A few years after the success of her album crossing Baroque music with folk, Love I Obey (ALPHA538), the Franco-American singer Rosemary Standley visits Schubert, this time with the complicity of the Ensemble Contraste: ‘We all have a few notes of Schubert buried deep inside us’ say the artists, who have got together around his music and brought to it an original sound texture, the result of their varied influences – classical, pop, jazz, folk.
They have picked some of the best-known lieder (Ständchen, selections from Winterreise, etc.) and universally loved instrumental pieces, incorporating in them rhythms from other countries and instruments unusual in this repertory: the jazz trumpet of Airelle Besson, the guitar of Kevin Seddiki, the percussion of Jean-Luc Di Fraja join forces with the viola of Arnaud Thorette, the piano, cello and double bass of Ensemble Contraste – not forgetting the exceptional participation of the soprano Sandrine Piau, who joins Rosemary Standley for several duets. The arrangements are by Johan Farjot.
BBC Music Magazine December 2020
The result will upset purists...And yet, the overall effect is unexpectedly pleasing – Schubert’s music in a jazz-inspired reimagining...Expression here comes through notational and textural freedom, rather than the traditional precise nuancing of lines and words. It’s not predictable, pious or perfect, but it’s imaginative. Leave your usual expectations behind and enjoy.
(Performance) **** / (Recording) *****
The Guardian 1st October 2020
She brings her reedy, soft-grained folk voice to favourite numbers by the composer, gently but convincingly reworked in folk or jazz form...If you love Schubert but aren’t too much of a purist, you might fall hard for this – or at least find yourself thinking about this music in a different way.