two tracks as usual, without using a mixing board, and went directly to tape, with analog record electronics made by Len Horowitz.
"Yarlung Records joined SonoruS Audio at The Show in Newport with the analog tape of this album before its release on CD or vinyl. Numerous critics and friends kept returning to hear more of Sasha and this tape. Dr. David W. Robinson, Editor-in-Chief of Positive Feedback later gave Yarlung and SonoruS the prestigious Audio Oasis award in recognition of his return again and again over the course of the show to hear Sasha and Colburn Orchestra repeatedly. Sasha and the outstanding Colburn Orchestra under the baton of Yehuda Gilad offer us a musical oasis indeed." - Bob Attiyeh, producer
Opera News heralded mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke's debut album If You Love For Beauty and described her onstage "attractive, erotic stage presence."Writing in Opera News specifically about this recording Eric Myers writes:
"Mezzo Shasha Cooke made a striking impression as Kitty, the wife of J. Robert Oppenheimer, in the Met premiere of Doctor Atomic five seasons ago. The high point of her performance was her seductive love duet with Gerald Finley's Oppenheimer, which included her aria "Am I In Your Light?" Cooke leads with that piece on her escellent debut solo (album), "If You Love For Beauty", in which she in sensitively accompanied by Yehuda Gilad and the Colburn Orchestra.
"Cooke's attractive, erotic stage presence struck plenty of sparks in Doctor Atomic, but without question she also delivers the vocal goods. She possesses a firm, fruity mezzo, straight-toned in quality, which allows the listener to luxuriate in her unerring sense of pitch. And she has a strong yet subtle interpretive ability, one that draws the listener in. She doesn't play to the balconies; she makes you come to her...
"The (album's) title is taken from mahler's Ruckert-Lieder, which conclude the program in their five-song version. Cooke's performance is an exercise in simplicity. In "Ich atmer' einen linden Duft," she floats beautiful mezza voce as soft as the linden fragrance she is describing. "Liebst du um Schonheit" is sung with hushed intimacy, and "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" comes wrapped in a quiet, confessional tone of resignation and introspection. "Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder" captures the correct rapid-fire, gently comic air of frustration. In the stark "Um Mitternacht," Cooke rises movingly from the depressive episode depicted in the opening to the great epiphany of the final lines...
"Chausson's heartfelt Poem de l'Amour et de la Mer is a magnificently over-the-top work, one that can be hugely effective when performed by a singer of Cooke's intelligence and restraint. Some occasional rough French vowels aside, she does not disappoint the listener, and her voice rides beautifully atop Chausson's churning Symbolist score." - Eric Myers, Opera News, February 2013
"combining as she did the outward purity of a Renaissance angel and a voice of powerful sensual warmth and excellent musicality" -Anne Midgette, The New York Times
• 45rpm 180g Vinyl
• Mastered For 45rpm Vinyl by Bernie Grundman
• Mastering Engineers: Steve Hoffman & Bob Attiyeh
• Made in Germany
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
The Colburn Orchestra
Yehuda Gilad, director
1. Am I In Your Light?
2. Ich atmet' einen linden Duft
3. Liebst du um Schonheit
4. Blick mir nicht in die Lieder
5. Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen
6. Um Mitternacht
George Frideric Handel
7. Frondi tenere e belle...
8. Ombra mai fu
Recorded in Zipper Hall at The Colburn School, February 5-7, 2012.