Where the Music comes from American Songs
Glyndebourne's Bess, Covent Garden's Liu and King's Coretta is at last allowed to be herself: this recital of American songs presents Haymon as Haymon in an unashamedly personal selection of music illustrating ''the many shades of love''. Cynthia Haymon's own short written introduction to this all too short recital sends warm words to her parents and to her husband. And singing seems merely an exuberant extension of speech in her equally warm, direct delivery of each song.
There is the Chamber Music of James Joyce, in a chaste setting by Samuel Barber and a meandering one by Richard Hundley: there is, by contrast, Emily Dickinson's lusty, gusty
Haymon, and her astute accompanist, Warren Jones, is as relaxedly at home with the 1960s-style mode of the disc's title-song, with its devas, deer and living spirits, as she is with the turn-of-the-century salon passion of the Burleigh/Hope Among the fuchsias and Till I wake. Like Rorem himself, she gives the words room to live and air to breathe in the leisured balladry of See how they love me and Early in the morning. And her voice has fun following the erratic glint of an embroidery needle in Paul Nordoff's miniature.
The heights and depths of love may not be scaled here; but even the amateur mountaineer will enjoy Haymon's tenderly ironic performance of Celius Dougherty's tongue-in-cheek waltz, Love in the dictionary. Definition, after all, comes into its own when love's meaning is revealed as ''In some games, as tennis, nothing''.'