Susanne’s tribute to Carlisle Floyd: a premiere recording
Susan Mentzer paid tribute to the great American composer Carlisle Floyd by taking it upon herself to make known to the world that the great composer of American opera is also a prolific composer of song. Thinking rightly that now more than ever, with the composer in his late 80s, would be the best time to bring out a recording of his songs, as none exists, his fame as a composer notwithstanding. And she did. Through the funding platform known as “crowdfunding” best embodied by the outfit known as “Kickstarter“, Susanne was able to generate the funds necessary to produce a quality CD of thirty-two tracks of Floyd’s songs.
Released on November 19, 2013 without much fanfare, it will surely find its way to the collection of every lover of the American art song. Three song cycles comprise the recording, the first a selection of 19 songs (“Citizen of Paradise”) set to poems by Emily Dickinson; the second (“Three Early Songs”) and third (“Soul of Heaven”) based on texts by other poets including Herrick, Case, Lanier, Aesop, Emerson, Nitzsche, Collier, Castiglione, Spinoza and Shakespeare. Finally there is a bonus track of Susanne and Carlisle Floyd rehearsing.
The recording was supervised by the composer himself (what greater treat for a singer than this?) who said of Susanne’s expected top-notch performance:
“Susanne Mentzer’s performance of my musical profile of Emily Dickinson, CITIZEN OF PARADISE, is definitive in every regard: she sings it with a superb range of color and feeling and, as the performing artist, quickly disappears into a vivid and totally convincing evocation of the poet herself. I frankly can’t imagine the cycle of songs (with its very broad span of moods) being more artfully or more movingly performed.”
What better words than these to pay tribute to Susanne and her magical vocal prowess? And what better introduction to the CD than this short clip that showcases the fascinating colors of Susanne’s mellifluous, powerful voice?
-© Gloria Cajipe / FanFaire.com