Cora Burggraaf (Mezzo-Soprano)
Calefax Reed Quintet
Contents Richard A. Whiting, Haven Gillespie, Seymour Simons: Breezin’ Along With the Breeze Copland: Sentimental Melody (Blues) Britten: Cabaret Songs: I.Tell me the Truth about Love, II.Funeral Blues, III.Johnny, IV.Calypso Weill, K: Dreigroschensuite Scotto, V: La Petite Tonkinoise Weill, K: Youkali Gershwin: An American in Paris, tone poem Weill, K: Surabaya Johnny (from Happy End)
Calefax and Cora Burggraaf have worked together for many years. Their joint project The Roaring Twenties was so successful that they decided it should be recorded on CD. The disc opens with the dance that epitomized the twenties: the Charleston. Breezin’ along with the breeze is a carefree ode to freedom and nature, and thanks its popularity to the singer/actress Josephine Baker. The poet W.H. Auden and Benjamin Britten had a tempestuous love affair that resulted in numerous artistic collaborations, including the Cabaret Songs. The texts are the fruits of Auden’s wild time in Berlin in the early thirties. If there is but one piece of music that symbolizes interbellum Berlin, then it is Die Dreigroschenoper by Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weill. This is ‘dancing on the edge’ at its best. The opera – or, rather, the musical – is an ode to down-andouts, thieves, thugs, con men and whores. George Gershwin’s trip to Europe and sojourn in Paris had a significant impact on his career. He met Kurt Weill in Berlin and countless Parisian artists. More importantly, however, was his growing awareness of his unique, American and jazz-influenced style. In An American in Paris Gershwin seems to be looking for a meaningful synthesis of his own style and his newfound knowledge of classical form and composition. It is more complex and ‘classical’ than his earlier works; the autobiographical work sketches the awe-struck impressions of an American ambling through the chaotic Paris of the 1920s.