PORA!And other Russian Romances
Borodin, Mussorgsky, Sergei Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
ODEKHIREN AMAIZE, bass-baritone
David Korevaar, Piano
REVIEWS"Amaize has a solid bass-baritone voice...I would be thrilled to encounter him in recital and hear a program like this one...His sharply focused sound, the strong high notes, and his comfortable generalized feel for the shape of the music are all assets. The recorded sound is quite good, natural and well-balanced."
Fanfare - July/August 2000
" ...there is no voice or heart more perfectly suited to interpret these deep, rich Russian songs than his deep, rich Bass-Baritone...the combination of Rakhmaninov and Amaize is nothing short of amazing, and I was moved to tears on more than one occasion. Absolutely stunning!"
Gerri Gribi, AfroAmericanHeritage.com
"The solo recital in two parts given by Odekhiren Amaize in the Rachmaninov Hall of the Moscow Conservatory was most noteworthy, demonstrating the extraordinary individuality of the singer. The possessor of a sonorous, rich bass-baritone, as well as of a vocal technique of the highest order, he included in his program some of the most demanding works of Russian classical music, alternating them with American songs of the twentieth century. Among the Russian works chosen were some of the most serious songs of Mussorgsky and Rachmaninov. The Mussorgsky cycle, 'Songs and Dances of Death', pose a major interpretive challenge for even a Russian singer, because of its psychological complexity. Odekhiren Amaize's performance of this work struck all not only with the profound psychological insights it conveyed, but also with its authentic feel for Russian musical traditions (the performance was in Russian). Mr. Amaize's complete control of his voice, as well as his usually expressive stage presence, enabled him to impart to the audience a rich inner world, while rendering as unforgettable interpretation of a classic Russian work. The same can be said of his performance of the lyrics of Rachmaninov. The sphere of Russian psychological delvings was most effectively set off by the American song cycles, which Mr. Amaize performed in his native language, giving expressive emphasis to all the shadings of the English word."
Dr. Valentina Kholopova, Musicologist, Moscow Conservatory
PROGRAM NOTESOdekhiren Amaize, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was born in Nigeria. He began formal vocal training at the University of Texas and continued at Indiana University, as well as at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory. He was a Fellow at Opera Music Theater International, performing and studying under Jerome Hines, and was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Moscow. Known to his colleagues as Ode, the bass-baritone has performed internationally in recitals of art songs.
PROGRAMSongs by Borodin, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov & Tchaikovsky
THE NEGRO SPEAKS OF RIVERS
Art Songs by African-American Composers
TEN SHAKESPEARE SONNETS
Beethoven, Loewe, Mussorgsky & Shostakovich
I PRIZE MY SLEEP
Songs by Brahms, Ibert & Shostakovich
FOR DARFUR! IRIN AJO
Sacred Songs and Spirituals