arsley, Sage, Rosemary and BRAHMS” is a very personal selection of
appealing and tuneful songs, to be listened to and enjoyed by anyone, of
any musical background, even those who think they don’t like Brahms!
The title song, of course, is Scarborough Fair, in the evocative original version with all 8 verses. The other folk songs on the album are all from the North East of England, except for the glorious Shenandoah, which is presented here in the beautiful arrangement by Ann Leyerle.
The rest is Brahms – at times achingly longing, at times playful and capricious. His melodies are gorgeous, harmonies exquisite: much more a personal reflection of his humanity – caught in a deep but unrequited love as he was – than his symphonic works.
Anne’s voice is rich and soothing, haunting at times, powerful, and always a pleasure to listen to. Her musical partnership with Dr Lee Hancock is so secure it comes a surprise to learn that this is their first recording together.
Anne Kania (Lamont-Low) was born and raised in Sunderland in the North East of England. As a child she became an excellent recorder-player, and only came to the voice after discovering Early Music. Thinking she might be a sweet-toned soprano, she discovered a “true contralto” waiting to be developed. Of the numerous teachers to whom she owes a debt of gratitude, she credits David Harper with her breakthrough into the professional arena.
Anne left the North East to live in New Zealand, where she became a noted contralto soloist, performing with choirs and orchestras throughout the country, and occasionally in Europe and England. Her repertoire extends from the baroque classics (Bach Passions and b minor Mass; Handel’s Messiah and Solomon) to the big classical and Romantic works (Verdi’s Requiem) and includes some premier performances along the way. She has worked extensively with the Christchurch City Choir, Auckland Choral, Bach Musica and the City of Dunedin Choir, and well as the Christchurch Symphony and even the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. She has performed operatic roles with Canterbury Opera and NBR Opera New Zealand.
Anne is especially remembered in New Zealand for her moving portrait of the great English contralto, Kathleen Ferrier, which she performed throughout the country to great acclaim.
In 2007 Anne moved again, to Shepherd, Montana, where she has espoused a more western lifestyle, with music still at her core. She has performed with the Billings Symphony and Rimrock Opera, and since she met Dr Lee Hancock (who happened to move from Seattle to Shepherd), has teamed with him on many occasions to present house-concerts and their first CD.
In her “other” life, she runs the company founded by her husband, Bruce Kania: Floating Island International, which promotes sustainable water stewardship through use of biomimetic floating wetland technology (mimicking nature).
- Der Gang zum Liebchen Op. 48, No. 1
- Sonntag Op. 47, No. 3
- Meine Liebe ist grün Op. 63, No. 5
- The Water of Tyne (trad.)
- The Keel Row (trad.)
- Scarborough Fair (trad.)
- An ein Veilchen Op. 49, No. 2
- Sapphische Ode Op. 94, No. 4
- Minnelied Op. 71, No. 5
- Meine Lieder Op. 106, No. 4
- Shenandoah (trad. American)
- Wir wandelten Op. 96, No. 2
- Ständchen Op. 106, No. 1
- Blow the Wind Southerly (trad.)
- Wie bist du, meine Königin Op. 32, No. 9
- Maa Bonny Lad (trad.)
- Botschaft Op. 47, No. 1
Chris Cunningham, Recording Engineer, of Basecamp Recording, Bozeman, MT. This is inadequate to describe the patience and genius of this man! You also know him as one of the Storyhill duo.
Warren Dennis Kahn, (sound engineer, The Banquet Studios) for his invaluable engineering consulting during the mixing and mastering process.
Bruce Kania, my wonderful husband, who looked after the dogs and cloistered himself during the recording, and constantly supports, encourages, inspires and loves me.
Sleeve and website design: Justin Wutzke, Kinetic Creative and Design, Billings, MT. The amazing Artist who created the website and sleeve design.
Extra pair of ears during editing:
Martin Hundelt… Friend and mentor (if only he lived in MT!).
Cover photo: Brendan Carlson, Billings, MT.
Piano tuner: Greg Depner, Billings, MT.
Transport and catering during recording weekend:
Al Cunningham, Bozeman, MT.
Emily Ezust and her wonderful resource, www.recmusic.org/lieder/, for texts and translations.
And everyone who has supported me in so many ways, not least by buying my CD!
Buy the CD or MP3 on CDBaby
MP3 available on iTunes