Friday, February 7, 2020

Baritone Will Liverman's Whither Must I Wander on Odradek Records

Will Liverman, baritone
Jonathan King, piano
Odradek Records

Whither Must I Wander is an exquisite recital of songs on the theme of travel by composers Ralph Vaughan Williams, J. Frederick Keel, Herbert Howells, Aaron Copland, Steven Mark Kohn, Nikolai Medtner, and Robert Schumann.
The artists explain, “Whither Must I Wander is born out of our own adventures, each song curated to tell a story inspired by our experiences. As lifelong friends and musical colleagues, we hope always to wander; towards new destinations, new discoveries, new relationships, and always home to share our story. The CD takes its name from one of the Songs of Travel by Ralph Vaughan Williams, a song cycle that is at the heart of this release. From the trudging ‘Vagabond’ to the more playful ‘Roadside Fire’ and the radiance of ‘Youth and Love,’ Vaughan Williams explores every bittersweet nuance of journeying.”
The album also features Frederick Keel’s exhilarating Three Salt-Water Ballads and Herbert Howells’ magnificent King David. The program then crosses the Atlantic to America for Aaron Copland’s serene At the River and contemporary composer Steve Mark Kohn’s Ten Thousand Miles Away, which uses traditional folk song to navigate the emotional strains of missing a loved-one far away. Liverman and King end the recital disc with the Goethe-inspired Night Song of the Wanderer by Russian composer Nikolai Medtner and the beautiful Mondnacht by Robert Schumann.

Liverman, an ambassador for diversity in the arts, grew up surrounded by gospel music in the Pentecostal Churches of Norfolk, Virginia. His musical education in piano and vocal studies enabled him to visit the Metropolitan Opera at age 15, a transformative moment that inspired Liverman to pursue singing as a career, with such success that he made his own Metropolitan Opera debut in recent years. 

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