Kathodik Webzine’s review of ‘That Star in the Picture’ translated from the original Italian.
Published July 1, 2023
(Albany Records, 2023)
‘That Star in the Picture’, the brand new CD by the American pianist and composer James Adler, has been released on the Albany Records label. This is an intimate and engaging album that celebrates the American tradition of songs for musicals — a genre that was born and proliferates on Broadway — with music and performances of the highest level. New Yorker James Adler, with his light and gentle piano touch, wonderfully accompanies the splendid voices of great singers: mezzo-soprano Victoria Livengood, soprano Shana Farr, soprano Elizaveta Ulakhovich, tenor Kennedy Kanagawa, tenor Michael Buchanan, and baritone Perry Sook. They are assisted by excellent musicians flautist Denise Koncelik, clarinetist Francis Novak, cellist Adam Fisher, hornist Kyle Walker, and oboist Brian Shaw. Adler succeeds in composing beautiful and inspired songs like the sweet Pie Jesu, and the lyrical Beautiful Garden, where the vocal melodies provide a magnificent counterpoint to the instrumental lines. Also very interesting are the more ‘theatrical’ That Star in the Picture, the delicate and graceful Growing, and the graceful and sweet Beyond Night — songs, like all the others on the CD, of great elegiac and compositional depth, in the most beautiful and refined tradition of the American musical. The lyrics are taken from poems by Emily Dickinson and from the pens of James Griener, Mae Richard, Rosalie Calabrese and Carmel Friedman; Adler’s compositional knowledge sets them all splendidly. A disc of great value, to be savored slowly, full of taste and refinement, in which we can totally immerse ourselves in the sounds and fascinating harmonies of the world of American musicals.