Songs of Love & Despair / Boyd, Metcalf
Rupert Boyd writes: “This is an album of love. But also of despair. And some things in between. Largely conceived, arranged, rehearsed and recorded during the Covid-19 pandemic, Songs of Love & Despair contains the music that we were drawn to during this time -- a time of unprecedented stillness and solitude, traveling at most a few miles from our home for months on end. As a married couple we were fortunate to be able to play music together every day, and this collection of repertoire is half love, half longing; from the delicate beauty of Debussy and the joyousness of Boccherini, to the anguish of Messiaen and heartbreaking Appalachian folk songs, which tell the stories of love, life and loss. The album is a testament to this time, and we welcome you to join us as we traverse the emotions that have enveloped us all.” The album encompasses music from Luigi Boccherini to The Beatles to Beyoncé, from Franz Schubert to Florence B. Price to Radiohead.
Guitarist Rupert Boyd and his wife, cellist Laura Metcalf, have released their second recording and it includes transcriptions of well-known pieces such as Debussy’s ‘Arabesque No. 1’ with delicately articulated arpeggios by the guitar providing a graceful accompaniment to the lyrical cello melody. Schubert’s ‘Gretchen am Spinnrade’ is delivered fluidly with deep romantic passion in an arrangement by Napoleon Coste (1805–83).
‘A New York Minute’ by Marian Budos, is bursting with energy and close coordination between the two players. Metcalf’s sense of drama and razor-sharp intonation combine to achieve a powerful delivery.
Two arrangements by Lennon and McCartney are pleasantly performed and would be crowd pleasers in concert.
The recorded tone of each of the two instruments is realistic, but the cello is somewhat overpowering on some tracks.
Liner notes are informative and entertaining. All in all, this is an effective project, mixing known works with the new ones—always a plus!
-- American Record Guide (Jim McCutchen)
Release Date: March 25, 2022
Catalog Number: DSL-92255
Label: Sono Luminus
Number of Discs: 1
Composer: Claude Debussy, Marián Budoš, Franz Schubert, Florence Price, Beyoncé, Robert Beaser, Luigi Boccherini, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Paul Brantley, Radiohead, Olivier Messiaen
Performer: Rupert Boyd, Laura Metcalf