Elizabeth Sombart Well Positioned Ahead of 2023 Grammys
When you’ve done it all, where do you go next? For Elizabeth Sombart, the answer was a little bit more intricate than you might think. Releasing her newest album release Singing the Nocturnes at the start of 2022, adding to a career as varied as hers undoubtedly seemed a little daunting. She had made a living and wonderful discography out of putting her take on some of history’s all-time greatest composers and their works, and it wasn’t like Beethoven was around with new material — thankfully, Sombart knows a thing or two about classical music, and her approach happened to be a little bit more subtle. Turning to Chopin, it wasn’t long before Singing the Nocturnes fell into place, and the rest is history.
Sombart is no spring chicken when it comes to covering iconic maestros, and thankfully, her nerves are made of steel when it comes to tackling material some might consider too great to improve upon. Her humble, flittering piano fingers undoubtedly do all the heavy lifting, and improving upon perfection is never the goal, as she merely serves as a conduit for the music she plays. At twenty-one tracks and two hours in length, Singing the Nocturnes is not an easygoing, beginner’s guide to Chopin right out of the gate. Those new to classical music will undoubtedly be apprehensive about the daunting runtime, but Sombart wisely eases listeners in with some of Chopin’s greatest works before segueing into material less focused upon. It’s a great mesh of earworms and melodies that will hit the eardrums like new, and the sequencing gives listeners plenty of room to take intermissions in their own time.
With Chopin in her back pocket, Elizabeth Sombart manages to pull things together with flying colors and deliver a classical album that is both refreshing to the genre’s biggest fans and enjoyable for those just dipping their toes. I could easily see some of Sombart’s renditions being played and studied in a music theory class as her soft piano voice sheds warm light on what feels like one of her favorite composers just from the attention to detail and admiration the music seems to emit.
As a crown jewel of a storied career, Singing the Nocturnes will do anyone even modestly intrigued by the classical music genre a major favor by absorbing them and molding them in the shape of Chopin’s finest works. Sombart allows the music to speak for itself, as she modestly hides her grand achievements within the patchwork of her music — she received the rank of Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite in 2006 for her lifetime achievement, and in 2008 was awarded the rank of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for her artistic career. Sombart is the type of artist to never let you know it, though, and her humble approach to the music is everything missing in contemporary radio hits these days. There’s a feeling in my gut that Elizabeth Sombart is only just starting on her next mission, and this rest stop with Chopin is a phenomenal first step into the future.