a lad's love
CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR a lad's love
"The two Benjamin Britten selections that anchor the collection deploy the melismatic writing characteristic of the music tailormade for his life partner, Peter Pears. Giebler shows the requisite ductility but also boasts a more attractive timbre than Pears did... he shows an excellent command of diminuendos, and his dynamic control is commendable... Aficionados will want to hear these performances of these intriguing songs... Giebler is quite expressive here, and... is fully up to their musical demands... Withal, this is an original, compelling recital."
"The American tenor and colleagues apply urgently sensitive artistry to works by British composers...
The themes that bind 'A Lad's Love' embrace friendship, sexuality, betrayal and nature, each enveloped in music of tender and youthful vibrancy. Certainly Giebler is a model of those qualities as he imbues every phrase with warmth and clarity...
Giebler applies fresh yearning to the songs in vivid conversation with pianist Steven McGhee...
He [Mr. McGhee] is also the superb anchor in a performance of Britten's Canticle No 2, Abraham and Isaac, in which Giebler plays father to countertenor Reginald Mobley's son. They bring fervent drama to these roles and merge voices to celestial effect as God."
Jason Victor Serinus
"English songs of longing and loss find a perfect voice in the gifted tenor on this new disc:
...the beauty, sweetness, and youthful sheen of Brian Giebler's extremely fine tenor is ideally suited for this collection of English songs... more important is Giebler's innate sincerity, which is so intelligently allied with his choir boy-like tonal clarity that it unfailingly brings the beauty and meaning of his chosen songs and lyrics to the fore.
Giebler gives his considerable all to the recording's centerpiece, Britten's almost 17-minute Canticle II... Giebler imbues Abraham with convincing passion. His swell from piano to forte is seamless, and the performance is so convincing that you'd think Britten wrote Canticle II for him and Mobley rather than his partner, Peter Pears, and Kathleen Ferrier.
Giebler's rendition of Quilter's "Love's Philosophy" (1905) is almost as winning as soprano Arleen Auger's... the final high note and diminuendo in Britten's "The sun shines down," from Fish in the unruffled lakes (1937-1941), which are superb.
Ultimately, A Lad's Love is a collection of beautifully sung English songs that explore the love and loss at the core of the human experience. Highly recommended."
"In his impressive solo recording debut...the New York City-based tenor turns his focus to British songs... A must-listen, it’s the perfect introduction to Giebler’s bold, clear, and ringing tenor, and on at least one occasion his heavenly falsetto. It also shows off the skill and perceptiveness of the entire ensemble as they convincingly navigate a variety of moods.
At the opposite end of the disc is another memorable sextet, “Because I liked you better”... its sadness is perhaps more forward and raw than any of the earlier material, making its impact at the conclusion of the playlist all the more stunning.
Art-song duos by Britten, Peter Warlock, Roger Quilter, and John Ireland offer vivid pictures of emotion, and showcase the tight-knit partnership between Giebler and McGhee. In a few of them, the tenor hints at his experience in musical theater with an extra pure and straight-toned voice."
“The first moments of a lad’s love demonstrate that Giebler possesses a beautiful, evenly-produced voice capable of communicating an expansive array of emotions, but each subsequent phrase further immerses the listener in the perceptibly personal narrative created by the young tenor’s singing.
Gurney brought to the creation of songs a singular sensibility for recognizing the musical potential of words. In his singing of Gurney’s music, Giebler exhibits similar propensity, his vocalism distinguished by impeccable musicianship and reliably secure intonation. Giebler approaches Gurney’s and all of the songs on a lad’s love with stylistic cogency, his interpretations kaleidoscopically expressive but never exaggerated.
Suffused with alluring, graceful singing, a lad’s love is a recital that earns the opportunity to be heard, but this is a disc that succeeds and satisfies in diverse ways. None of a lad’s love’s successes is more consequential than its declaration that song, when performed with love, can be a refuge from humanity’s horrors.”
"Five stars: An accomplished young American masters English art songs.
Giebler, making his recital debut on disc, is an accomplished New York-based lyric tenor with a youthful timbre. The voice sounds fairly slender, along the lines of current English song exponents like James Gilchrist and Robin Tritschler. There is no trace, however, of the “white” choir-boy sound that makes Ian Bostridge, for me, nearly unlistenable. Giebler’s voice is consistently secure from bottom to top, and the edge it acquires under pressure, which isn’t severe or hard, adds to the dramatic force of his singing.
