Gregory Berg of The Journal of Singing reviews 2 new CDs with Laitman songs

Gregory Berg of The Journal of Singing recently reviewed two new CDs that feature songs by Lori.

First is Over the Fence: Songs of Elsa Respighi, Lori Laitman and Modesta Bor, performed by soprano Tanya Kruse Ruck and pianist Elena Abend.

“Last [on the CD] but certainly not least is a song cycle by Lori Laitman, one of the finest song composers before the public today. Days and Nights is her second song cycle and was written to texts by several different poets, including Robert Browning, Christina Rossetti and Emily Dickinson….The first song, a setting of the famous words “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be,” by Robert Browning, is vintage Laitman, with lush, warm lines that elevate this already beautiful poetry to even more powerful expressiveness. On the other hand, the saucy fun of “Over the Fence,” “They Might Not Need Me,” and “Wild Nights” is also vintage Laitman, thanks especially to her trademark mastery of playful rhythmic interplay and her fearless flair for flamboyant melodic gestures and climaxes.”

Berg then reviews Experience: Songs by Lori Laitman & Richard Pearson Thomas, the new CD by soprano Natalie Mann and pianist Jeffrey Panko.

“Lori Laitman is the main headliner in Experience, a stunning new release…every song here seems to suit these two musicians perfectly…”The Metropolitan Tower,” [a] gentle gem, belongs on any list of the finest art songs of the last thirty years. “A Winter Night,” which follows it, paints a haunting picture…both in the stark phrases of the singer’s melody and the pungent accompaniment against which it is laid…Her music here, as in so many of her other songs, is not an intruder, but rather a welcome partner that helps an already beautiful text take wing…Sunflowers was commissioned by Dr. Adelaide Whitaker…Laitman responds with an exceptionally wide palette of colors and textures…In This Short Life consists of three songs…there is a staggering amount of beauty and profundity in these sublime miniatures, each of which features the incomparable poetry of Emily Dickinson…As is so often the case, Laitman has an unfailing ability to grasp the central essence of each of these poems and to express that essence in musical terms that seem fully authentic and perfectly true to Dickinson’s unique voice and vision. Art song composition does not get much better than this.”