Dr. Sharon Mabry, The Journal of Singing, September/October 2007

Below is a review of my Holocaust-themed cycle The Seed of Dream, to poems of Abraham Sutzkever (1913-2010).

It is rare when a piece of music can be called a masterpiece. The plausibility of using such a term creates skepticism and begs for proof. If not proof, the designation yearns for a full explanation, at least. Such a work must display the highest level of compositional skill and excellence without pretense or artificiality of techniques in its creation. It should impart a vivid depiction of its aesthetic intent and cause the listener to be forever changed for having experienced it. Further, the consequence of its performance should be a demand that it be repeated frequently, since its absence would diminish the lives of all potential listeners.

The American song composer, Lori Laitman, has been lauded by reviewers as one of the most extraordinary song composers working today, likening her to Ned Rorem. She has an innate ability to capture the essence of textual meaning, a keen perception of vocal nuance, and a lavish intellectual and musical vocabulary that she uses with a facile ease. It was with all of these extraordinary skills that she created a magnificent song cycle called The Seed of Dream….Each of the five songs is uniquely crafted to embody the textual expression with descriptive melodies, harmonic underpinnings, and sympathetic timbres that identify even the subtlest, changeable emotions…Laitman knows how to get the very best from the baritone voice, giving it opportunities to use a full range of dynamics and allowing it to have heights of drama, lyric lines, as well as delicacy of articulation and interpretation…The use of the cello as a conversationalist with the voice and piano is brilliant and provides intense emotion and extraordinarily refined color changes throughout the piece…This cycle is indeed a masterpiece that should not be missed!