It is the sense of drama that makes this album so gripping; I doubt I’ve heard a tenor use his voice so courageously since the young Pears. Giebler reveals a lovely legato in “On the idle hills of summer,” but his dramatic urgency is striking when the true theme of the verse is revealed, not summer idleness but the drumbeat of soldiers as they march off to die.
I can warmly recommend this release, especially to devotees of the genre but also to anyone interested in rising young singers. The string accompaniments are of a high standard, as is the piano playing by Steven McGhee, who is musically an equal collaborator with the singer."
"Brian Giebler has a wonderfully lyrical and light tone quality. This can rise to considerable power when required and almost entirely clear diction… his understanding of Gurney is well worth the purchase of the disc, let alone the passion he conveys in the Venables and Ireland settings."
PETER WARLOCK SOCIETY
"...a very interesting and very enjoyable compilation of English song...The first work on the album is Gurney’s Ludlow and Teme. Many consider this work to be Gurney’s masterpiece and this is a fine and moving performance...The umbrella title of [Britten's] Fish in the unruffled lakes encompasses six songs. These are extremely fine performances and, in my opinion, probably the best on the CD...this is a very fine CD and can be recommended unreservedly for all lovers of British Song."
“Par-delà le prétexte, ce que l’on remarque avant tout, c’est la clarté et la fraîcheur du timbre de Brian Giebler, au service d’une sensibilité qui lui permet de traduire idéalement les émotions des différents poèmes ici réunis. La voix est saine et souple, l’aigu et facile, et l’on espère que, défendues par ce jeune ténor prometteur, ces mélodies pourront conquérir le plus large public.”
AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
"a terrific album of British songs...Giebler's voice has a special brightness and clarity...he drew me into his performance more deeply each time I listened. This is a singer I want to hear again... a collaborative performance of distinction."
S. James Wegg
"Here’s a truly ardent project that artfully combines poetry and music exploring the universal subject of love in all of its forms. No matter what your persuasion or experience in the affairs of the heart, no one will go away unmoved.
Giebler’s warm, fluid voice is ideally suited to “When Smoke Stood Up from Ludlow” with its fanciful notion that birds can speak. The ensemble captures the light and airy soundscape to a T, as the text shifts between “rise up” and “rest”. “Far in a Western Brookland” is marvellously thoughtful, reverent and muted. Here, Giebler’s control and sustaining abilities are used to ideal effect (notably “to know”, “alone” and “sigh”). Crafting a truly amiable spring, the ensemble—readily anchored by McGhee’s superb understanding of when to assert or provide reliable background—sets the stage for the finale. Giebler’s spot-on diction leaves no thought unheard, even as the gentle finish puts all to rest in an instrumental heaven. Giebler’s liquid legato, sense of impishness and fun, a stellar octave and sense of timing inform the six portions from stem to stern. It’s so appropriate to have the strings return after Giebler has impassionedly laid his heart bare, because—finally—words defeat us when overpowering emotions take hold."
"“A Lad’s love,” finds the perfect artist for conveying the deep emotions, both expressed and subdued, in these poem settings by such composers as Ivor Gurney, Peter Warlock, Benjamin Britten, Roger Quilter, John Ireland and Ian Venables. He is American tenor Brian Giebler, and his voice, high and well-placed, is admirably suited for presenting these songs with a refreshing truth and a riveting directness that compels the listener’s attention. He finds the perfect artistic partner in pianist Steven McGhee, one of the best in the business and a collaborator of long standing."
Lynn René Bayley
"The next five songs are all by excellent British composers of the period, Warlock, Quilter, Britten and Ireland, and these, too, Giebler sang extremely well. Britten’s early (1937-41) Fish in the Unruffled Lakes, an excellent song cycle, was new to me, and I must also give praise to pianist Steven McGhee for his excellent, lively accompaniments."
"«A lad’s love» («Un gars amoureux») est certainement un des programmes les plus originaux publiés récemment dans le domaine de la chanson anglaise. Le choix du très mélancolique «Because I liked you better» (2004) d’Ian Venables est très pertinent pour conclure un album atypique et passionnant défendu par deux interprètes très investis."
Brian Hick/Stephen Page
"This CD really moves me. There is so much here that needs to be heard and understood. Giebler’s sensitive delivery, together with supportive accompaniment from Steven McGhee and the contributions of the other musicians make for a very impressive listening experience. The whole production is superb.."