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Rindfleisch: Choral Works / Isthmus Vocal Ensemble, Et Al


Release Date: 10/17/2006 
Label:  Clarion   Catalog #: 927   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Andrew RindfleischSebastian de Vivanco
Conductor:  Scott MacPherson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Isthmus Vocal Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 39 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



RINDFLEISCH To His Music. Gebet. Dixit Dominus. Me! Come! My Dazzled Face! Sweet Rose, Fair Flower. Psalm. VIVANCO In manus tuas Scott MacPherson, dir; Isthmus Vocal Ens CLARION 927 (39:26 & )


Composer Andrew Rindfleisch (b. 1963) has been active since his student days in the 1980s at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where his interest in choral Read more music first blossomed under one of the undisputed 20th-century deans of the genre, the late Robert Fountain. In fact, the opening track on this disc, To His Music , is a memorial to Fountain commissioned by a consortium of choirs representing Fountain students and protégés. With graduate degrees from the New England Conservatory and Harvard, Rindfleisch now serves as professor of composition at Cleveland State University.


This (to my knowledge) first all-Rindfleisch disc in the catalog introduces a composer with a refreshingly wide range of both style and subject. His texts draw both on Scripture and ondistinguished poets, including Emily Dickinson and Shakespeare. His technique remains firmly rooted in tonality, often juxtaposing expressive dissonances with archaic imitative textures, but equally open to rich chordal writing, as in the concluding Brahms-inspired Psalm. Elsewhere, the overall effect ranges from the gently meditative To His Music through the playful chatter of Me! Come! My Dazzled Face! to the vividly descriptive outer sections of the sometimes violent Vesper Psalm Dixit Dominus —a text frequently essayed by the likes of Handel and Mozart, but rarely set in its entirety by contemporary composers. In manus tuas is an example of the “parody” technique employed by many Renaissance composers and such moderns as Steven Stucky; here, Rindfleisch’s setting is paired, per the composer’s intention, with the c. 16th-century setting by Sebastián de Vivanco that inspired it.


The performances by the Madison-based Isthmus Vocal Ensemble are exemplary—the more amazingly so, given that this group “comprises a temporary community of the [Madison] area’s finest singers, gathering together for three weeks of intensive rehearsals each summer, and a single public performance.” Engineering is well up to the same high standard. Helpful program notes, too, can be especially critical in interpreting unfamiliar works to the first-time listener; and the detailed commentary provided here by Eastman Professor William Weinert is a sterling model of its kind.


The bad news: the disc sports an overall running time that would be considered short measure for an LP, much less a CD; and its price ($16.00, per Clarion’s Web site) still hovers near the “full” end of the spectrum, which may cause some Fanfare readers to rule this release out on principle. For my (metaphorical) money, Weinert’s annotations—not to mention the engaging variety of the music itself—go a long way toward making up the difference. Ergo, warmly recommended nonetheless.


FANFARE: James Carson
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Works on This Recording

1.
To His Music by Andrew Rindfleisch
Conductor:  Scott MacPherson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Isthmus Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
2.
In manus tuas by Andrew Rindfleisch
Conductor:  Scott MacPherson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Isthmus Vocal Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "In manus tuas [Rindfleisch]." 
3.
Gebet by Andrew Rindfleisch
Conductor:  Scott MacPherson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Isthmus Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989 
4.
Dixit Dominus by Andrew Rindfleisch
Conductor:  Scott MacPherson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Isthmus Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
5.
Me! Come! My dazzled face! by Andrew Rindfleisch
Conductor:  Scott MacPherson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Isthmus Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
6.
Sweet Rose, Fair Flower by Andrew Rindfleisch
Conductor:  Scott MacPherson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Isthmus Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988 
7.
Psalm by Andrew Rindfleisch
Conductor:  Scott MacPherson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Isthmus Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1998 
8.
In manus tuas by Sebastian de Vivanco
Conductor:  Scott MacPherson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Isthmus Vocal Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "In manus tuas [Rindfleisch]." 

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