Copyright  2016 Peregrine Records All rights reserved
Songs of Perfect Propriety is wonderfully entertaining vintage Dorothy Parker, perfectly matched by Seymour Barab’s savvy, inventive blend of American art song, cabaret, and musical theater styles. Thanks to Barab’s inspired musical initiative, vocalist Amy Elizabeth Wheeler and pianist Kristie Born give clear voice to the lyric magic of Parker’s poems.
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Copyright  2016 Peregrine Records All rights reserved

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Songs    of    Perfect    Propriety      is        wonderfully        entertaining        vintage Dorothy     Parker,     perfectly     matched     by Seymour   Barab’s   savvy,   inventive   blend   of American    art    song,    cabaret,    and    musical theater   styles.   Thanks   to   Barab’s   inspired musical    initiative,    vocalist    Amy    Elizabeth Wheeler   and   pianist   Kristie   Born   give   clear voice to the lyric magic of Parker’s poems.
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Writer

There must be courage…There

must be a disciplined eye and a

wild mind. – Dorothy Parker

on writing 

Kristie   Born   has   performed   a   wide   range of    solo,    chamber,    and    large    ensemble music,         including         a         multi-media presentation    of    Erik    Satie’s     Parade,    and premiered       the       works       of       several composers,   most   notably,   3   Ponteios   (em miniatura),    para    flauta    e    piano    by    Paolo Costa    Lima    at    the    Florida    Flute    Festival and   Faded   Anecdotes:   Five   Images   for   Solo Piano      by      Syd      Hodkinson,      a      piece composed   for   her   at   Stetson   University's Sounds New Composer's Series.   Born     made     her     solo     debut     with     the Hollywood        Philharmonic        performing Beethoven's   First   Piano   Concerto   and   has worked    as    vocal    coach    and    pianist    in Japan,    Italy,    Sweden,    and    Austria.    Her previous   recordings   include   A   Soft   Florida Rain ,    classic    art    songs    by    contemporary Finnish/American    composer    Kari    Henrik Juusela,   performed   in   collaboration   with tenor   Stephen   Ng,   and   Vibrations   of   Hope: Music     of     the     New     Millenium,      (Albany Records),    performed    with    pianist    Rose Shylam Grace.   Born   has   been   on   the   faculty   of   Stetson University’s   School   of   Music   since   2005, where    she    teaches    accompanying    and coaches   the   Stetson   Opera   Theater.   She received     a     Bachelor     of     Music     and     a Master    of    Music    in    piano    performance from      the      Peabody      Conservatory      in Baltimore    and    a    doctorate    in    chamber music      and      accompanying      from      the University of Miami.
Dorothy    Parker    (1893-1967)    is    one    of    the most    quoted    and    quotable    women    of    all time.     Poet,     short     story     writer,     reviewer, critic,          journalist,          playwright,          and screenwriter,    she    is    legendary    for    her    wit, wisecracks,   and   satirical   skewering   of   social and   political   pretensions   and   celebrated   for her literary achievement.   Parker   made   her   debut   in   print   in   1914   with the   publication   of   a   poem   in   Vanity    Fair .   A job   writing   copy   at   Vogue    followed,   while   she continued     to     contribute     edgy,     irreverent poems    to    Vanity    Fair ,    where    she    became staff   writer   and   later   drama   critic.   She   was appointed   to   the   editorial   board   of   the    New Yorker    when   it   was   launched   in   1925,   and her   poetry,   short   fiction,   sketches,   dialogues, and      book      reviews      helped      shape      the magazine’s distinctive character.   During    the    1920s,    Parker    published    some 300   hundred   poems   and   free   verses   as   well as    numerous    short    stories    and    articles    in popular     magazines.     Her     first     volume     of poetry,   Enough   Rope ,   was   a   bestseller,   and her   iconic   short   story   "Big   Blond,"   received the O. Henry Award.    In    1934,    Parker    moved    to    Los    Angeles, where   she   co-wrote   screenplays,   including   A Star    Is    Born    and    Smash-Up:     The    Story    of    a Woman ,      both      nominated      for      Academy Awards.          Traveling     between     coasts,     she continued   to   write   book   reviews   for   Esquire   and    the    New    Yorker ,    while    contributing    to other   publications,   before   returning   to   New York in 1964.   She     is     the     first     woman     writer     to     be published      in      the      original      1944      Viking Portable     Library     series.     Now     in     its     2nd revised    edition    as    a    Penguin    Classic,    The Portable        Dorothy        Parker         has        been continuously   in   print   for   over   sixty   years.   In 2011,      the      infamous      Mrs.      Parker      was inducted    into    the    New    York    State    Writers Hall   of   Fame   as   a   member   “whose   writings have      made      a      lasting      contribution      to literature.”

