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1994-1995 Recitals with Jessye Norman

Washington Post, April 12, 1995

“Jessye Norman, Deeper than Diva”
“Jessye Norman graced the Kennedy Center Concert Hall Monday night…Robed in billows of purple and black, she sang, via Strauss and Berg, of youth and spring. And for these seasons of Lent and Passover, she essayed the Catholic ecstasies of Messiaen and the brooding devotions of Ravel’s ‘Deux Melodies Hebraique’. The burning intense Messiaen and Ravel were the best scores on the program…(she had) in Ann Schein, strong of mind, ear and hand, a glittering partner and pianist.”

BBC Music Magazine, England, March, 1995

“Berg Succumbs to the Norman Conquest”
“This is a superb disc, Jessye Norman’s voluptuous voice is ideal for this sort of music…she tames it for the more intimate…piano accompanied ‘Seven Early Songs’ (plus one serial work from 1925) and Ann Schein proves a poetic, supportive partner.”

Alban Berg Songs, Sony SK 66826 DDD

Chicago Sun-Times, April 3, 1995

“Soprano Norman in Splendid Style”
“Some divas function like forces of nature. Soprano Jessye Norman, who gave a song recital in Orchestra Hall, is one of classical music’s most elemental powers. The audience went into delighted whoops and cheers the moment she swept onstage with her pianist, Ann Schein…She has been exploring new repertoire and her program was full of fascinating music, most of it 20th century pieces well off the usual diva track. Norman opened with Alban Berg’s charming set of love songs, “Jugendlieder”…The evening’s high points were the Messiaen and Ravel songs – both had stretches of a cappella, chant-like melody which Norman sang with a fierce intensity…rapt and transcendent in Messiaen’s ‘Thanksgiving’ and unbending in Ravel’s ‘Kaddish’. With Schein’s spare, expressive accompaniment, Norman revealed the austere depths of both composer’s spiritual worlds.”

Naples Daily News, January 22, 1995, Naples, Florida

“Ann Schein, a pianist of rare distinction, gave Norman her finest musicianly support.”

Jornal do Brazil. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, December, 1994

“Exceptional and Charismatic Soprano”
“It is not every day that we have a song recital like the one presented by Jessye Norman in the Teatro Municipal…the charisma of the exceptional American soprano transformed the most traditional of song recital forms and songs into a grand artistic statement…she had the outstanding accompaniment of pianist Ann Schein who was perfect in all composers and styles.”

Miami Herald, January, 1994, Miami, Florida

“Sumptuous was the word for Jessye Norman in the embracing resonance of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. A beautiful woman in a huge draped gown – a soprano with an artistry so polished it seemed spontaneous – she had a bravura accompanist in pianist Ann Schein…Norman had the whole audience in her (hands) and in everything she sang Schein was her co-star – an artist of commanding fluency and style.”