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The Heart of Song: Renée Fleming with Fred Hersch

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Friday, June 17 at 2PM on 93.9 FM on Soundcheck
Friday, July 1 at 3PM on 93.9 FM
Sunday, July 3 at 6PM on 93.9 FM
Monday, July 4 at 2PM on 93.9 FM on Soundcheck

Playlist | Renée Fleming | Fred Hersch | John Schaefer | Credits/links

World-renowned opera soprano Renée Fleming has fulfilled a life-long dream: to return to her first love, Jazz. "The Heart of Song: Renée Fleming with Fred Hersch" features Fleming in a very personal and insightful conversation—and performing songs you wouldn’t usually associate with the world’s most beloved diva. Renée Fleming is a great jazz singer and you will hear it for yourself in this one hour special, hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer.

» Slideshow: Renée Fleming & Fred Hersch perform live at WNYC (photos by Christine Butler)

Fred Hersch, Renée Fleming and John Schaefer in WNYC Soundcheck studio - photo by Christine ButlerIn "The Heart of Song," we join Fleming in an intimate performance setting, accompanied by collaborator Fred Hersch on the piano, and performing an eclectic set of favorites. The hour includes music from Joni Mitchell’s classic 1971 "Blue" release, to the standard "Love for Sale," and features exclusive archival performances from Fleming’s earliest days as a young college student.
"The Heart of Song" Playlist
"Ch'il bel sogno di Doretta" (excerpt) La Rondine, Puccini
From the Renée Fleming album The Beautiful Voice, London Records
"Oh silver moon" (excerpt) Rusalka, Dvorák
From the Renée Fleming/Sir Georg Solti album Signatures—Great Opera Scenes, London Records
"Jewel Song" (excerpt) Faust, Gounod
From the Renée Fleming album The Beautiful Voice, London Records
“Haunted Heart” (Howard Dietz/Arthur Schwartz)
WNYC studio performance by Renée Fleming and Fred Hersch
“Lady Sings the Blues” (excerpt)
Performed by Billie Holiday
“I’ll Be Seeing You” (excerpt) (Irving Kahal/Sammy Fain)
Renée Fleming with the Eastman Jazz Ensemble/"Arranger's Holiday" recorded Fall 1981
(archive tape courtesy Renée Fleming; special thanks to Ed Fleming)
“Night and Day” (excerpt) (Cole Porter)
Renée Fleming and jazz trio at Alger’s Pub, Potsdam, NY 1981
(archive tape courtesy Renée Fleming; special thanks to Ed Fleming)
“Blue” (excerpt) (Joni Mitchell)
From the Joni Mitchell album Blue, Reprise 2038-2
“River” (Joni Mitchell)
WNYC studio performance by Renée Fleming and Fred Hersch
“Blues” (excerpt)
Illinois Jacquet, tenor sax, and orchestra
“You’ve Changed” (excerpt) (Bill W. Carey/Carl Fischer)
WNYC studio 2004 performance, Illinois Jacquet, tenor sax, Larry Ham, piano, Renée Fleming vocal
“Embraceable You” (excerpt) (George and Ira Gershwin)
Sarah Vaughan, The George Gershwin Songbook Vol. 2, Emarcy 846 896-2
“Love for Sale” (Cole Porter)
WNYC studio performance by Renée Fleming and Fred Hersch
“Hard Times Come Again No More (excerpt) (Stephen Foster)
Renée Fleming, “Haunted Heart,” Decca B0007Z9QUS
“How Long Has This Been Going On?” (excerpt)
Shirley Horn, The Shirley Horn Trio: Softly, Audiophile Records ACD-224
“When Did You Leave Heaven?” (Walter Bullock/Richard Whiting?)
WNYC studio performance by Renée Fleming and Fred Hersch
“Petals on a Rose” (Gene Scheer)
WNYC studio performance by Renée Fleming and Fred Hersch

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Renée Fleming photo - photo by Andrew EcclesAbout Renée Fleming
Renée Fleming's vocal artistry is acclaimed worldwide as the "gold standard of soprano sound." The two-time Grammy Award winner's sensuous voice, interpretive skills and stylistic versatility are sought after on stage and in recordings. A champion of new music as well as the standard repertoire, the American soprano performs throughout the world's most distinguished venues with today's foremost orchestras and conductors. Recognized as a risk-taker in her field, Ms. Fleming has created many roles for the operatic stage and has premiered numerous songs written for her, earning her the respect of her colleagues and praise from the press as one of the great artists of our day.

A celebrated artist in the recording arena with numerous award-winning discs to her credit, including two Grammys and eight Grammy nominations, Ms. Fleming has been an exclusive recording artist with Decca since 1995. Her collection of jazz and popular songs, "Haunted Heart," was released in May, 2005 to wide acclaim, and represents a return to a musical genre she performed extensively in college and graduate school.

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Fred Hersch photo by Steve J. ShermanAbout Fred Hersch
Pianist and composer Fred Hersch has earned a place among the foremost jazz artists in the world today. He is widely recognized for his ability to reinvent the standard jazz repertoire—investing time-tested classics with keen insight, fresh ideas and extraordinary technique—while steadfastly creating his own unique body of works. Described by The New Yorker as "a poet of a pianist" and The New York Times as "a master who plays it his way," Hersch's accomplishments include a 2003 Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for composition and two Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance. He has recorded more than 20 albums as a solo artist or bandleader, co-led another 20 sessions and appeared as a sideman or featured soloist on some 80 further recordings.

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John Schaefer photo by Christine ButlerAbout John Schaefer
John Schaefer is the host of WNYC's innovative music talk show “Soundcheck,” which features live performances and interviews with a variety of guests. Since 1982, Schaefer has also hosted and produced the popular new music radio program “New Sounds,” hailed as “The #1 radio show for the Global Village” by Billboard magazine. He was executive producer and host of the nationally-syndicated series Chamber Music New York. Since 1986, he has produced and hosted New Sounds Live, an annual series of live broadcast concerts devoted to many types of new, unusual, uncategorizable, and overlooked forms of music. Since 1991 he has produced and hosted WNYC's programs of classical performances, both in studio and in various concert halls. He has been heard regularly on the BBC, the ABC (Australia), Taipei Public Radio, and Radio New Zealand. 

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Program Credits
“The Heart of Song: Renée Fleming with Fred Hersch” has been a collaboration of WNYC Radio and SchardtMEDIA. Technical Director for WNYC was Irene Trudel, with assistance from Edward Haber. Soundcheck’s producers are Allison Lichter and Brian Wise; Chris Bannon and Elena Park are the Executive Producers.

Sue Schardt is the Executive Producer for SchardtMEDIA. Thanks to Mikel Ellcessor, George Preston, Jack Straw Productions, and to Ed Fleming for providing archival material.

Additional Links
» Renée Fleming's website
» Fred Hersch's website
» Renée Fleming and Illinois Jacquet perform on Soundcheck
» SchardtMEDIA

Other Recent WNYC Music and Culture Programs
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» A "Kiss for All the World" from WNYC on New Year's Eve 2004!
» Music Party Specials
» "The Ring and I: The Passion, The Myth, The Mania"
» Bernstein's Candide
» WNYC celebrates the opening of Carnegie's Zankel Hall

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