The Boston Musical Intelligencer, January 11, 2016 — “The program’s title, ’Voices of Now and Tomorrow,’ was most literally realized in the final work, Wyner’s The Second Madrigal: Voices of Women. Composed in 1999 for performance by soprano Labelle, the work is a song cycle on ten poems by and about women that were compiled (and in part translated) by the Polish writer Czesław Miłosz. Although the composer facetiously referred to his ’mistake’ in writing it for a large ensemble of ten players, the music eminently succeeds in enveloping the singer in sounds ’worthy of her talent.’ Labelle was seemingly flawless in conveying the rapidly shifting moods of the ten poems. These range from a morning song by the sixth-century Chinese emperor Ch’ien-wen (Jianwen) through the teasingly erotic ’Second Madrigal’ by Anna Swir (from which the composition as a whole takes its title), ending with several contemplations of age and decline.”
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