This Mehldau-composed, Carnegie Hall–commissioned song cycle ponders Rainer Marie Rilke’s early poetry. The New York Times says, "it succeeds handsomely as a showcase for Ms. Fleming, and as an example of Mr. Mehldau's deft calibration of pretense and personality."
Love Sublime originated as a commission from the Carnegie Hall Corporation, composed expressly for Fleming—along with Mehldau—to perform at Zankel Hall, where it was premiered in May 2005. Most of the songs draw their texts from two collections of poems: The Blue Estuaries by Louise Bogan and The Book of Hours: Love Poems to God by Rainer Maria Rilke. The text of the title track, “Love Sublime,” was written by the Dutch singer/lyricist Fleurine.
“It was a great pleasure to work with Renee," said Mehldau. "I wrote the music, but she brought it to life."
Produced by Steven Epstein
Recorded January 10–11, 2006, at SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center, Purchase, NY
Engineered by Todd Whitelock
Assistant Engineer: Jim Yates
Additional Engineering: Richard King
Stage Manager: Andrew Ryder
Mixed by Todd Whitelock at Sony Music Studios, New York, NY
Mastered by Todd Whitelock and Steven Epstein at Sony Music Studios
Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz
Music by Brad Mehldau; text by Rainer Maria Rilke (1-7), Louise Bogan (8-10), Fleurine (11)
Design by Barbara de Wilde
Photography by Michael Wilson
Brad Mehldau, piano
Renée Fleming, vocals