Preludes to Passion is a beautiful collection of short works for the piano, ranging from J.S. Bach's "Allemande" from his French Suite No. IV, to Sting's tender "The Secret Marriage," arranged for cello and piano; from Poulenc's shimming "Sicilliene" from his Suite Francaise to Aaron Copland's reflective "In Evening Air," which the composer arranged from his score for the moving post World-War II documentary "The Cunningham Story. "
Several tracks on the CD are originally composed as vocal works: Bartok's "Wedding Song from Poniky" from his Four Slovak Folk Songs for mixed chorus and piano. The choral parts sing beautifully from the piano, alongside the original accompaniment, transforming the song into a dramatic two-piano expression of love and regret.
The heartbeat and emotion of Sting's The Secret Marriage" has the piano joined singing cello lines, played by acclaimed Ethel Quartet cellist Dorothy Lawson. Paul Hindemith's "The Swan," was originally composed for four-part a cappella choir. In this recording, the piano performs the choral parts and the text--a bittersweet poem about love-is read alongside by Metropolitan OIpera Chorus baritone Roger Andrews.
Also included on the CD are short, beautiful works by Peter Schickele, Eric Ewazen, Leo Kraft and Steven Rosenhaus.