Dorothy Parker

Seymour Barab

Composer

The words of a poem immediately

suggest music to me. —Seymour Barab

       Seymour     Barab     (1921-2014),     organist, pianist,     cellist,     songwriter,     librettist,     and composer,   is   a   master   of   musical   genres   as both   performer   and   composer.   Trained   as   a pianist   and   cellist,   Barab   began   his   career as     a     cellist     performing     with     principal orchestras    in    Indianapolis,    Cleveland,    San Francisco,     and     Philadelphia.          An     early interest   in   contemporary   music   led   to   his participation    in    founding    the    New    Music Quartet    in    Chicago    and    the    Composer’s Quartet,   affiliated   with   Columbia   University, in   New   York   City.      As   an   accomplished   viola da      gamba      player,      Barab’s      focus      on contemporary    music    was    mirrored    by    an interest    in    early    music,    which    led    him    to help   found   New   York   Pro   Musica   (Antiqua), one   of   the   first   contemporary   ensembles   to reintroduce   baroque   and   renaissance   music to      modern      audiences.            His      protean musicianship   as   performer   included   a   stint at     Birdland,     playing     in     a     small     string orchestra   accompanying   Charlie   Parker   and Stan    Getz,    and    his    work    as    a    recording studio     musician     in     the     70s     and     80s, performing   with   popular   artists   from   Elvis Presley to Frank Sinatra and John Lennon.       As    a    composer    at    home    in    a    variety    of styles,        Barab        composed        numerous instrumental    works,    over    40    operas    for adult   and   young   audiences,   and   hundreds of    songs    and    musical    settings    for    poems and   texts   by   William   Blake,   William   Butler Yeats,   Robert   Graves,   Lewis   Carroll,   Robert Louis    Stevenson,    Sara    Teasdale,    Dorothy Parker,   and   Kurt   Vonnegut,   among      others. Barab’s     works,     especially     his     songs,     for which   he   is   most   famous,   and   his   whimsical and   accessible   chamber   operas,   for   which he    is    best    known,    remain    staples    of    the contemporary    American    professional    and semi-professional    performance    repertoire. In     1998,     Seymour     Barab     received     the National       Opera       Association       Lifetime Achievement Award.

Kristie Born

Pianist

Amy Elizabeth Wheeler

Voice

Amy     Elizabeth     Wheeler     is     a     versatile vocalist     and     dynamic     performer.     Her career   path   has   led   from   club   dates   as singer/song    writer    in    New    York    City    to European     opera     houses     and     concert stages       and       numerous       collaborative chamber    music    projects    at    home    and abroad.    An    appearance    in    the    original MGM   film   Fame   and   a   tour   in   a   European production   of   the   Broadway   musical   Hair in   the   role   of   Crissy   preceded   Wheeler’s operatic     debut     as     Fauno     in     Mozart’s Ascanio   in   Alba   with   the   Warsaw   Chamber Opera    in    1990.    Her    most    popular    roles with   the   WCO   were   Cherubino   ( Le   Nozze   di Figaro ),     Blondchen     ( Die     Entführung     aus dem    Serail ),    and    Cupid    in    John    Blow’s   Venus and Adonis .   After    leaving    the    WCO,    Wheeler    formed The   Peregrine   Consort   and   collaborated with   leading   early   music   musicians   from Sweden     and     Poland     to     produce     and perform       concerts       and       semi-staged productions,   featuring   works   by   Handel, Scarlatti,    Galuppi,    and    composers    from the    English    renaissance.    Working    with Swedish   double-bassist   and   composer   Jan Alm   and   musicians   from   the   Gothenburg Symphony   Orchestra,   she   performed   Jon Deak’s,     The     Ugly     Duckling     (in     Swedish translation)   and   Alm’s   Martinson   Songs,    set to     poems     by     Nobel     Laureate     Harry Martinson.   Wheeler’s   concerts   have   been presented    by,    among    others,    American Opera        Projects,        Poland’s        National Philharmonic,    the    Gotham    Early    Music Scene,    Wratislavia    Cantans    Festival,    and the Gothenburg Konserthus.   She   recorded   and   produced   What   Thing   is Love      (Peregrine      Records),      a      critically acclaimed    album    of    English    lute    songs, and     recorded     as     guest     artist     on     the Archguitar   label.   Wheeler   graduated   from the    Fiorello    LaGuardia    High    School    of Music   &   Art   and   received   a   Bachelor   of Music   in   voice   from   the   Manhattan   School of Music.

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PO BOX 479, Ashfield, MA 01330
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This recording is dedicated to Seymour Barab.
ALBUM CREDITS
R ecorded    in    24    96,    mixed    by    Ken    Berglund, Swedish    Sound,    AB,    mastered    by    Torbjörn Samuelsson,      Sampling      Factory,      KB,      and produced    by    Amy     Elizabeth    Wheeler.    Album cover     illustration:     Al     Hirschfeld             The     Al Hirschfeld    Foundation;    Website,    b ooklet    and back    cover    illustrations:    Bianca    Jakin.    Special thanks   to   associate   producers   Marion   Wheeler and   Carl-Henrik   Hansson   and   to   Kristie   Born whose idea it was to make this   recording .
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Illustration Bianca Jakin
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