From Lorraine Lieberson’s Obituary

July 22, 2006

Slate about Lorraine Lieberson:

“There was an almost incredible urgency whenever Lorraine Hunt Lieberson sang. The emotions behind the music were always at the surface, on display for all to see and hear. She knew where she was coming from, and she made sure that you knew, too. The American mezzo-soprano, 52, died Monday in Santa Fe, N.M., from what was likely the recurrence of breast cancer, which she had fought off more than six years ago.

Critics did somersaults over the lustrous timbre of Hunt Lieberson’s Play Mediavoice, which was penetrating, clear, and without the husky padding of some mezzos. But both they and audiences responded to the naked honesty that she communicated about the music she sang. She would occasionally appear to double over in pain in her performances, but it never felt like an attention-grabbing, heart-on-sleeve gambit. It was, instead, the final piece of her artistic puzzle sliding into place, making the emotion of the composer’s music seen as well as heard.”

(Source Slate, July 7 2006)

My comment:

It’s probably hard for a non-artist person to understand what a true artist goes through. Being an artist means revealing everything, holding nothing back, being totally honest and facing the consequences, mostly rejection or at least criticism. A blessed few survive this onslaught, become famous and might even make money. Perhaps a few critics have kind things to say once in a while.

Two things struck me about the quote above: First, it is an excellent piece of prose about what it means being an artist. Second, hats off for Marc Geelhoed (the author) for knowing what he is writing about.


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