... a poetic, insightful writer, she sings all of these songs not just her own words as if they were deeply personal expressions. ... an unusually winning artistic collaboration Philip Glass, producer Kurt Munkacsi, arranger/pianist Trevor Gureckis and Tara Hugo...a source of considerable musical enjoyment.
...Tara Hugo is the first voice to board the Glass universe with an entire album. ....It's as if the singer were put under an enchanted spell by the music that now embodies a disk... A magnificent look at a composer of unmistakable signature, in a collection of songs that they could now begin to walk around the stages of the world.
Sound and Vision
....a mixture of influences of American singer/songwriters and discreet references to
Brecht/Weill but unmistakably Glass. The key: Hugo is not only a great singer, but also an established actress. The songs fly because of her great passion (and her extraordinary talent!).
Produced by longtime Glass producer Kurt Munkacsi, along with Don Christensen and Glass himself, Hugo has created an album of music that can confidently place her in the respected realm of woman who can comfortably execute Glass' complex rhythms in an accessible manner that will please both minimalist and cabaret fans alike. ....The songwriting of Philip Glass acquires an effective new advocate in Tara Hugo, whose masterful interpretation of the composer's melodies will leave one incomplete pending the next volume of her interpretations.
There are no labels -- just authenticity and originality. ... she gives a credible, stirring and profoundly compassionate voice to Philip Glass
... the fascination and beauty of this CD is ultimately its coherency. Everything is of a piece, a shower of music, singer, instruments and sound.
.... Her diction is flawless, piercing the ear of the listener with each syllable's intent in every song.
In Cabin in the Rockies the quality of Glass's instrumental writing is most apparent together with Hugo's magnificent singing.
I was stunned at some of Glass's melodies on this disc.... mini-masterpieces. It's what makes Glass Glass. It is simply, two thingssimplicity and a voluminous capacity for expressing deeply-felt emotions in the barest of terms.
The songs fly because of her great passion (and her extraordinary talent!).
...it's what makes Glass Glass.. simply, two thingssimplicity and a voluminous capacity for expressing deeply-felt emotions in the barest of terms.
It's quite lovely...
John Schaefer, WYNC
AND THE PUBLIC SAYS...
I loved this!
By D. Isaac
This is a great album. Hard to classify the genre which makes it all the more wonderful. Uniquely beautiful music, best of Glass -- sung by Tara Hugo, whose strong voice is soulful and pure. Each song is compelling to listen to, again and again. It's not cabaret, classical or any other genre-- it's of itself. Hugo's lyrics are fantastic!
Way better than I was expecting!
By S. Schindler
Amazingly good! Be sure to read the detailed review by Steven Ritter on Audiophile Audition's website. I was especially surprised by "Feeding Frenzy" whose music is from "Primacy of Number" on the Naqoyqatsi soundtrack- never would have imagined words added to that piece! A lot of time and effort was put into this project, and it shows!
Philip Glass is widely recognized as one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century. In this unique album, his music has been turned into a collection of songs, performed by one of the best cabaret singers around, Tara Hugo. Ms. Hugo, an American who lives in London and New York, not only sings the hell out of this material but is also responsible for many of the lyrics, more than holding her own with fellow lyricists, Leonard Cohen and Rumi. Provocative and deeply moving.
Love this cd
Have always loved Philip Glass' music, and Tara Hugo's cod is wonderful. The phrasing, the power of her voice, and the pacing make it a great listen. I've ordered several for Christmas gifts.
By K. Mitova
I like Philip Glass, but I know many don't. I believe, however, that even those who SAY they don't like Glass, would love Tara Hugo's deeply moving voice. Her lyrics are meaningful - truly good poetry. This collection of songs would be a great gift for anyone who appreciates singing as expression of the soul.
By Hunter Edwards
The songs are haunting, moving, and unforgettable. Ms. Hugo and Philip Glass are a perfect match. She sings with such emotion, bite and clarity that the songs take you to a new dimension. Enjoy the musical journey. It's worth it!!
Thirsting for more
By Krzisch Claude
I was not a fan of Philip Glass but Tara Hugo brought me over. Exceptional singer with a beautiful diction and phrasing and an impressive range totally convincing with this repertoire "cabaret style". Thirsting for more, I bought the Book of Longing. Both are recommended without restriction.
What an achievement!
