Songs from the Age of the Closet
Art Songs by Gay Composers of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Elif Savaş

2001: MM Productions 1730-2

    Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893

  1. Otchego / Why?
  2. Zabyt’ Tak Skoro / To Forget So Soon
  3. Kolybelnaya / Lullaby, Op. 16, 1
  4. Zachem Zhe Ty Prisnalasja / Why Did I Ever Dream of You?

    Reynaldo Hahn (1874–1947)

  5. Paysage / A Landscape
  6. Fumée / Smoke

    Karol Maciej Szymanowski (1882–1937)

  7. Taniec / Dance, Op. 24, No. 4
  8. Zakochany Wiatr / Song of the East Wind in Love, Op. 24, No. 5
  9. Smutna Wiosna / Spring of Sadness, Op. 24, No. 6
  10. Zaloty / And You Came Into My House, Op. 17, No. 3
  11. Wxzesnym Rankiem / High in the Morning Sky, Op. 17, No. 1

    Francis Poulenc (1899–1963)

  12. Chanson Bretonne / Breton Song
  13. Cimitière / Cemetary
  14. La Petite Servante / The Little Maid
  15. Berceuse / Lullaby
  16. Souric et Mouric / Souric and Mouric

    Martin Hennessy (1953–)

  17. Lost Sense

    Charles Tomlinson Griffes (1884–1920)

  18. Thy Dark Eyes to Mine, Op. 11, No. 2
  19. The Rose of the Night, Op. 11, No. 3
  20. Nachtlied / Night Song

As is the case with Jessye Norman’s Ravel/Berlioz album, this CD is very much an Odd Man Out in my audio library. I got it because I had watched (and obtained a copy of) Savaş’s documentary Coup (about the post-WWII history of Turkish government and its recurrent military takeovers) and, upon checking out her website, saw that she had recorded this CD. Always happy to explore the works of artists who bridge media, I got a copy and have been taking my sweet time trying to get into it.

Unfortunately her vibrato hits the higher tones more than my ear can readily enjoy, so she always seems to be singing sharp when any note is sustained. And, as I have said in my comments about the aforementioned Norman album, I’m really not into operatic soprano singing. But I applaud what she’s doing in this collection, and I am grateful that she’s sung the songs in their original languages as well as providing English translations in the CD booklet (although the Tchaikovsky lyrics are printed in phonetic transliterations, not Cyrillic words…but Szymanowski’s Polish lyrics are presented correctly). I’m giving myself time with this one, trying to not rush things, so that I can come to appreciate the music itself even if I cannot get into this vocal milieu.

Her website: