Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been recognized as a young superstar in concert and opera for many years now, but it was as Kitty Oppenheimer in The Metropolitan Opera’s 2008 production of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic that I first heard her. Half way through her first act aria “Am I in Your Light?” I knew I wanted to work with her. Despite her ferociously busy schedule Sasha responded immediately with a “Yes!” to my suggestion we make her debut album. Since then we had the great pleasure to hear Sasha in Southern California in her debut performances with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Sasha won her first GRAMMY® Award for Sony’s DVD release of Doctor Atomic from The Met.
The Colburn Orchestra, close to home but international in quality, proved an equally powerful draw. These musicians, all members of the Colburn Conservatory conducted by Music Director Yehuda Gilad and led by concertmaster Caitlin Kelley, enrich our lives in Los Angeles. When I hear these musicians live, and on this recording, I am happily reminded of the successful recordings Mercury Records created with Howard Hanson and the Eastman Rochester Orchestra. Or of the sound of the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle. Like these other youthful musicians in Berlin, the members of Colburn Orchestra create a distinct orchestral sound (a great one), and Maestro Gilad elicits sensitive and lyrical interpretations of the repertoire. This recording of Mahler’s Rückert–Lieder won the Audio Oasis Award at THE SHOW in Newport, 2012.
–Bob Attiyeh, producer