SONGS FOR SOPRANO AND PIANO
45 minute cd-r
Performed by Helen Acheson (Soprano) and Clemency Gilmour (Piano)
Music composed by Christopher Orczy 2000-2001
Poems written by Maurice Maeterlinck (1898), Keats, Eichendorff
Illustrations by Charles Doudelet
01-02 recorded at School of Music, Canterbury University, October 2000
03-13 Live recording of only complete performance November 29 2001, Music Centre Chapel, Christchurch
01 When I have Fears
While studying, I started to use the voice for the first time (other than "A Day at the Beach", but this hardly counts). I particularly liked the female voice, and in Helen Acheson, I found my ideal performer. Helen is good with languages, and has a pure tone that suited my minimal settings. Her onstage presence that could be warm, cold, endearing and emotionless within the same song. Clemency Gilmour was the pianist used on these recordings, and her ability to play these minimalist pieces with a sensitive touch which suited the clusters and melodies. I became interested in the works of Maurice Maeterlinck, in particular his early plays and poems. I originally set one of his poems in 1999, unfortunately the piece was never recorded. I left Maeterlinck alone for 2000 and concentrated on other poets; Keats, Byron, Shelley, Eichendorff, Goethe, Moricke. I liked using German as a text, and in particular, Eichendorff, whose poem "Elefenlied" is contained within this disc. When I did set English words, I found the process very different, and I have only been satisfied with one of the settings: Keats' "When I have Fears".
Extraordinarily Picnic Concert, Great Hall, September 27, 2000
(extract) "...Christopher Orczy (When I have fears that I may cease to be)...Orczy evoking huge cathedralic spaces with a haunting soprano over solemn piano chords..."
Patrick Shepherd, The Press, Tuesday October 3 2000
Suspended- music from Canterbury University Concert review, Great Hall, June 1, 2001
The dispassionate setting of deeply charged emotional texts is a highly attractive feature of Christopher Orczy's Three Maeterlinck Songs, with the continual contrasts of stark beauty, clusters, and open chords. The maxim "less is more" was carried through in an understated performance which worked well.
Patrick Shepherd, The Press, June 2001