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Vol 38  No 7
December 15, 2005


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Vocal virtuoso

Music prof out with debut CD

By Jeff Green

Songs and Sonnets is the first recording from School of Music soprano Dr. Jane Leibel.
 

A Memorial University professor has released a stunning new CD featuring a formidable collection of work from legendary composers such as Francis Poulenc and Oskar Morawetz to local musicians Clifford Crawley.

Dr. Jane Leibel, assistant professor in the School of Music, is a well-known Canadian soprano who has been teaching at Memorial since 1999. After years of “waiting and waiting some more,” Dr. Leibel is thrilled about her debut CD Songs and Sonnets, which was launched earlier this month at the Petro-Canada Hall just in time for the holidays.

The album was recorded at the D. F. Cook Recital Hall in June of 2003 and 2004 and was produced by Francesca Swan, host of CBC Radio’s Musicraft. The recording engineer was Terry Winsor.

Although it has been years in the making, Dr. Leibel insists her CD was definitely a labour of love. “Absolutely, completely,” she said with a beaming smile. “It didn’t take me long to choose the music. I always knew what I wanted to record. However the tricky part was trying to assemble things including the venue and musicians’ availability. Everyone has a very busy life but we eventually got together.”

Dr. Leibel’s “chief collaborative pianist” for all the tracks on the album is Dr. Kristina Szutor, associate professor at the School of Music. Dr. Leibel described the recording process an “enormous, exciting challenge,” which was “overwhelming at times but rewarding.

“One aims and strives for perfection and faithfulness to what the composer transcribed on the page and in a recording studio you have the opportunity to deliver the goods exactly as the composer envisioned.”

Although it’s her CD, Dr. Leibel is quick to point out that the album was really a “School of Music family affair.” Flutist Dr. Michelle Cheramy, who is also the associate director of Graduate Programs and Research; percussionist Rob Power; trumpeter Katie Sullivan, and Paul Bendzsa, a woodwind professor, all performed on the CD.

Song and Sonnets is available at Bennington Gate and Fred’s Record, as well as from Dr. Leibel. Contact: jleibel@mun.ca.

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