Few singers — few musicians in any branch of the art, for that matter — can have ranged with comparable expertise over so wide a range of repertoire as the American soprano Carole Farley. From Monteverdi and Mozart to Shostakovich and Berg (she took the title role in the first British production of Lulu), from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony by way of Offenbach and Grieg and Lehár’s Merry Widow to Poulenc and Weill and the music of her husband, composer-conductor José Serebrier, taking in Verdi, Puccini, Massenet, Strauss, Ives, and Aubert Lemeland along the way, and recently adding an exceptional disc of Rorem songs, she has performed opera, oratorio, and song with commanding vocal fluency, dramatic flair, and an astonishing linguistic versatility.
This selection by Carole Farley of my songs covers forty years of my writing for both concert and theater. Not everyone can shift stylistic gears as easily and brilliantly as she from straight-out Broadway parody (Casino Paradise’s Night, Make My Day) to difficult art music (the I Will Breathe a Mountain cycle). Who but a courageous soprano would start a recording with a scream? Carole has begun her programme with You Cannot Have Me Now, from the 1969 opera for actors Greatshot, written for the Yale Repertory Theater in 1969; the character is a German war-bride …….William Bolcom
On January 24, 2014, Carole King was honored as the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year. At a gala event in Los Angeles, Carole and a cast of superstar guests including Sara Bareilles, Alicia Keys, Gloria Estefan, Lady Gaga, Zac Brown and James Taylor performed some of the quintessential songs from her renowned and celebrated career. Proceeds from the sale of this product will provide essential support for MusiCares, which ensures that music professionals have a place to turn in times of financial, medical and personal need.
Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Carly Simon remain among the most enduring and important women in popular music. Each woman is distinct: King is the product of outer-borough, middle-class New York City; Mitchell is a granddaughter of Canadian farmers; and Simon is a child of the Manhattan intellectual upper crust. They collectively represent, in their lives and their songs, a great swath of American girls who came of age in the late 1960s. Their stories trace the arc of the now-mythic generation known as "the sixties"—the female version—but in a bracingly specific and deeply recalled way, far from cliché.