Review - Youkali

Artist: Patricia O'Callaghan

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Listening to the art songs and cabaret-style material on "Youkali," one is immediately impressed with the lyrical quality of soprano Patricia O' Callaghan's voice. The songs are best enjoyed in a private setting with artist, piano and listener entwined in the most intimate communication about personal understanding of love, loss and death.

These historically powerful and soul-searching themes are conveyed in a light-hearted, often contradictory musical style. A prime example is "Les Filles de Bordeaux," a song about girls being killed, sold and used that is delivered in an upbeat, fox-trot style. Most of the compositions are Kurt Weill, Eric Satie and Frances Poulenc works, but it is the Gershwin tune "One Life to Live" that sums up the essential message of this recording: We are mortal, we will die, so don't waste a single day. This message is beautifully conveyed through O' Callaghan, who delivers these themes with effortless grace.

"Youkali" speaks to introspective listeners looking for a few quiet moments in an otherwise hectic life.

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