Audra McDonald's Lincoln Center Gala Concert "Absolutely Thrilling," Raves New York Times; Airs May 24 on PBS
Audra McDonald, whose first solo album in seven years, Go Back Home, is due May 21, performed songs from the album and more at Lincoln Center's spring gala last week. The concert will be telecast on PBS presented by Live From Lincoln Center on May 24. "Absolutely thrilling," raves the New York Times' Stephen Holden. "The very sound of the word 'thrilling,' with its suggestion of an embedded trill, evokes qualities inherent in Ms. McDonald’s soprano, which seemed to unfurl in ever-richer textures as she imbued songs with a sense of bursting possibility ... A defining voice of our time."
Audra McDonald, whose first solo album in seven years, Go Back Home, will be released on Nonesuch Records on May 21, performed songs from the album and more at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City on Thursday for Lincoln Center's spring gala. On Friday, May 24, three days after the album’s release, the concert will be telecast nationally on PBS presented by the Emmy Award–winning series Live From Lincoln Center, as "Audra McDonald In Concert: Go Back Home."
"Absolutely thrilling," raves the New York Times' music critic Stephen Holden in his review of the concert. "The very sound of the word 'thrilling,' with its suggestion of an embedded trill, evokes qualities inherent in Ms. McDonald’s soprano, which seemed to unfurl in ever-richer textures as she imbued songs with a sense of bursting possibility."
Holden goes on to say: "The familiar songs 'First You Dream,' from the Kander and Ebb show Steel Pier, and the Styne-Comden-Green ballad 'Make Someone Happy' from Do Re Mi," both of which are featured on Go Back Home, "were infused with the excitement of discovery, as if Ms. McDonald and the audience were together realizing how humble Broadway songs delivered with passion and intelligence could convey basic emotional truths."
Many of the selections on Go Back Home as in the concert program are by composers with whom McDonald has long been associated (Adam Guettel, Michael John LaChiusa, and Stephen Sondheim, among others), while some songs, including the Kander and Ebb title track, are by names that are relatively new to her repertoire. In addition, McDonald continues her tradition of championing works by an emerging generation of composers, represented by Adam Gwon, among others.
"One of Ms. McDonald’s greatest gifts is to find the story inside the song and deliver it with immediacy and clarity," Holden concludes, "in a voice that finds a flexible, intuitive balance between storytelling and singing—a defining voice of our time."
Read the complete concert review at nytimes.com.
Go Back Home is available to pre-order in the Nonesuch Store and includes an instant download of the title track (which you can preview below), a limited-edition autographed print, and a download of the complete album available starting release day.
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