Osvaldo Golijov
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She Was Here (2008): Reviews
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The Golijov/Schubert cross-century splice was tremendously moving and delivered with disarming openness by the soprano...Weighty with sadness and lingering in loss, it proved an exceptionally beautiful piece, borne aloft by the angelic voice of Upshaw.

—Rob Hubbard, St Paul Pioneer Press

Golijov's color palette is ravishing, and he uses it to enhance the poetic imagery as well as emotional resonance of the songs. His introduction to "Wandrers Nachtlied," with its delicate shimmers of harp and celesta, is a master stroke of nocturnal evocation, and I like the way the syncopations for bass clarinet and strings bring out the rapturous mood of "Nacht und Traeume." The four songs are well-chosen for Upshaw's voice and artistry, and she sang them with her usual limpid beauty of tone and deep sensitivity to words and music.

—John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

But [Dawn Upshaw] was at her most moving after the intermission, in "She Was Here," Osvaldo Golijov's inventive orchestrations of four Schubert songs. The songs Mr. Golijov chose — "Wanderers Nachtlied," "Lied der Mignon," "Dass sie hier gewesen" and "Nacht und Träume" — are all slow and achingly melancholy, and his orchestrations magnified passions.

At times his scoring made the songs sound almost Mahlerian; in other passages, sparkling percussion timbres, the wheeze of a chamber organ and judicious use of dissonance pulled the songs toward our own time. Schubert's melodies were unchanged, but Ms. Upshaw sang them with a hushed, velvety tone and an irresistible intensity, though also with a sense of the atmosphere that Mr. Golijov wove around them.

—Allan Kozinn, The New York Times