The CD Poems is yet another challenge testing the flexibility of the singer’s voice, the palette of sound colours and expressive means. It presents three song cycles coming from different periods (the early 20th century, mid-20th-century, and the beginning of the 21st) and different cultural background, invoking three radically dissimilar worlds: Berg’s sublime world still rooted in the late Romantic German Lied; the American landscape of Copland’s songs with echoes of Fanfare for the Common Man, popular song and Emily Dickinson’s feminine voice; and Paweł Szymański’s constructions – soaring high above these two worlds.
These three dimensions of song for voice and piano are also three incarnations of Agata Zubel the singer, in agreement with the text message and the aesthetic aura of the musical settings. Zubel’s voice – unpretentious and playful, girlish, natural in expression in Emily Dickinson’s poems – in Berg’s Lieder becomes melancholy, feminine, much darker and velvety. In Szymański’s songs, it sounds most dreamlike, oneiric and ‘otherworldly’.