Release date: 1 September 2023
Teodora Brody is a peerless genre-defying vocalist who leaves audiences across the globe enthralled by her artistry which encompasses jazz, classical, folk music and beyond. With elemental powers of expression and an incredible four octave vocal range, Teodora’s astonishing instrument is a force of nature that is unforgettable.
For her latest album, Rhapsody, Brody joins forces with one of the world’s great orchestras, the London Symphony Orchestra,for a thrilling new chapter in her journey into the classical repertoire, recasting well-known works by Beethoven, Bartók, Enescu and more, in bold new vocal renditions.
With these world-class musicians at the helm familiar melodies melt and transform, flowing between genres and revealing surprising new connections. Early in the album the familiar arpeggios of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata morph into a very different kind of nocturne; bluesy harmonies and soulful scat conjure the atmosphere of a smoky jazz bar in the early hours. And later the popular strains of Pachelbel’s Canon are spun out in entirely new directions, rising from whispered incantations to a soaring orchestral crescendo.
Elsewhere on the album Teodora explores repertoire from her native Romania, with extraordinary new interpretations of George Enescu’s two Romanian Rhapsodies and Bartók’s Romanian Dances. Evocative orchestrations and Teodora’s elemental vocals ensure these are performances full of passion, with all the intensity of Romania’s folk music traditions transformed into an orchestral setting.
On the very last track, Teodora digs further into her roots to present a solo Doina – Romania’s improvisatory, deeply emotive folk singing tradition. As the project’s orchestrator Lee Reynolds recalls, “at the end of the second day of recording, when the orchestra had left and the studio was quiet we recorded the absolutely astonishingly beautiful unaccompanied Doina. The producer and I were in the listening booth, and we both looked at each other and our jaws just dropped. It was a magical moment. These don’t come along very often, and yet we captured so many of them with Teodora on this album.”
Teodora Brody commented:
“Creating this record has been a long journey and a labour of love. My connection to classical music is profound – I feel my spirit soar when I interpret these great pieces with my own vocal responses to music that has moved and inspired people for centuries. Seeing Rhapsody finally make its way into the world is a dream come true for me.”
Jonathan Allen, producer on Rhapsody, commented:
“It reminded me of when Jeff Beck noodled on top of Mahler – that lovely combination of something fresh and communicative. Teodora brings the human connection to this music which only the voice can and has drawn something truly heartfelt from these melodies which we all know so well.”
Having taken Romania’s prestigious Enescu Festival by storm with acclaimed performances in 2019 and 2021, Teodora returns to the Romanian Athenaeum to perform extracts from Rhapsody with the Manchester Camerata on 18 September 2023.