Kyle Bielfield (tenor)/ Lachlan Glen (piano)
DECC A 481 1163
TPT: 71’ 54”
reviewed by Neville Cohn
This is one of the most satisfying CD debuts I can recall in years.
I had not known of Kyle Bielfield’s work as tenor until I listened to this compilation. I’d come
home late at night after a very long day when I found the CD in my mailbox. I thought I’d listen to
a couple of tracks before turning in for a much needed rest. But having a sleep was put on hold for
more than an hour because this was musicmaking far too persuasive to leave over for the morning.
I savoured each minute of this splendid musicmaking.
Kyle Bielfield sings the words as if they really mean something rather than just as a medium for
producing a pleasing sound; he’s a storyteller who draws the listener into the idiosyncratic world
of each song. But there’s more – far more – to these recordings than even this. Australian
accompanist Lachlan Glen reaches for the stars in each miniature, doing wonders in assisting the
singer to establish the unique essence of each art song. These recordings are a model of integrated
musicianship at a very high level.
In a broad sense, American art songs – North American relations to German lieder and the French
chanson – have yet to establish themselves firmly in an international; sense. And what Bielfield
and Glen are doing so persuasively through recordings such as this is to bring American art song to
a wider constituency – and not before time. Michael Samis’ contributions on cello are masterly.
There are established favourites – Copland’s setting of Simple Gifts, Amy Beach’s Autumn Song,
Stephen Foster’s Beautiful Dreamer. But there are also vocal miniatures that deserve to be far, far
better known than they, in fact, are. There are no fewer than three settings of Stopping by Woods
on a Snowy Evening by Samuel Barber, John Duke and Ned Rorem respectively. And with
performances of such insight and skill, there’s every reason to believe these will be taken up by an
Many of these songs were a revelation for me – and in the most positive sense. I hope they are for