Tapestry

Faces of a Woman

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Tapestry, the Boston-based women's trio, is joined by five other singers and instrumentalists in the album of music devoted to women's stories. The selections range from Medieval motets to European and American folk song to Romantic choral music to newly composed pieces. Most of the pieces have an early music/folk-like simplicity and purity that give them an immediate, direct appeal. The performances are wonderfully appealing as well; the singing is impassioned and unaffected, and the instruments -- harp, vielle, fiddle, and cello -- provide a colorful, atmospheric accompaniment. Singers Laurie Monahan, Cristi Catt, and Daniela Tosic, joined on several tracks by Carolann Buff, Diana Brewer (and bass Darrick Yee in the excerpts from Rachmaninov's Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom) sing with clear, straight tone and flawless intonation, and their voices are colorfully varied. The programming of complementary repertoire is inspired -- the contemporary pieces by Marcos Krieger, Ivan Moody, Joan Szymko, Margaret McAllister, and Robert Kyr -- fits seamlessly with the oldest, a ninth century chant. The two pieces by Hildegard, in fact, sound nearly as modern in relation to the chants as the twentieth century pieces. MDG's sound is clear, clean, natural sounding, and ideally resonant. Most of the music and performances are gentle, meditative, and serene; this lovely collection should be of interest to fans of early music, world folk music, and the sound of the blend of women's voices.

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