A HOPEFUL PLACE
Composer Dan Redfeld presents A HOPEFUL PLACE: A SONG CYCLE FOR SOPRANO & CHAMBER ORCHESTRA, his debut release on Navona records showcasing his nine-movement song cycle of the same name. A Hopeful Place follows a woman’s journey through life from birth to death—a life-cycle-song-cycle, as librettist John Gabriel Koladziej describes the piece. Across the many movements, Redfeld and Koladziej explore the various stages of life, such as the adventurousness of early life in “Childhood,” the confusion of adolescence in “Words They Never Say,” and the joys, pleasures, love, and possibilities found in adulthood in “No Longer a Child / Somehow,” “Vocalise,” and the jazzy “Bacchanal.” The piece culminates in “A Hopeful Place,” a poignant meditation on pain and hope drawing from the experiences of the composer and librettist in post–9/11 America. The piece closes with the elegiac “Evensong” and the finale “Moments / I Wish You Music.”
Soprano Kristi Holden takes center stage in this recording, with Redfeld conducting the Hollywood Studio Symphony, a 20-piece ensemble of musicians from the Los Angeles area. Holden moves deftly through the many styles of Redfeld’s lush score, from opera to musical theatre to jazz. Redfeld employs several distinctive themes to heighten the drama of the piece, the most central being the sweeping “Vocalise” theme, which weaves the many movements together. A Hopeful Place both opens and closes with this theme—thus, completing the cycle and reminding the listener of the role of music in life’s journey.