Greetings followers, from the “A” of JACOPERA. You’ll be hearing more from me in the coming weeks, and I will be focusing on music reviews and recommendations! We will kick this off with an awesome recording by two good friends of ours, Anastasia Tillett and Taïs Szilagi. If ever there was a recording that embodies JACOPERA’s mission statement of making opera tangible, accessible, and relevant to our generation and those to come, it is this one!
These two divas take the iconic Lakmé Flower Duet, “Dôme épais le jasmin,” and transform it into a sweet and lyrical coffee house-esque lullaby. The two track deluxe single released by Joma Music Group on February 12th offers two versions of the duet. The first of these is “Flowers Falling” whose sonorous rendition uses both the original French text with interjections of English. The purity and clarity of Anastasia’s voice (soprano) and the warm velvety timbre of Taïs’ voice (mezzo-soprano) blend gorgeously together. The string accompaniment supports the vocal lines subtly during vocal passages, and blooms (pun intended) both with volume and character during instrumental interludes. The violin acts as a counter melody, emphasizing the lilting descending motive of falling flowers, and popping out of the texture with the vocal lines during climactic passages, especially during the “flowers are falling, softly, falling from above” moment.
“The Flower Duet (Morning Side Cafe Version)” sticks to the original French text and has a more intimate accompaniment of guitar. In this version there is an interesting guitar interlude that uses new material around 1:21, which I found to be reminiscent of Jeff Buckley. Opera Unplugged would be the best way to describe this down to earth track.
Seriously, check these tracks out. You’ll be happy you did. Even your most hipster-y friend will be impressed by your taste in indie classical music! You can listen to them on Soundcloud here, as well as on Apple Music, iTunes, and Spotify. https://soundcloud.com/jomamusicgroup/sets/flowers-falling-deluxe-single We look forward to hearing more from Anastasia & Taïs, and from this new uncharted genre.
Readers and listeners, we love to hear what you think! If you have any comments or recommendations on music recordings, venues, performances, etc. send them our way!