Musicians ranging from Leonard Bernstein to the Emerson String Quartet have championed award-winning composer Richard Danielpour. Lacrimae Beati owes its origin to Mozart’s Requiem and was conceived after a perilous flight in 2002. Darkness in the Ancient Valley, a symphony in five movements inspired by recent events in Iran, utilizes a wide range of Persian folk-melodies and Sufi rhythms. A Woman’s Life, a cycle of poems by Maya Angelou, charts a moving trajectory from childhood to old age.
The program closes with A Woman’s Life (2007), based on a cycle of poems on that topic by Maya Angelou, who read the cycle, apparently unforgettably, to Danielpour and his wife in 2006. These songsRead more are pitch perfect and memorably touching. I was enthralled from the start—a childhood poem of devastating innocence cloaked with an aura usually reserved for the likes of Barber—and if you love his music and American song repertoire in general you must hear this cycle. The finale is unspeakably beautiful. Ms Brown sings with loving understanding. The Nashville players sound great, as is usual these days.
A Woman's Lifeby Richard Danielpour Performer:
Angela Brown (Soprano)
Nashville Symphony Orchestra
Average Customer Review: ( 2 Customer Reviews )
A Return to RootsDecember 10, 2013By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA)See All My Reviews"Darkness in the Ancient Valley is Richard Danielpour's attempt to return to his Persian heritage. The basis for this five-movement symphony is a 16th century Iranian poem. To my ears, the opening movement sounds like film music trying to evoke a Middle Eastern setting. But as the work progresses, pastiche gives way to passion, and the music develops its own blended and original voice. The final movement for orchestra and soprano (Hila Plitmann, for whom the part was written) brings the work home with an emotional and transcendent finale. A Woman's Life, a setting of eight poems by Maya Angelou, has a distinctively American feel to it. But it's not Copland Americana. While the harmonies may sound similar, the rhythm of the words and the melodic seem to recall African-American gospel traditions. The work was composed for soprano Angela Brown, and her performance here infuses the words with understated drama and urgency. A beautiful orchestral song cycle that deserves a place in the repertoire."Report Abuse
Danielpour: Darkness In The Ancient Valley / GuerDecember 4, 2013By Due Fuss See All My Reviews"While I gave him another chance with this disc, I must conclude that Danielpour's music is not necessarily to my liking, though of course this is not through any fault of his or of the quality playing and singing on this disc. He is clearly an adept composer, with a strong voice and skills, but since my tastes fall more on the side of continental dissonant abstraction, his musical language just isn't to my liking. That said, I can easily recommend this recording to his fans as it is well recorded and performed with solid singing and playing all around."Report Abuse