Two Songs from Silas Marner Reviews


“The Two Songs from Silas Marner, composed in 2000, are spare settings from George Eliot’s famous novel, scored for just a solo soprano and cello. Yet they are remarkably full and frequently gorgeous.”

— Frank J. Oteri, NewMusicBox, October 26, 2010


The New York Times

“Elizabeth Farnum sang… deftly, but she was heard to better effect at the end of the program, in Harold Meltzer’s attractive, Neo-Classical setting of excerpts from George Eliot’s ‘Silas Marner.’ Here the cello writing is more picturesque: a rocking figure is meant to suggest the rhythms of weaving on a loom; chordal passages evoke a fog, from which the soprano line rises with an inexorable emotional power.”

— Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, March 5, 2008


American Record Guide

“2 Songs from Silas Marner is a very sensitive and moving setting of prose segments from the novel by George Eliot, for soprano and cello. Elizabeth Farnum’s voice is more appropriate in the beginning of the first song, where she sings without vibrato. The cello accompaniment is beautifully wrought and performed, and the songs are very effective, especially the first.”

— Ira Byelick, American Record Guide, March/April 2011




“Despite using a single accompanying instrument (cello), the striking Two Songs from Silas Marner (2000-01) abound in colorful sounds. For the first movement, the cello plays almost entirely in harmonics; in the second, an interlocking two-voice cello texture (sounding often like a viola and cello in duet) is created through extensive use of double-stopping. Though the smallest work on the disc, it is my personal favorite.”

— Carson Cooman, Fanfare, Issue 34:4 Mar/Apr 2011


The San Francisco Chronicle

“Two songs for soprano and cello set texts from, of all things, George Eliot’s Silas Marner, and do it with a compelling air of reverie.”

— Joshua Kosman, The San Francisco Chronicle, October 31, 2010

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