As Long As There Are Songs
As Long As There Are Songs
The first half of the 20th century witnessed an unrivalled outpouring of popular song in America. During those rich years, music and lyrics of the highest craftsmanship flowed from the imaginations of our nation’s greatest popular songwriters. The most enduring of these standards from the golden years of Tin Pan Alley, musical theater, and film comprise the canon now commonly known as the “Great American Songbook.” These were songs intended for or adopted by the most accomplished singers of the era, including Bing Crosby, Ethyl Merman, Judy Garland, Kate Smith and Frank Sinatra.
Continuing this lineage of artists in our own generation is Stephanie Blythe, whose vocal beauty and communicative powers combine to express a nation’s hopes, dreams, loves and values. On television and stages throughout our country she has breathed new life into these works in interpretations that possess the ability to touch contemporary audiences. Her deep commitment and authority in presenting this repertoire have made Stephanie Blythe the reigning Queen of American Song in our time. Her creative partnership with the remarkable pianist Craig Terry in this collection marks a dynamic collaboration that celebrates our wealth of American song classics. Among the songs selected here are “Bei Mir Bist Du Schön,” “When You Wish Upon A Star,” “The White Cliffs Of Dover” and “Look For The Silver Lining.”
For Ms. Blythe’s first pop album, she has partnered with Meyer Sound in Berkeley, using John Meyer’s groundbreaking acoustic technology that melts the walls of their Pearson Theater. This technique can create any desired room ambience — in this case, an intimate living room or cabaret with the high-octane music projecting just a few feet in front of your heart. The bold sound and realistic dynamic range are eons apart from the historic compression we have been accustomed to from AM radio days.
Nobody’s voice fills a room quite like Ms. Blythe’s. Now even the room has learned to adjust. Add in a good meal of soulful tunes and hit the repeat button on this musical revelation.
Mezzo-Soprano Stephanie Blythe has captivated audiences at the greatest opera houses, symphony and recital halls of the world. At the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Opera National de Paris and other companies, Ms. Blythe is known for her diverse repertoire, which includes Handel, Verdi, and Wagner.
"[Blythe's] style can be brassy, bluesy or inspirational, the mood casual, defiant or needy, but the technique is brilliant and the commitment operatic. … [I]t's hard to resist Blythe's awesome range and its lavish, exuberant deployment."
—David J. Baker
"Recorded in the Pearson Theatre at the Berkeley headquarters of Meyer Sound and using its much-acclaimed digital system, Constellation, [As Long As There Are Songs] provides an 'In Person' experience that is virtually miraculous. As a fan of non-amplified solo recitals, the sound environment of this recording is like sitting in down-center Orchestra in a world class concert hall and having eye-to-eye contact with an artist whose big guns vocals penetrate clear to the soul. ... Stephanie and Craig's rendition of "Bei mir bist du schön" (pronounced "shayn") is fresh, red-hot, in your face, with a soft left on the kinky side of the street. This girl is on fire!" [FULL ARTICLE]
BAY AREA REPORTER
"Blythe's takes on such classics as "Always" and "The Man That Got Away" are golden. The Meyer Sound technology employed provides an unprocessed sound quite rare in these days of high compression and limited bandwidth in commercial recording. ... [P]roducer Evans Mirageas offers many of the songs as entire, unedited takes. That's so old-school it's almost shocking." [FULL ARTICLE]
NEW YORK TIMES
"The mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe has one of the most naturally big, rich and penetrating voices in opera. Yet she is a vocal artist with keen sensitivity to the expressive nuances of music and the texts she sings. She has proved an engaging and stylish performer of American standard and musical theater songs, as on this recording, released last fall, titled “As Long as There Are Songs.” With the pianist Craig Terry, she gives alternately tender and sassy, swinging and melting accounts." [FULL ARTICLE]