Desiderium (CD) – John Matthew Myers

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Desiderium (CD) – John Matthew Myers

Composers: Various
Artists: John Matthew Myers, Myra Huang
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Avie
CD Release Date: May 13, 2022

The star of tenor John Matthew Myers is rapidly on the ascent. His debut album, Desiderium, coincides with his Metropolitan Opera debut in Brett Dean’s Hamlet

Desiderium – “an ardent desire or longing, a feeling of loss or grief for something lost” – beautifully showcases Myers’ mellifluous voice. His thoughtful program of works by American and American émigré composers opens with Samuel Barber’s yearning “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” – rarely heard sung by a tenor – and transitions to Charles Griffes’ similarly searching settings of “3 Poems of Fiona Macleod,” and Andre Previn’s “4 Songs for Tenor and Piano.” What follows is “A Letter from Sullivan Ballou,” set to the words of a poignant letter by an American Civil War officer, by John Kander (of Kander and Ebb musical theatre fame). Rounding out the recital are four Walt Whitman songs by German-born composer Kurt Weill, including the classic “O Captain! My Captain!” 

John Matthew Myers says, “Call me a big-hearted Romantic. Each song on this album conveys yearning, separation, loneliness, or distance but also a sense of intimacy and longing for connection.” It certainly does. Desiderium is an auspicious debut album, and one especially attuned to our times.

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