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The members of Aureole are Laura Gilbert, flute, Mary Hammann, viola, and Stacey Shames, harp.Their concerts and recordings also include a wide variety of popular and folk music from the Celtic, Latin, Indian, Baroque and Classical traditions. Inspired by the combination, some of the most imaginative and creative musicians and composers of our time -- Ravi Shankar, George Tsontakis, Jacob Druckman and Roberto Sierra-- have masterfully composed and arranged for Aureole. The repertoire also includes many significant and powerful works by Twentieth Century composers, including Claude Debussy, Sofia Gubaidulina, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Sir John Tavener, Toru Takemitsu, Harrison Birtwistle and Kaiji Saariaho.

Lullabies from around the world

by J.S.L. | Opera News
november 1999

It's becoming the thing among singers with children to package lullaby albums (mezzo Angelika Kirchschlager, pop artist Shawn Colvin), and lullabies certainly represent the locus where being a singer and being a parent intersect. From the kid-friendly design and the program notes, it is clear that this collection is intended as a commercial product rather than a recital disc, so I decided to test drive it on my three year-old. He was out like a light by the fourth cut, but I found that the repertory and arrangements commanded my attention.

This is a fascinating, offbeat collection; it includes Brazilian, Greek, Hungarian, Caribbean and Yiddish lullabies, as well as several enchanting instrumental interludes (my favorite was the rag-like "The Mulligan Gambol"). The Aureole Trio (Laura Gilbert, flute; Mary Hammann, viola; Stacey Shames, harp) plays exquisitely, with seamless ensemble and a tender touch. Soprano Heidi Grant Murphy spins out a gorgeous, floating sound, and her ease in all registers, particularly the upper, is admirable. She calls to mind Dawn Upshaw, although she doesn't quite have Upshaw's naturalness of manner and delivery.
Some of Grant's vowels are affected, while other sounds are heavy-handedly colloquial, and she hits her "r"'s hard.
That said, this is a disc of lovely, heartfelt music-making, something parents will enjoy listening to over and over again as their kids become addicted. J.S.L.

copyright© 2008 Aureole trio