Journal of Singing review of Selected Songs publications

A beautifully written and insightful review by┬áKathleen Roland Silverstein, just discovered, of Leisner’s two Selected Songs publications for voice and piano (Theodore Presser Co.) from the March/April 2021 Journal of Singing: “The composer has chosen his texts and illuminated them with great care, whether poems by the more illustrious and well-known Dickinson, Yeats, or Whitman, or by contemporary poets like American Elissa Ely. His songs graphically describe the arc, summit, and release of each poem, and require from the performer a like-minded sensitivity to the delineation of the words. This is the challenge of these songs; Leisner knows the singing voice well, and the individual voice type’s range, tessitura, and timbre requirements are well met. But, in addition, he chooses, in every case, text that demands an equal commitment from the singer. The harmonic and melodic choices are tonal and always interesting. In these voice and piano selections, Leisner demonstrates an equal ease in his writing for the collaborative piano as he does for his own instrument, the guitar. Leisner’s music is sung by many young American singers on the cusps of their respective careers, as well as more established singers.”