Yestertime Songs for Children

Wendy Loder

A wonderful introduction to gentle classical singing, these songs range from brisk little stories about birds, the sea, then slow down with prayers and lullabies.

I've had the idea of making a special album of beautiful songs that would be especially appealing to children ever since finding out I was going to have a child of my own (Samantha was born Feb. 8, 2000). I wanted this collection of song to reflect how much I love singing, and to bring the magic of stories and music together for children of all ages.

Some of the songs have a deep personal connection for me. My mother used to sing me the Brahms lullaby when I was small, and the Evening Prayer from Hänsel & Gretel is my god-daughter's favorite lullaby. The Bird Songs by Lehmann I found in a collection of music from my great-grandmother. She must have sung these with her daughter, who was a wonderful pianist and teacher. My mother was my first teacher, and started my training on the violin when I was seven years old. I now play her violin and my grandmother's piano.

I hope these songs and my voice will be a continual gift to my child and yours.

About the Artist...

Soprano Wendy Loder has delighted San Francisco Bay Area opera audiences with her vivid portrayals of Adele, Adina, Blonde, Cunegonde, Frasquita, Fiorilla, Fiordilidgi, Gilda, Gretel, Lauretta, Nanetta, Olympia, Queen of the Night, Violetta and Zerbinetta. In addition to her operatic activities, Wendy has been featured as soloist in Mahler's Eighth Symphony; Orff's Carmina Burana; in Poulenc's Gloria; and in Mozart's Great Mass. A frequent recitalist, Wendy recently collaborated with pianist Peter Bortfeldt to give her European Debut Recital in Bonn, Germany, where she was praised for her "effortless height of a voice that combined radiant power with great sureness in intonation and dynamics. Furthermore, she presents herself as a singer who knows how to be convincing with charming-capricious theatrics."(General Anzeiger, Bonn)

Other Critical Acclaim for Wendy Loder:

Loder delivers the aria "Glitter and Be Gay," the only piece of real opera in the show, with dazzling control and a vivid sense of presence Michael J. Vaughn - Palo Alto Weekly

gorgeous, exceptional voice Tim Fish -- The Press Democrat

makes a sassy and buxom Adele, vocally vibrant and adding considerably to the success of this production.
Cynthia Hill - Palo Alto Weekly

Excellent singing, polished acting...sang with a clear, bright soprano voice and good diction. Sue Kemp - The Country Almanac

Wendy Loder's beautifully sung Gilda ... passed the test with flying colors, as well as trills and high C's.
Suzanne Weiss -San Mateo Times

the miraculous voice of Wendy Loder ... brings down the house. Dave Berosh -Marin Scope

...shiveringly sweet-voiced. Marti Keller - Pacific Sun

Her voice is almost flute-like in its clarity. Tim Fish - The Press Democrat

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Eric Symons, Wendy Loder, Patrick Imbimbo

Two virtuoso classical guitarists and an exquisite soprano, who also is a superb violinist, combine their talents on this unique album with music from Italy, France, Spain and even an original composition.

Serenata is a diverse collection of pieces performed by Eric Symons and Patrick Imbimbo on guitar and the talented coloratura soprano/violinist Wendy Loder. Featured are original arrangements of popular operatic, piano and orchestral classics in the Italian and Spanish traditions. “For us the possibilities were endless. This is a new concept. Two guitars can be an orchestra, and with Wendy, an operetta!” according to Eric Symons, who arranged and composed for this new release.

The album begins with Mauro Giuliani’s Variazioni Concertanti Opus 130 for two guitars, which serves as a virtuoso overture for the operatic works by Paisiello, Puccini, Delibes, Iradier and Bizet that follow. “We wanted to record a fresh approach to beloved arias and operatic classics”, continues Symons, “and Wendy’s superb voice and interpretation made this a delicious task!”

The Spanish half of the album begins with Spanish works by French artists, including the Habanera from Carmen. El Arreglito by Iradier is the original song Bizet emulated in his beloved Habanera. Both are performed on two guitars. Wendy returns in a sassy rendition of Les Filles de Cadiz by Delibes. The program then turns to Spanish composers with duo guitar selections of Granados’ Spanish Dances Nos. 2 and 6 followed by Aranjuez Ma Pensee, Rodrigo’s vocal version of the famous 2nd movement from Concierto Aranjuez. Wendy arranged the vocal version for a haunting performance.

Rounding out the Spanish national compositions are two works by Manuel de Falla y Matheu: Homenaje a Debussy for solo guitar, and Spanish Dance No. 1 from La Vida Breve, arranged for violin and guitar.

The finale for Serenata is a new composition by Eric Symons called El Cantar de Cantantes I, the first of a series that features Wendy on both the violin and as a soprano, with a libretto from “Song of Songs I” from the Bible, sung in Ladino, the Jewish/Spanish dialect. It is the story of a romance between a poor lower class teenager and a prominent and wealthy suitor. The piece is rich with Jewish and Flamenco overtones.

Wendy Loder and Eric Symons have performed in concert for several years as duo as well as being well-known soloists. Patrick Imbimbo is a welcome addition to the ensemble and will be performing this program with Wendy and Eric during the 2012 concert season.

Serenata is a listening experience akin to a good novel, and shows how just three artists can create a sonic landscape that uplifts the soul.

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