No Enemy but Winter and Rough Weather

Release Date: January 12, 2018
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Even the most fearful of the cold will draw warmth from Joe Summer’s comforting No Enemy But Winter and Rough Weather, the sixth album honoring The Shakespeare Concert Series, of which he is founder and executive director. Summer’s own Concert Overture for Piano is an icy introduction performed by SangYoung Kim. Following are two settings of “Under the Greenwood Tree.” Next is the inviting setting by William Walton performed by soprano Kathryn Guthrie and pianist John McGinn. Alluring, too, is Track 3 the Erich Wolfgang Korngold setting of the text performed by Kim and mezzo-soprano Thea Lobo. Kim stays at the piano for Track 4—“When Birds Do Sing”—also by Korngold; Guthrie delivers this spritely tune. Thomas Morley’s “It Was a Lover and His Lass” echoes the delight of the previous song, but with a harpsichord’s accompaniment (Ian Watson) and the agile voice of tenor Luke Grooms. Spring darkens with the entry of Peter Warlock’s “Sleep,” performed by Kellie Van Horn (mezzo-soprano) and the Arcadia Players, though Thomas Arne’s “Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind” Ending the album is Track 16, Joe Summer’s setting of “When That I Was A Little Boy,” in which Grooms and the Arcadia Players denounce winter once and for all. When the listener discovers the rich artistry and clever programming inherent in this recording, she will immediately want to hear the previous five albums in The Shakespeare Concert Series available on the Navona label.

-Naxos Direct