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Angels Hide Their Faces

  • 79605

News & Reviews

  • Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Caroline Shaw's second Nonesuch album, Narrow Sea, is out now. Shaw wrote the album's title piece, for Sō Percussion, Dawn Upshaw, and Gilbert Kalish, who perform it here: five parts, each a new setting of a text from The Sacred Harp, the 19th-century collection of shape-note hymns. Video for all five parts of the piece can be seen here. Also on the album is Sō Percussion's performance of Shaw's Taxidermy, which she wrote for the ensemble.

  • Composer Caroline Shaw's new album, Narrow Sea, featuring Sō Percussion, Dawn Upshaw, and Gilbert Kalish's performance of the title piece—five parts, each a new setting of a text from The Sacred Harp, the 19th-century collection of shape-note hymns—is due next Friday, January 22, on Nonesuch. Here, the artists talk with writer Matthew Guerrieri about the album, which also includes Sō Percussion's performance of Shaw's Taxidermy. Find out why she tells Guerrieri: "I was telling a friend, half-jokingly, that, in a lot of my music, I’m trying to figure out a way to talk about death and mortality, or think about it."

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  • About This Album

    For the first time on record, singer Dawn Upshaw, called “the greatest American vocal recitalist working today” (Washington Post), lends her voice to two masters of the Baroque era, in a recording of music by J.S. Bach and Henry Purcell called Angels Hide Their Faces. Joined by Arthur Haas (continuo and organ), Myron Lutzke (baroque cello), and a distinguished supporting ensemble, Grammy Award winner Dawn Upshaw, widely acknowledged for her skills in diction and interpretation of text, distinguishes herself in this repertoire as a fluent interpreter of English.

    The Purcell songs, selected from his vast output, are ones that have been personal favorites of Upshaw, especially "The Blessed Virgin’s Expostulation,” which she has performed frequently in recital. “The Blessed Virgin’s Expostulation,” with text by Nathan Tate, Purcell’s librettist for Dido and Aeneas, is also the largest Purcell piece on the record. Other songs include “An Evening Hymn,” from a collection of sacred songs, “Music for a While,” and the popular “If Music Be the Food of Love.”

    As well-documented as Bach’s enormous output has been, his dramatic cantata Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut was lost until the early 20th century. Composed in Weimar in 1714 to a text by Georg Christian Lehms, the piece was originally scored for mezzo-soprano and later transposed up for soprano. Upshaw’s present performance of Bach’s Cantata BWV 199 is rooted in a number of recent staged performances of the work directed by Peter Sellars, a close colleague with whom Upshaw has shared five full-scale collaborations.

     

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Dawn Upshaw, soprano

    Purcell songs
    Myron Lutzke, cello (1-5, 14-16)
    Arthur Haas, harpsichord (1-5, 14-16)

    Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut
    Krista Bennion Feeney, violin I
    Linda Quan, violin II
    Lois Martin, viola
    Myron Lutzke, cello
    John Feeney, bass
    Peggy Pearson, oboe
    Arthur Haas, organ

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Produced by Max Wilcox
    Purcell selections recorded April 2000 at the American Academy of Arts & Letters, New York City
    Bach Cantata BWV 199 recorded May 1997 at SUNY, Purchase, New York
    Engineered by Paul Zinman
    Edited by Max Wilcox and Dirk Sobotka
    Mixed at SoundByte Productions, New York City
    Mastered at SoundByte Productions, New York City
    Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

    Tracks 1-5, 14-16 by Henry Purcell; tracks 6-13 by Johann Sebastian Bach

    Cover design by Barbara deWilde
    Cover art: Wounded Angel (1903) by Hugo Simberg, courtesy of the Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki, from photograph by Hannu Aaltonen, courtesy of the Central Art Archives

nonesuch's picture
on May 29, 2008 - 7:14pm
genre: 
Release Date: 
Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 05:00
DescriptionExcerpt: 

For the first time on record, Upshaw interprets the work of Baroque masters J.S. Bach and Henry Purcell. Her performance, says Fortune, "is so fluid, strong, and serene that it acts upon a cluttered cortex like deep-tissue shiatsu."

Description: 

For the first time on record, singer Dawn Upshaw, called “the greatest American vocal recitalist working today” (Washington Post), lends her voice to two masters of the Baroque era, in a recording of music by J.S. Bach and Henry Purcell called Angels Hide Their Faces. Joined by Arthur Haas (continuo and organ), Myron Lutzke (baroque cello), and a distinguished supporting ensemble, Grammy Award winner Dawn Upshaw, widely acknowledged for her skills in diction and interpretation of text, distinguishes herself in this repertoire as a fluent interpreter of English.

The Purcell songs, selected from his vast output, are ones that have been personal favorites of Upshaw, especially "The Blessed Virgin’s Expostulation,” which she has performed frequently in recital. “The Blessed Virgin’s Expostulation,” with text by Nathan Tate, Purcell’s librettist for Dido and Aeneas, is also the largest Purcell piece on the record. Other songs include “An Evening Hymn,” from a collection of sacred songs, “Music for a While,” and the popular “If Music Be the Food of Love.”

As well-documented as Bach’s enormous output has been, his dramatic cantata Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut was lost until the early 20th century. Composed in Weimar in 1714 to a text by Georg Christian Lehms, the piece was originally scored for mezzo-soprano and later transposed up for soprano. Upshaw’s present performance of Bach’s Cantata BWV 199 is rooted in a number of recent staged performances of the work directed by Peter Sellars, a close colleague with whom Upshaw has shared five full-scale collaborations.

 

ProductionCredits: 

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced by Max Wilcox
Purcell selections recorded April 2000 at the American Academy of Arts & Letters, New York City
Bach Cantata BWV 199 recorded May 1997 at SUNY, Purchase, New York
Engineered by Paul Zinman
Edited by Max Wilcox and Dirk Sobotka
Mixed at SoundByte Productions, New York City
Mastered at SoundByte Productions, New York City
Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

Tracks 1-5, 14-16 by Henry Purcell; tracks 6-13 by Johann Sebastian Bach

Cover design by Barbara deWilde
Cover art: Wounded Angel (1903) by Hugo Simberg, courtesy of the Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki, from photograph by Hannu Aaltonen, courtesy of the Central Art Archives

Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

79605

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
ns_album_artistid: 
115
ns_album_id: 
407
ns_album_releasedate: 
Monday, January 1, 2001 - 05:00
ns_genre_1: 
0
ns_genre_2: 
0
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597960525BUN
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
603497076161
Price: 
9.00
Artist Name: 
Dawn Upshaw
MusicianDetails: 

MUSICIANS
Dawn Upshaw, soprano

Purcell songs
Myron Lutzke, cello (1-5, 14-16)
Arthur Haas, harpsichord (1-5, 14-16)

Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut
Krista Bennion Feeney, violin I
Linda Quan, violin II
Lois Martin, viola
Myron Lutzke, cello
John Feeney, bass
Peggy Pearson, oboe
Arthur Haas, organ

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