Saturday, July 3, 2010

Kathleen Battle in Ottawa Citizen: 'I'm going to sing This Little Light of Mine in an arrangement by Hale Smith'

[ABOVE: Hale Smith (1925-2009) BELOW: Although no longer at her peak, soprano Kathleen Battle still radiates star quality. Photograph by: Image courtesy, Douglas Foulke]
"'One of the great voices of our time'
By Steven Mazey, The Ottawa Citizen July 3, 2010
“It was 12 years ago, but Ottawa cellist Julian Armour can describe in vivid detail the night he shared a stage with the American soprano once praised by critics as 'among the singing elite of this century' and 'the best lyric coloratura soprano in the world.'"

“Battle has sung with the NACO three times, most recently in 2005, and Armour says he's thrilled to present her in the more intimate recital format Tuesday as part of his new Music and Beyond classical music festival, which begins Monday. Accompanied by pianist Ted Taylor, Battle will perform songs by Schubert, Liszt and Rachmaninov and spirituals, including Way up in Heaven, This Little Light of Mine and Ev'rytime I Feel the Spirit.

“Can you discuss the spirituals you'll perform in Ottawa and why you chose them?
It's mostly from the point of view of the arrangements. The great Hall Johnson arranged two of them, Way up in Heaven and Ev'rytime I feel the Spirit. He was one of the great arrangers ever. I'm going to sing This Little Light of Mine in an arrangement by Hale Smith, who we lost in November. He was a composer, a jazz pianist and a fantastic orchestrator and arranger. His arrangement is so beautiful. [Hale Smith (1925-2009) is profiled at, which features a complete Works List compiled by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University Conservatory, Appleton, Wisconsin.]

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