The Squid's Ear Magazine

Zorn, John: Madrigals (Tzadik)

Composer John Zorn presents two books of "Madrigals" scored for six acappella female voices, rich and seductive compositions intertwining voices in beautiful, electrifying and riveting ways through 10 works inspired by the 19th century British poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley.

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product information:


Lisa Bielawa-voice

Sarah Brailey-voice

Rachel Calloway-voice

Mellissa Hughes-voice

Jane Sheldon-voice

Kirsten Sollek-voice

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

UPC: 702397833925

Label: Tzadik
Catalog ID: CD-TZA-8339
Squidco Product Code: 21541

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2016
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard sleeve
Recorded at EastSide Sound, in New York City on October 13th, 2014 and October 10th, 2015 by Marc Urselli.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Zorn's compositions for acappella voice are some of his most sensual and sublime creations. This CD presents his two books of "Madrigals" scored for six female voices. Beautifully performed by his long time ensemble the "Sapphites" the music is even more varied and challenging than his previous masterpieces "The Holy Visions" and "Shir Hashirim," touching upon minimalism, tonal and atonal counterpoint, textural experiments and more. Inspired by the visionary poetry of 19th century British Romantic Percy Bysshe Shelley, a charming lyricism and subtle spirituality rides through the music from first note to last."-Tzadik

Artist Biographies

"Mellissa Hughes enjoys a busy career in both contemporary and early music. a versatile, charismatic soprano endowed with brilliant technique and superlative stage instincts...indispensable to New York's new-music ecosystem" A dedicated interpreter of living composers, Hughes has worked closely with Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Steve Reich, Neil Rolnick, and has premiered works by David T. Little, Missy Mazzoli, Ted Hearne, Caleb Burhans, Christopher Cerrone, Jacob Cooper, and Frederick Rzewski, among others. In the classical concert hall she has performed Mozart's Vespers and Requiem under the baton of Sir Neville Marriner, Handel's Dixit Dominus with Sir David Willcocks, and the role of Dido under the direction of Andrew Lawrence King. Equally at home in front of a rock band, Hughes has received widespread acclaim in her role as lead vocalist of Newspeak, an amplified alt-classical band, and for her work with Missy Mazzoli's Victoire. In the 2013/14 season, Hughes continues touring with John Zorn for Zorn@60 celebrations, singing his "Madrigals" and "Earthspirit" in Jerusalem, Paris and at Alice Tully Hall in New York (having sung the works last season in Montreal, Ghent, Warsaw, at the Barbican in London, and at the Guggenheim New York.) She also stars in Jonathan Berger's double bill opera, Visitations, in a Beth Morrison Production/HERE production for Protoype 2014 at Roulette, led by Christopher Rountree. Other highlights include a recital with pianist Lisa Moore for Kettle Corn New Music, and Bach cantatas with Julian Wachner and Trinity Wall Street."

-Mellissa Hughes Website (

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Track Listing:

1. Adonais 3:17

2. The Witch Of Atlas 3:52

3. Epipsychidion 3:49

4. The Devil's Walk 2:36

5. Endymion 5:43

6. Ocean Nymphs 5:18

7. Old Silenus 3:21

8. Twilight Phantasms 4:00

9. Queen Mab 3:28

10. Universal Pan 3:41

Related Categories of Interest:

Compositional Forms
Unusual Vocal Forms
Zorn. John
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
New in Compositional Music

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