November 26, 2019
Leonard Cohen’s Polemic Masterpiece in a Kaleidoscopic Re-Imagining For Three Voices and Cello
Composer Luna Pearl Woolf boldly reconfigures Leonard Cohen’s darkly ironic “Everybody Knows” for three voices and cello in an arresting new release from the PENTATONE Oxingale Series. Released on November 8, in conjunction with the third anniversary of the beloved icon’s death, the haunting new arrangement of the modern classic is the first single from the upcoming composer portrait album, LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood.
With an unexpected setting – combining women’s voices (sopranos Devon Guthrie and Nancy Anderson; and mezzo-soprano Elise Quagliata) and humanistic cello (Matt Haimovitz) – Woolf captures Cohen’s deep-voiced essence in a kaleidoscopic expansion of the original song’s colors and timbres. Woolf utilizes the same configuration in her setting of Cohen’s “Who By Fire” on the forthcoming album, which spans 25 years of the composer’s vocal works, slated for January 2020. In her penetrating album notes for LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood, New York Times contributing writer Corinna Da Fonseca-Wollheim comments, “Luna Pearl Woolf trains a zoom lens on the collective experience, sometimes plunging us right into the midst of destruction and anarchy only to pull back, in one swoop, to a clear-eyed plane of compassion.”
The upcoming compilation of Woolf’s vocal and choral works also features The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and NOVUS NY conducted by Julian Wachner. Particularly renowned for her compositions in the field of opera and vocal music, Woolf’s work has been praised by The New York Times for its “psychological nuances and emotional depth.” Upcoming major works include Jacqueline, on legendary cellist Jacqueline du Pré, with librettist Royce Vavrek, which will be premiered by Toronto’s Tapestry Opera in February.
To listen or purchase the single, click here.