About the performers:
Born to parents who were professional classical musicians (father - 'cellist, mother - harpist), Sally Light began singing and memorizing classical music as a very young child. She has studied both voice and piano with notable teachers, including Ruth Chamlee (voice), Mario Carta (opera coach), and Nikita Magaloff (piano). In addition, she has studied dance with Carmen de Lavallade and Alvin Ailey (at the Lester Horton Studio), and acting with Brendan Dylan (of the Abbey Theater, Dublin). She has performed in Vienna, Paris, Lyon, and Bordeaux, as well as in the U.S., in opera, concert and recital. Future performances are planned for Europe,Russia and India. Among her favorite U.S. credits is appearing in the West-Coast premiere of Scott Joplin's rag-time opera, "Treemonisha," at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. She holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and J.D. from the New College of California School of Law, and has also studied in Russia through the Indiana University's Ford Foundation-sponsored Russian Language Immersion Program. She is listed in the "Who's Who of American Women" (2002 and 2004 editions). Her CDs with prominent Bay Area pianist, Miles Graber, featuring the remarkable songs of Alexander Tcherepnin (1899 - 1977) are forthcoming.
Pianist Miles Graber received his musical training at the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied with Anne Hull, Phyllis Kreuter, Hugh Aitken, and Louise Behrend. He has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1971, where he has developed a wide reputation as an accompanist and collaborative pianist for instrumentalists and singers. He has performed with numerous solo artists, including Itzhak Perlman, Sarah Chang, Cho-Liang Lin, Camilla Wicks, Axel Strauss, Mimi Stillman, and Judith LeClair. Mr. Graber currently performs frequently with violinists Christina Mok and Mariya Borozina, flutists Gary Woodward and Amy Likar, and clarinettist Tom Rose. He is a member of the chamber groups Trio Concertino, MusicAEterna, and the Sor Ensemble. Miles and Arkadi Serper comprise the two-piano team Scorpio Duo. In addition, Mr. Graber has been associated with numerous ensembles such as the San Francisco Chamber Soloists, Midsummer Mozart, the Oakland-East Bay Symphony, the California Symphony, and the Santa Rosa Symphony. He is also active as a teacher and chamber music coach, and is on the faculties of the Crowden School in Berkeley and the San Domenico Conservatory in San Anselmo, and is a staff accompanist and chamber music coach in the Preparatory Division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Tracks 1 and 12 -15 of this CD were recorded with Mr. Graber in his own music studio, using a vintage Steinway piano maintained and voiced by Bay Area master piano tuner, Mark Schecter.
Pianist Christopher Salocks, in addition to being an accompanist is a piano soloist, chamber musician, teacher, critic, and program annotator. He received his Masters and Doctoral degrees from Stanford University, where he studied with Adolph Baller. He has participated in master classes of singers Elly Ameling and Phyllis Curtain, flutists Frances Blaisedell and Julius Baker, and pianists Adele Marcus and Ivan Moravec, and has taught at Skyline College, Foothill College, De Anza College, and Stanford University. He is an official accompanist for the Music Teachers National Association's state, regional and national auditions. In 2004, he performed at the Kennedy Center in a concert later broadcast on National Publid Radio. As a music reviewer, he has written for the Palo Alto Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Tribune/Alameda Newspaper Group, and the High Fidelity Review web site. In a 20-year association with pianist Jon Nakamatsu, he has accompanied Nakamatsu in concertos and two-piano concerts, and has also written program booklets for Nakamatsu's Woelfl and chopin recitals on Harmonia Mundi CDs. Tracks #2 - #11 were recorded with Mr. Salocks in a recital given at St. Alban's Church in Albany, California, in August 2007.
About the music:
This CD includes rarely-performed masterpieces, including several that have never been recorded before: Ildebrando Pizzetti's impressionist-influenced "I Pastori" (setting of a remarkable poem by the great Italian poet Gabriele D'Annunzio) and Alexander Tcherepnin's "Je Vous Aime" as well as the four selections from his "Seven Songs on Chinese Poems." The latter were composed in Chinese, Russian and English versions. The words of "Je Vous Aime" were written by the famous Vietnamese poet, Tran Van Tung, who knew Tcherepnin in Paris. A professional pianist and composer, Tcherepnin was truly international, being born in Russia and moving to Paris as a young man (he became a French citizen), and then moving to the U.S. (becoming an American citizen). He also lived in China and in Japan, and was highly esteemed in those countries. His wife, Ming, was Chinese and was an accomplished pianist. His belief that Russian music and culture are deeply influenced by East Asia are reflected in these works.
Other selections, by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and Granados, are well-known in Russia and Europe, but performed infrequently in the U.S. and elsewhere, and are, again, very deserving of being heard. "At the Ball" evokes a Onegin-like image, "Was I not a little blade of grass?" is a folksong-like setting of I. Z. Surikov's words. "The Lilacs" shows a gentler, more lyrical side of Rachmaninov. Granados'"La Maja y el Ruisenor," is a great piece often performed in Europe. First composed as a piano solo as part of Granados' composition, "Goyescas (inspired by the Spanish painter Goya)," it then became a song version (heard here), and later part of his opera "Goyescas."
The songs by American composer Ernst Bacon (1898 - 1990) are but a few of the approximately 300 songs he wrote. His settings here of poems by Emily Dickinson are not only insightful, interesting, and beautiful, but also bring out aspects of her thoughts ("O Friend," "The grass so little has to do"), while his setting of Nikolai Lenau's poem in "Schilflied (nocturne)" has several layers of meaning, and has musical roots in German lieder. In contrast, his treatment of "The Red Rose," Robert Burns' well-loved poem, is folksong in style.
Eminent American Composer Samuel Barber (1910 - 1981)whose "Adagio for Strings" and "Sure On this Shining Night" are known to all classical music lovers, also wrote many songs not so well-known. His "O Boundless, Boundless Evening" is one of them - a great lyric piece.
About the Recording Engineer:
Lou Judson of Intuitive Audio recorded and edited these tracks. Well-known throughout the Bay Area, Mr. Judson's skill, talent, and musical sensitivity serve him well, whether in studios or in live performances. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (415) 883-2689.