[ Erato Classics / Warner Classics / CD ]
Release Date: Sunday 10 February 2019
Joyce DiDonato greets you with a song in her heart and twinkle in her eye. The American mezzo-soprano's album Songplay unites world-class musicians from the varied worlds of opera, jazz and tango in the pure pleasure of improvisation, experimentation and exchange. Together they create their own musical language, surprising listeners with timeless melodies transformed and universal stories retold over centuries; songs in English, in Italian and - naturally - in the universal language of music.
On Songplay, along with her hand-picked band led by pianist and arranger Craig Terry, Joyce draws inspiration from Cavalli and Chet Baker in equal measure. The languishing heart in Giordani's Caro mio ben is as emotionally charged as Jerry Bock's hopeful Will he like me?. Perhaps the most compelling reminder of how the music of Songplay breaks down divides is from DiDonato's experience leading vocal and composition workshops in the New York prison Sing Sing, where one of the men who is incarcerated was particularly moved upon hearing her rendition of Caro mio ben: 'I feel like I've known this song my whole life.'