Berio / Berg / Gershwin: Crazy Girl Crazy

Berio / Berg / Gershwin: Crazy Girl Crazy cover
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Berio / Berg / Gershwin: Crazy Girl Crazy
Barbara Hannigan, Ludwig Orchestra & film directed by Mathieu Amalric

[ Alpha Classics / CD/DVD ]

Release Date: Friday 29 September 2017

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Whether singing, conducting, dancing or acting, the Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan is a source of fascination. Alpha Classics is proud to enter her world today and to present in 2017 her very first album as singer and conductor: with the Amsterdambased orchestra Ludwig, of which she is associate artist, Barbara Hannigan has devised a programme including Berg's Lulu Suite and Gershwin's Girl Crazy in a Suite newly arranged by the multiawardwinning American composer Bill Elliott. To complement these two pieces, she has recorded Berio's spectacular Sequenza III for solo voice. An outstanding soprano, a distinguished interpreter of the music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, an all-round artist who creates a sensation on concert platforms and in opera houses throughout the world, Barbara Hannigan has enriched her palette over the past few years by devoting a portion of her activities to conducting.

This album in the form of a musical portrait of the artist, is completed by a DVD of a film made by Mathieu Amalric during the rehearsals and recording sessions. It plunges into the heart of the orchestra with a very personal look at the exchanges between conductor and musicians.

Over the next few years, Alpha will accompany Barbara Hannigan in a number of projects from very varied horizons . . .

2018 Grammy Winner - Best Classical Solo Vocal Album

"Crazy Girl Crazy is an album that - just like its muse and protagonist - flouts the rules…The litheness of Hannigan's voice beguiles, so that the near-segue into the Lulu Suite (1934) comes as a sense-sharpening emotional jolt…It's a highly personal, sensual reading; lavish with orchestral detail and, when it comes, a spellbinding 'Lied der Lulu'" BBC Music

"Purists might jib at Hannigan's reharmonization of Gershwin, complete with note rows and Ligeti tone clusters, though her vocals are exuberant and the playing stylish. It's Sequenza III, however, written for Berio's muse Cathy Berberian, that is the high point. Transposed upwards it acquires both an unnerving vulnerability and a tentative optimism." Gramophone

"The most versatile of stage performers, she not only sings on this disc, but conducts, whimpers and mutters, whispers and shrieks...Berg's Lulu Suite gets a romantic performance, strong on limpid, singing lines from the Ludwig Orchestra." Financial Times

"Hannigan opens this album with a reminder, in no shy terms, of what a stupidly seductive vocalist she is. She flits, warbles and giggles through Berio's high-wire Sequenza III from 1965; she has a way of making everything just float...her fierce musicianship is never in doubt...her effortless style is bewitching." Guardian


1 Sequenza III 00:09:00
2 Lulu Suite: Rondo 00:14:25
3 Lulu Suite: Ostinato 00:03:53
4 Lulu Suite: Lied der Lulu 00:02:45
5 Lulu Suite: Variationen 00:03:45
6 Lulu Suite: Adagio 00:10:25
7 Girl Crazy Suite: But not for me, Embraceable you, I got Rhythm

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