Susan Mohini Kane’s recent CD, A Moment of Joy, provides far more than a moment.
From the first track, Willow, from The Ballad of Baby Doe by Douglas Moore, the clear and vibrant soprano tones practically lull the listener into a meditative state until the singer intones a brilliant high note so effortlessly as to melt away the meditative state and spin a sound that dazzles.
Rich McKinney, a retired music educator, was for six seasons a critic for the symphony and opera season for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in the 90’s. A composer/arranger, vocal coach and choir director, McKinney now resides in Missouri and is still active as a choral director and pianist.
I must admit this is not the genre of CD that I would normally review. It is not that I do not like sopranos or songs by Germans, French and American composers. I do! It is just that these rarely come my way. Yet I am glad an exception was made with this truly inspirational disc: I have enjoyed every moment of it and have found each track both a delight and more often than not an eye-opener.
Susan Mohini Kane does not have a ‘big’ voice – she is no Anne Sofie von Otter, Renée Fleming or Montserrat Caballé. She is more at home in the middle to lower ranges of her voice. Yet the added value that she brings to these songs is a crystal-clearness of tone, her undoubted enthusiasm and minute attention to detail. Additionally she backs up her singing career with scholarly erudition. Her accompanist Kristof Van Gryspeer is always sympathetic and responsive to both Kane’s voice and the wide variety of moods and styles represented on this CD. This is a CD to enjoy in the company of a gifted and enthusiastic singer: it explores ground rarely traversed by better known artists. A singular pleasure. John France for Music Web International & The Land of Lost Content British Music Blog [http://landoflostcontent.blogspot.com]
A Moment of Joy is available at i-tunes, Amazon, and CD Baby.