Songs of Death and Desire

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Songs of Death and Desire
Xiao Ma (male soprano), Mere Boynton (mezzo), Anna Pierard (mezzo) / New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Kenneth Young

[ Atoll Records New Zealand / CD ]

Release Date: Tuesday 12 May 2015

Originally conceived as a 'theatrical entertainment' and first heard at the 2013 Auckland Festival Songs and Dances of Desire consisted of twenty movements, five of them cabaret dances.

Now recomposed by Body into this orchestral song cycle Songs of Death and Desire, these sumptuous songs, full of drama and passion, are given powerful performances by the NZSO and select vocalists.

Includes arrangements of arias from Bizet's Carmen performed by the sensational Chinese male soprano Xiao Ma, and with settings in Spanish and Maori of texts by women about love and life, songs that are greatly enhanced by vocal contributions from Anna Pierard and Mere Boynton.

"Atoll Records has provided handsome packaging for the late Jack Body's moving tribute to transgender icon, Carmen Rupe. Emotionally gripping stories, in Maori and Spanish, sung by Mere Boynton and Anna Pierard, sit alongside Chinese countertenor Xiao Ma who revels in Body's quirky takes on arias from Bizet's Carmen, all accompanied by the NZSO at its most dazzling." Classical picks of 2015 William Dart


2 SEGUIDILLE from Bizet's 'Carmen'. 'I am ready for love'.
3 A KISS (for a child) Sung in Maori as a lullaby.
4 A KISS (saeta). Sung in Spanish. Casting a spell on a lover.
5 HABANERA Variation I from Bizet's 'Carmen'.
6 A KISS (for a lover) Sung in Maori, casting a spell on a lover.
7 CANZONETTA Sung in French, from Bizet's 'Carmen'.
8 BLACK Sung in Spanish. 'Reduce me to ashes, like a black sun.'
9 BLACK Sung in Maori. 'Reduce me to ashes.'
10 THE STRONG BOND (saeta). Sung in Spanish.
11 HABANERA Sung in French, from Bizet's 'Carmen'. A song of seduction
12 TO JULIA DE BURGOS. Sung in Spanish. 'I defy convention.'
13 HABANERA Variation 2 from Bizet's 'Carmen'. Orchestral interlude
14 WHY PRETEND? Sung in Maori. 'Humiliating the lover'.
15 DESTINY Sung French, from Bizet's 'Carmen'. 'The inevitability of fate'.
16 PAIN Sung in Spanish, then Maori. 'Pain gives us what we most need.'