Kathryn's debut solo album is centered on two of the most fundamental human emotions: love and loss. It weaves together music by three of the Baroque period's greatest composers - Purcell, Bach & Handel - recorded with period instrumental accompaniment.
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This clear-cut and intimate scoring reflects the soloist’s musical priorities. Mueller sings with a gentle timbre, clear diction, and uncluttered phrasing in introverted yet assured interpretations. Her delivery is consistently limpid and direct, indicating deliberate restraint and concern for the text.
-Andrew J. Sammut, Early Music America | Read the full review
Mueller's voice has been described by several as "crystalline," likely because of its crystal clarity, but it's also pristine, like the water in a mountain stream, and her diction is excellent, flowing like that stream, making the expression of the texts flow naturally. Her ornamentations do the same for the music itself in a fine historically informed performance. The instrumentalists are also all excellent and the balance is perfect, creating a team of equals.
-Marvin J. Ward, CVNC | Read the full review
The choice of repertoire is both ambitious and generally unusual. There are countless gems contained in the late Baroque period, such that it seems indulgent to program the same pieces, over and over again, remarkable though they are, to the neglect of so many others worthy of the light of day. Other than perhaps the Purcell, nothing in Ms. Mueller's choice of repertoire could be called a household melody, yet every piece stands as among the highest of the High Baroque. And all most importantly succeed brilliantly in providing vehicles that allow a great range of vocal technique and dexterity. The pin-point intonation which so impressed me when I first heard her sing years ago, is everywhere on display in this challenging recording.
Here is a new disc any Baroque music collector will be proud to have in the collection.
-Daniel Crafts, composer | Read the full review
If Music be the food of love
Sing on till I am fill’d with joy;
For then my list’ning soul you move
To pleasures that can never cloy.
Your eyes, your mien, your tongue declare
That you are music ev’rywhere.
Pleasures invade both eye and ear,
So fierce the transports are, they wound,
And all my senses feasted are,
Tho’ yet the treat is only sound,
Sure I must perish by your charms,
Unless you save me in your arms.
What a sad fate is mine,
My love is my crime;
Or why should she be,
More easy and free
To all than to me?
But if by disdain
She can lessen my pain,
'Tis all I implore,
To make me love less,
Of herself to love more.
Sweeter than roses, or cool evening breeze
On a warm flowery shore, was the dear kiss,
First trembling made me freeze,
Then shot like fire all o'er.
What magic has victorious love!
For all I touch or see since that dear kiss,
I hourly prove, all is love to me.
She that would gain a faithful lover
Must at a distance keep the slave;
Not by a look her heart discover,
Men should but guess the thoughts we have.
Whilst they're in doubt their flame increases,
And all attendance they will pay;
When once confess'd their ardour ceases,
And vows like smoke soon fly away.
Then, fond Aurelia, cease complaining,
All thy reproaches useless prove;
Beauties may conquer whilst disdaining,
But lose their value when they love.
So when a comet does appear,
Men do with trembling view the blaze;
The sun too common none does fear,
Nor on his beams with wonder gaze.
Fairest isle, all isles excelling,
Seat of pleasure and of love
Venus here will choose her dwelling,
And forsake her Cyprian grove.
Cupid from his fav'rite nation
Care and envy will remove;
Jealousy, that poisons passion,
And despair, that dies for love.
Gentle murmurs, sweet complaining,
Sighs that blow the fire of love
Soft repulses, kind disdaining,
Shall be all the pains you prove.
Ev'ry swain shall pay his duty,
Grateful ev'ry nymph shall prove;
And as these excel in beauty,
Those shall be renown'd for love.
An evening hymn
Now, now that the sun hath veil’d his light
And bid the world goodnight;
To the soft bed my body I dispose,
But where shall my soul repose?
Dear, dear God, even in Thy arms,
And can there be any so sweet security!
Then to thy rest, O my soul!
And singing, praise the mercy
That prolongs thy days.
Komm in mein Herzenshaus,
Herr Jesu, mein Verlangen!
Treib Welt und Satan aus
Und lass dein Bild in mir erneuert prangen!
Weg, schnöder Sündengraus!
Come into my heart's house,
Lord Jesus, my desire!
Drive out the world and Satan
and let your image renewed within me shine in splendour!
Away, loathsome horror of sin!
