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Sleeper: Aceldama / Thomas M. Sleeper

Release Date: 01/28/2003 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 541   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Thomas M. Sleeper
Performer:  Thomas BarrettSandra LopezDavid CrawfordThomas Russell
Conductor:  Thomas M. Sleeper
Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Miami ChoraleShanghai Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A one-act opera on the story of Cain and Abel taken through the ages to the Holocaust and beyond.

“…his music is tonal and melodic yet Sleeper avoids high sucrose neo-Romanticism for a darker, more personal and edgy style, bristling with nervous energy,” writes the music critic Larry Johnson. Thomas M. Sleeper currently resides in Miami, Florida, where he is Director of Orchestral Activities and Conductor of the University of Miami Orchestra and Opera Theater. “Aceldama,” Greek for “field of blood,” appears in reference to the field where Cain slew Abel in the first recorded homicide (in fact, fratricide) of the Judeo-Christian tradition. “Aceldama” is sometimes also used to describe the field where Judas committed suicide
Read more after his betrayal of Christ. The opera Aceldama is based on the story of Cain and Abel and takes this tragedy through the ages to the Nazi Germany death camps and beyond. Three parts are joined to form one act. Part I takes place in the 1940s, with the final scene projecting surrealistically into the present and the future. Elements are fused from accounts of the Holocaust, Jewish and Christian texts, the Upanishads, the Arthurian legend, Dante’s Inferno, and the Faust legend among other sources.

Thomas Sleeper, composer
Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony, Thomas Sleeper, conductor, Univ. of Miami Chorale, Thomas Barrett, David Crawford, Sandra Lopez, Russell Thomas

"Sleeper...is a gifted composer, writing in a rigorous yet attractive tonal idiom..." (Gramophone)
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Works on This Recording

Aceldama by Thomas M. Sleeper
Performer:  Thomas Barrett (Baritone), Sandra Lopez (Soprano), David Crawford (Tenor),
Thomas Russell (Tenor)
Conductor:  Thomas M. Sleeper
Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Miami Chorale,  Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 

Sound Samples

Aceldama: Part I: And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived, and bare Cain... (Narrator, Chorus)
Aceldama: Part I: Why can He not accept poor Cain's offering? (Eve, Adam, Chorus)
Aceldama: Part I: So Cain went into the fields and prepared vegetation in the form of a Ram (Narrator, Chorus)
Aceldama: Part I: It is so darke... there is no shadow it is so darke of the moon... (Cain)
Aceldama: Part I: Postlude: Cain's despair and vision
Aceldama: Part I: And a vision came unto Cain and he fashioned a homunculus from the bounty of the earth... (Narrator, Chorus, Adam)
Aceldama: Part II: Should we really leave this chalice? (Adam, Eve)
Aceldama: Part II: Come over here... look at the moon... Winterladen clouds caress the moon... (Adam, Eve, Chorus)
Aceldama: Part II: That damn music... it's supposed to reassure them, calm them down... (Cain, Chorus, God)
Aceldama: Part II: Dies Irae, dies Illa Solvent saeclum in favilla Lacrimosa dies Illa (Eve, Chorus)
Aceldama: Part II: Postlude: The Ecstasy of Cain
Aceldama: Part III: I will not heal... there is nothing... all laid waste... this land... so very long ago... (Amfortas, Adam)
Aceldama: Part III: You leave me this unnatural winter. Our love was unknowable. (Adam)
Aceldama: Part III: We began as a seduction intricate dance of propriety and desire until the rose burst into flame and we were renewed in passion... (Adam)
Aceldama: Part III: My wound does not heal. Over fifty years now, the doctors say it is psychosomotic (Adam)
Aceldama: Part III: There would be no shadow were it not for the light (Eve, Narrator, God, Adam)
Aceldama: Part III: Eve!... Night wraps herself about me insisting ever gently on its release. (Adam)
Aceldama: Part III: Postlude: The death of Adam

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