Zachary Woolfe, “A Circle of Composers, Intimate and Epic”

circle-of-composers-picture-new-york-times

“There is an operatic quality coursing through the work of the Second Empire sculptor Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-75), the subject of a powerful exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, through May 26, that inspired a concert of French vocal music at the museum on Saturday evening.

“Look at Carpeaux’s best-known masterpiece, the wrenching ‘Ugolino and his Sons’ based on Dante: Here are both epic scope and intimate detail (those clenched feet!), the combination that 19th-century opera specialized in. It’s no surprise, given the adroitness of his balance between exuberance and restraint, that he was asked to design a relief for the exterior of Charles Garnier’s opera house in Paris. The result, a swirling mass of figures called ‘La Danse,’ fairly explodes off the facade.”    –Zachary Woolfe, “A Circle of Composers, Intimate and Epic,” The New York Times, April 29, 2014

Sequentia, Dante and the Troubadours (1993)

sequentia-album-cover“Although in the works of Dante Alighieri (d. 1321) illustrious poets are often mentioned, a special place of honour is reserved for the troubadours, the Occitan poet-singers of love and war from the 12th and 13th centuries. For this literary and absorbing CD, Bagby & Thornton perform songs (cansos) by six of the troubadours Dante most admired and described in his works.”    Sequentia, Dante and the Troubadours, 1993