musical landscapes of Messiaen, Debussy and Faure sung by Susanna Phillips
Bridge Records 200 Clinton Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10801
Young Soprano Susanna Phillips new CD of French song with pianist Myra Huang is titled Paysages.
Messiaen, Debussy and Fauré, all these French composers had their own musical language that they use and it really to me depicted incredible musical landscapes that unified them as a trio of composers” said Phillips.
A Frustrated Search
The story of recording Paysages actually began with a frustrated search. “I had fallen in love with Messiaen’s music and I looked around for a good recording with piano. I couldn’t find one. I thought there should be one. So I came up with a program, got myself into the studio and paid for the sessions myself. If you’re going to be a solo singer, you have to have an entrepreneurial spirit; you’ve got to have a little bit of ‘get up and go.’”
Filling Out The Program
Phillips made other composer choices as well. “I thought that the Debussy works would go very well on recording. I’m not sure how well they work in recital, to be honest with you, but I do think that they are some of the most beautiful songs ever written, especially if you’re sitting listening to them over the radio with a glass of wine. And then I added the Fauré songs just to give another color of traditional French style with pieces that are similarly evocative.”
The Love, The Challenge And The Fun
At the same time that Phillips loves recitals and art songs, she admits that performing them can be daunting. “It’s very demanding. It’s hard and it’s not fun when you don’t do it well. When you don’t feel prepared or you haven’t been able to figure out a program or figure out what you want to say with the music it can be really frustrating. But when you’re on stage in a very simple way with just you and a pianist, really crafting a program that comes together to form an evening with something that you want to express and it really comes from you as a singer, as an artist, it’s an awful lot of fun.”