Wer ein wahrer Christ will heißen,
Muss der Demut sich befleißen;
Demut stammt aus Jesu Reich.
Hoffart ist dem Teufel gleich;
Gott pflegt alle die zu hassen,
So den Stolz nicht fahrenlassen.
Whoever wants to be called a true Christian
Must be concerned with humility;
Humility comes from Jesus's kingdom.
Haughtiness is like the devil;
God is accustomed to hate all those
Who do not abandon arrogance.
Öffne dich, mein ganzes Herze,
Jesus kömmt und ziehet ein.
Bin ich gleich nur Staub und Erde,
Will er mich doch nicht verschmähn,
Seine Lust an mir zu sehn,
Daß ich seine Wohnung werde.
O wie selig werd ich sein!
Open, my whole heart
Jesus comes and enters within.
Though I am only like dust and earth,
he does not want to scorn me
but to see his pleasure in me
so that I become his dwelling.
Oh how blessed I shall be!
Phoebus eilt mit schnellen Pferden
Durch die neugeborne Welt.
Ja, weil sie ihm wohlgefällt,
Will er selbst ein Buhler werden.
Phoebus hurries with swift horses
through the newborn world.
Yes, since this delights him so much,
he himself wants to become a lover.
Selbst die Seele wird erfreut,
wenn ich mir nach dieser Zeit,
jene Ruh vor Augen stelle,
die uns ewig ist bereit.
The soul will be pleased,
If I, after this time
of hard-working vanity
see, before my eyes, that rest
that is eternally ready for us.
E pur ten vai,
e mi lasci in preda al duolo,
e pur sai che sei tu solo
il diletto del mio cor.
e come puoi involare a questo sen,
il seren de’ lumi tuoi,
se per te son tutta ardor?
Ah, cruel one!
And still you go,
and leave me prey to pain,
and yet you know that only you
are the delight of my heart.
How, ungrateful one,
and how can you take from this breast,
the light of your eyes,
If I am burning with passion for you?
Intendimi, ben mio,
E pur ten vai,
Che tutto il mio desio
Sempre revolto a te;
Se parlo o taccio amore,
Parla per il mio core,
E scopre la mia fè.
Understand me, my beloved,
That all my desires
Always are directed to you;
Whether I speak or keep silent about my love,
My heart speaks for me,
And you will discover my faith.
Per te lasciai la luce,
ed or che mi conduce amor per rivederti,
tu vuoi partir da me.
Deh, ferma i passi incerti,
o pur se vuoi fuggir,
For you I left the light,
and now that love drives me to see you again,
you want to leave me.
Ah, stop your uncertain steps,
or at least, if you want to leave,
tell me why?
Quel fior che all'alba ride
Il sole poi l'uccide,
E tomba ha nella sera.
È un fior la vita, la vita ancora.
L'occaso ha nell'aurora,
E perde in un sol dì la primavera.
That flower that laughs at dawn
Can be killed by the sun,
And is in the tomb by evening.
Life is a flower.
Within the dawn it has its sunset,
And in just one day it loses its spring.
Voglio darti a mille,
a mille dolci baci,
Cara Fille, perchè servan di catene
A restar sempre con me.
E vuò farti a cento a cento
Tali vezzi in un momento,
Che soffir dovrai ben pene,
Se lontanne porti il piè.
I want to give you a thousand,
a thousand sweet kisses,
Dear Phyllis, so that they serve as chains
To make you stay with me forever.
And I want to give you hundreds upon hundreds
Of such caresses in one moment,
So that you will suffer greatly,
If your feet carry you far from me.
Il suol che preme,
L'aura che spira
Se il passo move,
Se il guardo gira,
May the ground that he walks upon,
May the air that he breathes
-- the wicked Roman --
open up, become infected.
If he walks about,
If he turns his gaze,
May he be met with larvae,
May ruins await him.
Kathryn's Indiegogo campaign was a huge success, and the contributors made this album possible.
Jay Branegan & Stefania Pittaluga
Joan & Tim Mueller
Joan & Harry Sheski
Christopher L. Bartley
Jim and Linda Beck
Bruce B. Chamberlain
Sarah Lynn Fisher
Rachel and Rick Gertz
Deborah K. Bardeen
Austin and Lauren Dix
Bill and Gail Eifrig