Soprano Renee Fleming has been entertaining and thrilling audiences for a long time. Still, there is excitement when we get a new recording by this fine artist.
Her new CD is titled ‘Distant Light’, and it features the following:
Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Op. 24
All is Full of Love, arr. Hans Ek
‘The Strand Settings’ the world premiere recording.
All selections performed by Renée Fleming (soprano), with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Sakari Oramo conducting.
‘Distant Light’ is Renée Fleming’s first journey into the amazing world of Scandinavian music. For her first new studio album in three years she has chosen to inspire us with a daring mix of music.
The title comes from a poem in a new song cycle dedicated to Renée and here receiving its world premiere recording: Anders Hillborg’s ‘The Strand Settings’.
“At once atmospheric, elegiac and unsettling, the work was crafted with Ms. Fleming’s creamy voice in mind”, wrote the New York Times at its first performance in 2013. One of Sweden’s brightest star composers Hillborg has a close relationship with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic where this recording was made in February 2016 with its principal conductor Sakari Oramo.
Renée couples this with three songs by Björk in specially commissioned orchestrations by the brilliant Swedish composer and arranger Hans Ek, recorded here for the first time.
Why Björk? Both she and Renée are recipients of Sweden’s Polar Music Prize. Both dare to be original. In the fascinating booklet interview Renée talks about her admiration for Björk: “Her originality is breathtaking. She just blazes her own path forward”. Renée chooses the songs which mean the most to her personally and musically.
The Guardian wrote a few days ago:
“As a vehicle for the soaring purity of Fleming’s voice, and as an evocation of Strand’s very finely etched sensibility, Hillborg’s settings are genuinely beautiful and their cumulative effect is powerful…”
Here is Renee Fleming: