The singer who “compels us to listen actively, to hear things anew” (Gramophone) plies her profuse talents once more in Songplay! Joined by pianist-arranger Craig Terry, jazz legends Chuck Israels (bass) and Jimmy Madison (drums), and young international sensations Lautaro Greco (bandoneón) and Charlie Porter (trumpet), Joyce DiDonato and her band fuse Italian Baroque bel canto classics, jazz ballads, and tunes from the Great American Songbook into one illuminating musical program, just released on Warner Classics.
Where did the idea for Songplay come from? Joyce DiDonato explains that, “as a beginning voice student, the traditional ritual of your first voice lesson is you walk in, your voice teacher hands you this ratty score (with pages missing and the cover falling off) of the 24 Italian Art Songs … Usually, we singers end up loathing and hating these songs.” DiDonato and her friend, the pianist Craig Terry had the idea to “revisit these pieces but with renewed musical fervor and intention. We go a little bit more in the jazz world, and the jazz world comes a little bit more into the classical world and we fuse together our styles.” And so Giulio Caccini’s early baroque masterpiece “Amarilli, mia bella” is framed with sultry jazz chords, while Richard Rogers’s “Spring is Here: With a Song in My Heart” is ornamented by DiDonato with baroque appoggiaturas and accompanied by tango-like bandoneon interjections. A program truly brimming with joy, unapologetically celebrating music and music-making of all kinds!
This concert is being featured as part of Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series.
Click here to discover Songplay.
Joyce DiDonato appears courtesy of Warner Classics.