Hildegard and the Celtic Bard 2018

 

Released in 2018, this recording takes you on a journey from Hildegard’s medieval monastery in Bingen, Germany, to the French courts of the Renaissance and finally to the folk of Ireland, England and Scotland.

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Amanda Cole is a skilled and assured mezzo soprano from New Zealand, and her voice is colorful and lovely. She brings interpretive warmth and insight to every song here, from the most intricate and complex to the most simple and spare.

One has to appreciate the easy flow with which she sings these songs, and for how singable she makes this language sound. Sandra Crawshaw handles the piano accompaniments with aplomb.

The songs themselves are fascinating and they are given exemplary performances, but it is the comprehensive attention to detail in other matters of presentation that makes this recording so uncommonly satisfying. Ms. Cole offers up thirty-four songs with full texts and translations, composer and poet biographies, and various program notes to explain certain textual references that the typical listener is otherwise unlikely to understand. She also shares some interesting information about the turbulent history of Portugal, which is a valuable addition to her notes since there are numerous references to that history in these songs. Even more helpful is an essay titled “Saudade and Song,” which explains what the title of the disk is all about. Saudade, according to Cole, is “a particularly Portuguese concept and sentiment” that springs out of a collective, cultural sense of longing and yearning for pleasures which either once existed and have faded from view, or which never existed in the first place but have been desperately desired all the same.

The Dew Gatherers: German Baroque songs, arias & variations

Released 2017. Playing their own arrangements and realisations of the songs and arias of Johann Philipp Krieger, this trio (voice, harpsichord & bassoon) has created a ground-breaking, unique and original recording. Krieger (1649-1725) is one of the important forerunners of Bach and Handel. Click here to hear samples and read more.

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Saudade: A Portuguese Songbook

“Every so often a recording comes along that reveals a rich musical legacy largely unknown to the rest of us. Amanda Cole’s Saudade: A Portuguese Songbook is such a release, and anyone who cares about art song and enjoys exploring its vast vistas needs to own this wonderful recording.” Gregory Berg, American Journal of Singing.

Buy directly from the artist:

Help the artist to create more beautiful music to share with you. $20AUD incl. postage.

Amanda Cole is a skilled and assured mezzo soprano from New Zealand, and her voice is colorful and lovely. She brings interpretive warmth and insight to every song here, from the most intricate and complex to the most simple and spare.

One has to appreciate the easy flow with which she sings these songs, and for how singable she makes this language sound. Sandra Crawshaw handles the piano accompaniments with aplomb.

The songs themselves are fascinating and they are given exemplary performances, but it is the comprehensive attention to detail in other matters of presentation that makes this recording so uncommonly satisfying. Ms. Cole offers up thirty-four songs with full texts and translations, composer and poet biographies, and various program notes to explain certain textual references that the typical listener is otherwise unlikely to understand. She also shares some interesting information about the turbulent history of Portugal, which is a valuable addition to her notes since there are numerous references to that history in these songs. Even more helpful is an essay titled “Saudade and Song,” which explains what the title of the disk is all about. Saudade, according to Cole, is “a particularly Portuguese concept and sentiment” that springs out of a collective, cultural sense of longing and yearning for pleasures which either once existed and have faded from view, or which never existed in the first place but have been desperately desired all the same.