Press for “A Hopeful Place”
The piece is not surprisingly beautifully orchestrated…The descriptive writing perfectly helps heighten the tension of the text and we can feel these shifts from light to reflective darker moments.
The accessibility of the musical language with its delightful orchestral writing that stands in a long line of orchestral song cycles, certainly makes this a truly delightful discovery…
It is probably one of the most enjoyable hours of contemporary music you will be lucky to enjoy again and again. Personally, hitting the repeat button to hear the work again was very tempting in the midst of many reviews in the “to do” pile.
“It’s simply gorgeous, with lush harmonies, nice tunes, and skillful orchestration. ”
“Holden is especially impressive in the jazzy “Bacchanale” movement, which she brings off about as well as one could possibly imagine.”
“…the gamut of emotions is on display in the work, and the music depicts these well, especially in the portions that evoke nostalgia and sentimentality, but a current of optimism also runs deep in this work.”
“Dan Redfeld’s song cycle to a libretto by John Koladziej, A Hopeful Place, is a colorful, melodic, expressive exploration of a woman’s journey through life from childhood to the twilight years.”
“This most recent collaboration between Redfeld, Koladziej, and Holden showcases a remarkably moving and original new work for voice and chamber orchestra. Highly recommended!”
“Working in close collaboration with the author of the text, John Gabriel Koladziej, Redfeld has penned a piece that positively rewards repeated listening. Initially the impression (as was the case with the present listener) might be that of Americana crossed with Broadway musical, but actually there are compositional sleights aplenty plus enough cross-references to enable cohesion: The piece is all of a piece.”
“Soprano Kirsti Holden has a youthful-sounding voice, full of hope… The sterling recording ensures we hear every little subtlety, both of voice and orchestra. Redfeld marshals his forces with real expertise. Everything is rhythmically spot on, and co-ordination between voice and instruments is exemplary throughout. In terms of scoring, the variety is perfectly judged…”
“When A Hopeful Place was premiered in 2010, it became clear a recording would be a good idea, hence the current issue. The fine accompanying orchestra is made up of Los Angeles recording musicians, each of which seems to be in his or her element. The recording itself is powerful and clear, as is Redfeld’s message of hope.”
“The focus is on soprano Kristi Holden, with the rich backing of the Hollywood Studio Symphony which, with only twenty or so players, whips up a modern symphonic sound, pointed with harp, drum kit and a variety of delicate percussion…”
“Tonal and very accessible, this is a profound, unusual and striking work, well-sung, lushly orchestrated and expertly produced.”