Viva Frida!

by Steven Bergman

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday September 5, 2012

Viva Frida!

Heresy Records is a new record label specializing in looking forward while looking back. Their new release, a two-disc set from the early-music ensemble known as The Dublin Drag Orchestra, fully encompasses their mission. The Orchestra blends stunning visual imagery with a musical offering of 17th century selections from England and Mexico.

The first disc of "Motion of the Heart / ¡Viva Frida!" features traditional songs from British composers of the 17th century. Composers John Dowland ("My Heart & Tongue were Twinnes") and William Lawes ("Consort Set a5 in A minor: Aire and Fantazy No. 1") are featured, but the group concludes the set with two distinctly out-of-the-box choices: the traditional Irish piece, "Dónal Óg," and the Hank Williams classic (performed a la J.S. Bach), "Cold, Cold Heart." The performances are top-notch, an effective blend of instrumental and vocal works in various combinations of duos, trios and small ensembles. The second set features four tracks from early Mexican composers, plus the centerpiece of the collection, a musical setting of Frida Kahlo's "La Vida Callada (The Unspoken Life)" by Clara Sanabras, the group lead vocalist.

The packaging for this release is a welcome addition to the music, featuring thought-out artistic tableaus with the group in extravagant costuming, and makes purchasing the actual set (priced economically at the single disc price) preferred over individually downloading the songs.

"Motion of the Heart / ¡Viva Frida!"
The Dublin Drag Orchestra
CD and Digital formats
Heresy Records

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.