Music: Songs Of Ned Rorem

Susan Graham

Ripe-voiced Graham is well on her way to becoming the Renee Fleming of mezzo-sopranos. Her starring role in the San Francisco Opera's upcoming premiere of Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking will probably do the trick. So why not board the bandwagon early? Her new CD, a collection of 32 well-chosen art songs by Ned Rorem, is already a prime candidate for Best-of-2000 status. Graham's singing is smart and sumptuous, while Rorem's French-flavored songs--bittersweet, transparent, unsentimentally lyrical--are the best that any American classical composer has given us.

--By Terry Teachout

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