By S. St Clair
It has been years since I listened to something that excited me so! The fact that Ms. Hugo is also a more-than-competent lyricist makes this a fascinating blend of exquisite power.
Tara is to be congratulated on barging to bear some of her myriad of gifts; her marvelous vocal style, the ability to interpret and incorporate the composer's intent and to blend these amazing assets into an incredible potpourri of sound.
Speaking as a Music Therapist, she has blown me away!
Not a fan of Glass? Tara could change your mind.
This is a powerful set of tunes. I am not a fan of Mr. Glass but, if there's anyone who could change my mind, it's Tara Hugo. She manages to locate the heart and soul of his music. It reminds me that, just as one must have actors with heart and soul to make a play by G.B. Shaw come to life, so too with a composer as famously cerebral as Philip Glass. He's fortunate to have her.
Together with some well-chosen lyrics, including several of her own, Ms. Hugo draws us into and fully inhabits each song. An artist is someone who makes you see something in a new way, and I've had my eyes and ears opened by this disc. Emotionally compelling and beautifully sung. Give Glass a chance!
Trara-boom-deeay!, 20 Mar 2013
Claudia Saatchi (Venice, Italy)
Wow! I had not heard Tara Hugo before but she is not only a fine actress but a great singer. Some of the lyrics are also by her so this is a real collaboration between singer and composer - and it shows. I will buy everything of hers from now on and so should you!
ISSUE PROJECT ROOM, "Philip Glass: Music With Friends"
A performance by Laurie Anderson, and a special duo performance between Anderson and Glass. The evening closed with Tara Hugo singing Philip Glass songs with arrangements/orchestrations by Trevor Gureckis.
“Wowie, Zowie. I had never heard of her before but now will find out as much as I can. She sang some Leonard Cohen songs which apparently she has recorded (I will get them) and has worked with Glass on his songs as well. Her voice is one that gave me goose-bumps. Not avant-garde. Beautiful, soulful, clear and we could understand each poignant word. Fabulous.”
GARRISON INSTITUTE, Garrison, NY
Glass played from his works on piano, and the program includes two others, vocalist Tara Hugo and composer/pianist Trevor Gureckis, who performed Glass's musical setting of texts by Allen Ginsberg, Leonard Cohen and others. Hugo was the mezzo in Book of Longing, a collaboration between Glass and Leonard Cohen. She and Gureckis worked on the album of Glass songs sung by Hugo and arranged by Gureckis, which will be released December 11, 2012.
BOOK OF LONGING
A special evening of newly commissioned work based on the poetry of Leonard Cohen. Conceived by Philip Glass this music is the culmination of the mutual admiration between two of America's most celebrated and uncompromising artists. Glass sets Cohen's deeply personal and provocative words to a new score, performing with a new ensemble of 4 singers and 7 musicians including Glass.
The music could be described as post-minimalist or new Glass... rarely sparse, full of rhythm and jazz, tuneful, the talented singer Tara Hugo captured the cadence and wit of Cohen's poetry.
Times Colonist, Charleston
...themes of restless passion and unreachable opportunity facets of the poet's dry humor and often mordant persona while wielding a persistent erotic charge. Tara Hugo embodied Mr. Cohen's careworn elegance
New York Sun
...Sexually charged, memory-drenched and riding high on a sense of mortality.
Ms. Hugo catches the blood and hunger in Mr. Cohen's verses.
Toronto Globe and Mail
...powerful and accomplished
The State, Charleston
There's punch and wit in the intense delivery of Tara Hugo
...a flexibility that individually drew on pop, jazz, theater and classical vocal styles, but melded into a coherent whole
New York Times
...One of the most beautiful moments of the show came when Ms. Hugo sang A Sip of Wine, her vocal line striving up in a way that sounded like hope against a syncopated string pattern that always ended in a cadence of despair
Toronto Globe and Mail
...a sensational chanteuse
The Arts, Classical 96.3 FM, Toronto
...The music could be described as post-minimalist or new Glass... rarely sparse, full of rhythm and jazz, tuneful, the talented singer Tara Hugo captures the cadence and wit of Cohen's poetry.
Times Colonist, Charleston
...The beauty of Glass' and Cohen's creation was enhanced by the superb level of the singing .... The striking mezzo Tara Hugo has a clear, strong quality
Charleston Post and Courier