Pictures of America / Dessay

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The first album of Natalie Dessay for Sony Classical is a journey through music (Great American Song Book, Broadway & Jazz) and art (Edward Hopper)...
The first album of Natalie Dessay for Sony Classical is a journey through music (Great American Song Book, Broadway & Jazz) and art (Edward Hopper) - This is not a classical album. "I was delighted to once again work with Claire Gibault, who now leads her own chamber orchestra, the Paris Mozart Orchestra, more than twenty years after she first accompanied my Mozart performance at the start of my career as a classical singer. It all started with a couple of Edward Hopper paintings that inspired the beautiful stories of poet Claude Esteban, which Graciane Finzi in turn illustrated with her delicate and inventive music. Claire asked me to tell the story of these "melologues". For my part, I selected ten other paintings that inspired me to choose a range of songs from what's known as the "Great American Songbook".

I asked five incredible musicians to arrange them for the Paris Mozart Orchestra, thereby building a bridge between classical music, jazz, and musicals. I then worked to develop a new voice—a deeper and more intimate sound that would whisper into the listener's ear. It was a voice I had to learn to control, like a small, secretive wild animal. I wanted to open things up with "On A Clear Day", which serves as an introduction, and a promise. Next comes a self-deprecating and low-pitched version of "I Feel Pretty" in quintuple time that leads naturally into "I Am A Fool To Want You", a song about someone who is ready to do anything and everything to win over a lost love. "Send In The Clowns" marks the disenchantment of people whose paths cross, but never at the right time. Hope lies just beyond the next bend in the road with "Detour Ahead" followed by "Something's Coming…Maybe Tonight". Next is "Autour de minuit" based on the beautiful poem by Claude Nougaro, which rings with the promise of a brighter tomorrow and of luck that might finally go our way. But the memory of our beloved refuses to fade, and every night we find ourselves back at the counter of a café that echoes with happy memories with "I Keep Going Back To Joe's", except that now it's just us at the bar as we listen to "In My Solitude". It's times like these that make us want to settle down with "A Place You Want To Call Home", but in the end, as "The Two Lonely People" asks, won't we always wind up alone even when we think we have a special someone? What do we have left, then, if not show business? As "There's No Business Like Show Business" tells us, isn't the world just a stage filled? Enjoy your journey through music and paintings with these "Pictures of America"."



Dessay sounds in great form and uses every trick in the book. She takes aspects of a Streisand-inspired technique. Taking the cover off the voice mid-note and opening the tone right out to its full; or whittling it down to a sexy, Julie London whisper.

– Opera Now

Product Description:

  • Release Date: January 13, 2017

  • UPC: 889853862825

  • Catalog Number: 88985386282

  • Label: Sony

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Composer: Alan Bergman, Bill Evans, Burton Lane, Frank Sinatra, Herb Ellis, Irving Berlin, Jack Segal, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Thelonious Monk

  • Performer: Natalie Dessay