Beyond love

You don’t have to be a classical-music fan to appreciate that Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Sings Peter Lieberson: Neruda Songs (newly out on CD) may be one of the most extraordinary classical recordings of all time.

Peter Lieberson is the celebrated American composer; he wrote Neruda Songs for his wife, Lorraine, the acclaimed mezzo-soprano. In November 2005, she performed this five-song cycle, inspired by the love poems of Pablo Neruda, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It was a rare performance because at the time Lorraine had been canceling most of her concert dates — she had breast cancer and was often too sick to take the stage.

The songs here are dreamlike, energized but tranquil, transcendent — particularly the fifth and final song in the cycle, “Amor mío, si muero y tú no mueres” (“My love, if I die and you don’t”), which includes the lines, “Let’s not give grief an even greater field. . . . Love has not ended, it is like a long river, only changing lands and changing lips.”

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson died on July 3, 2006.

“>HEAR brief samples of Neruda Songs (you can also hear samples, in RealPlayer or Windows Media format, at the Amazon page via the BUY link below)

“>BUY Neruda Songs

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Beyond love