Notes & Reviews:
Gramophone Magazine, in reviewing SHAKESPEARE'S MEMORY, the first volume in The Shakespeare Concerts Series, praises, "Summer's rich tonal music is always lyrically expressive and occasionally piquant due to an occasionally eccentric pace, and is also rich in instrumental and vocal riffs of the most fetching kind". * The Shakespeare Concerts Series, based out of Boston MA, combines classical music with the works of one of the most significant literary figures in Western civilization, making it well suited for enthusiasts, students, and academics of either art form. This collection features works by Joseph Summer, Karol Szymanowski, Thomas Chilcot, Ralph Vaughan Williams, William Walton, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The first three albums of The Shakespeare Concerts Series, SHAKESPEARE'S MEMORY (2013), THE FAIR OPHELIA (2013), and GODDESSES (2014) are available on Navona Records. Album includes web-application that features study scores, liner notes, biographies, bonus tracks, and more.
American Record Guide, July/August 2015
Orpheus with His Lute Made Trees has a very tenuous connection to Shakespeare. The program opens with an oddly playful work by Summer, 'You May Think of Art' from The Tenor's Suite, with text presumably by the composer where a tenor remarks sardonically about performing German opera. Neal Ferreira sings with mock outrage, while Sang Young Kim accompanies admirably in the fiendish piano writing. The program includes four more songs: a setting of Edith Sitwell's poem 'Daphne' by William Walton and a particularly fine alternate setting of 'Leda and the Swan' by Summer, both sung by Guthrie; Thomas Chilcot's 'Orpheus with His Lute' performed by Chenoweth and flautist Andrea Leblanc with the Arcadian Players; and Summer's 'On the Death of Phillips' with a text by an unknown author evidently on the death of a musician, in the manner of Byrd's elegy on the death of Tallis, 'Ye Sacred Muses'. Guthrie's singing is radiant.