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Teodora Brody (vocals), London Symphony Orchestra, Robert Ziegler (conductor) Detailed performer information
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Label: Signum Classics
Recording details: June 2021
LSO St Luke's, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Jonathan Allen
Engineered by Jonathan Allen
Release date: September 2023
Total duration: 44 minutes 21 seconds

Cover artwork: Photo © Alex Galmeanu.

Pioneering Romanian vocalist Teodora Brody joins forces with one of the world’s great orchestras to explore well-known classical repertoire from an entirely fresh perspective …

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On her new album pioneering Romanian vocalist Teodora Brody joins forces with one of the world’s great orchestras to explore well-known classical repertoire from an entirely fresh perspective. Rising with style and energy to realise virtuosic orchestrations by Lee Reynolds, the London Symphony Orchestra voyage with Teodora through classical, jazz and Romanian folk traditions, resulting in a multi-faceted, truly unique musical experience.

With these world-class musicians at the helm familiar melodies melt and transform, flowing between genres and revealing surprising new connections. Early in the album the familiar arpeggios of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata morph into a very different kind of nocturne; bluesy harmonies and soulful scat conjure the atmosphere of a smoky jazz bar in the early hours. And later the popular strains of Pachelbel’s Canon are spun out in entirely new directions, rising from whispered incantations to a soaring orchestral crescendo.

What is perhaps most surprising is just how cohesive and engrossing it all sounds. For producer Jonathan Allen 'it reminded me of when Jeff Beck noodled on top of Mahler [the Adagietto from Symphony No 5, recorded in 2005]—that lovely combination of something fresh and communicative. Teodora brings the human connection to this music which only the voice can and has drawn something truly heartfelt from these melodies which we all know so well.'

Elsewhere on the album Teodora explores repertoire from her native Romania, with extraordinary new interpretations of George Enescu’s two Romanian Rhapsodies and Bartók’s Romanian Dances. Evocative orchestrations and Teodora’s elemental vocals ensure these are performances full of passion, with all the intensity of Romania’s folk music traditions transformed into an orchestral setting. And again, in Teodora’s hands the kaleidoscope is always rotating, revealing surprising new colours of jazz or symphonic music at each turn.

On the very last track, Teodora digs further into her roots to present a solo Doina—Romania’s improvisatory, deeply emotive folk singing tradition. As the project’s orchestrator Lee Reynolds recalls, 'At the end of the second day of recording, when the orchestra had left and the studio was quiet we recorded the absolutely astonishingly beautiful unaccompanied Doina. The producer and I were in the listening booth, and we both looked at each other and our jaws just dropped. It was a magical moment. These don’t come along very often, and yet we captured so many of them with Teodora on this album.'

Signum Classics © 2023

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