Music: The Faces Of Love

By Jake Heggie

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The American art song is still alive and well, judging by this lovely CD, on which a studioful of opera stars, including Renee Fleming, Sylvia McNair and Frederica von Stade, performs 26 songs by Californian Heggie, who is currently adapting Dead Man Walking for the San Francisco Opera. Heggie sets poems in English by poets old (Emily Dickinson) and new (Philip Littell) in the Samuel Barber/Ned Rorem manner--agreeably lyrical, unambiguously tonal--and his big-league cast responds with obvious relish.

--By Terry Teachout