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Reviews of "Voices of the Valley"


Danielle Woerner, "Voices of the Valley"
ROLL Magazine
February 2008
Quick Picks

"What started as a one time gig for SUNY Ulster artist-in-residence Danielle Woerner (soprano) performing works by Hudson Valley composers, became an encore gig, then the positive response required a proper documentation of the event. The late Alan Shulman¹s too-brief Milton ode ('Song of the Moon Festival in the Woods') has a sweetly nocturnal flavor, leading to darkly whimsical renderings of Emily Dickinson poems by Robert Baksa. Pianist James Fitzwilliam brings a melodic neo-Classicism, with accompaniment by cellist Susan Seligman with his song cycle 'Eternity,' which also incorporates the words of Dickinson. Peter Schickele, AKA PDQ Bach, supplies 'Three Songs for a Wedding,' which approach lyrics by William Cavendish and Dante Gabriel Rossetti with a more Kurt Weill-inspired style. Robert Starer takes Gail Godwin¹s text 'Anna Margarita¹s Will,' and sets it with flute, horn, cello, and piano, bringing a more contemporary tonality to the collection, while Aurora Northland¹s song cycle (words by Pearl Bond) 'The Unicorn Love Poems' return to tonality, with simpatico accompaniment from pianist Barbara Pickhardt. Throughout the CD, Woerner gives each song special resonance, and no composer can ask for more."

 

"Voices of the Valley: Danielle Woerner, Soprano, Sings Music by Hudson Valley Composers, on the Albany label, is an excellent compilation of contemporary vocal music.

Danielle Woerner is a contemporary composer's
dream come true!... She sings with romantic
passion music that is intricate and exacting.
Let me start by saying that Danielle Woerner is a contemporary composer’s dream come true! Her voice, her passion and her vision bring to life these new art songs by composers Alan Shulman, Robert Baksa, James Fitzwilliam, Peter Schickele, Robert Starer and Aurora Northland.

I will keep listening to this CD because of the beauty exemplified in Woerner’s voice and expression. She sings with romantic passion music that is intricate and exacting. The songs by these composers are well worth the attention of all those interested in contemporary art songs.”

-- Dr. Helmut Christoferus Calabrese for New Music Connoisseur

 

"'Voices of the Valley' is Simply Sensational"
Daily Freeman, Kingston NY
December 22, 2006
By David Malachowski

"And you thought a soprano was a Mafia guy in New Jersey.

"Let's start out by saying that area soprano Danielle Woerner really has some amazing pipes. Magnificent, glorious and larger than life, Woerner is a singer's singer, to be sure.

"With Voices of the Valley, she sings music by Hudson Valley composers. Renowned pianist Peter Schickele, Susan Seligman (cello) and James Fitzwilliam (piano) all make contributions. And though most of this outing is merely voice and piano, nothing else is really needed when you have the huge rich round sound that just flows from Woerner.

Danielle Woerner really has some amazing pipes.
Magnificent, glorious and larger than life,
Woerner is a singer's singer, to be sure.
"Starting out with a fine Alan Shulman piece, 'Song of the Moon Festival in the Woods,' followed by Robert Baksa's 'A Shady Friend for Torrid Days' and 'Heart, We Will Forget Him,' Woerner and friends interpret this material with depth and weight.

In the 21 tracks, Woerner volleys from dark and delicious to anxious and urgent. With Fitzwilliam's 'At Least to Pray is Left,' spare cello joins in. The cello colors [Fitzwilliam's song cycle] Eternity, while Schickele chimes in with 3 Songs for a Wedding.

Skillfully produced by Baikida Carroll and engineered by Scott Petito at NRS in Catskill, this release is simply sensational. The folks on American Idol should hear this! That would give them some perspective on what a real singer is.

For more information, visit http://www.daniellewoerner.com."

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David Malachowski is a guitarist, producer and freelance journalist living in Woodstock.