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Voices From Elysium - Copland, Cowell, Crawford-seeger, Etc


Release Date: 09/29/1998 
Label:  New World Records   Catalog #: 80543   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Aaron CoplandMiriam GideonLouise TalmaHenry Cowell,   ... 
Performer:  Laura FlaxPhyllis Bryn-JulsonJoan TowerJoel Lester,   ... 
Conductor:  Paul Dunkel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Da Capo Chamber PlayersSpeculum Musicae members
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 47 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

What joins this collection of well- and lesser-known 20th century American composers is the form in which they're represented, labeled conveniently if not definitively as "art songs." Unlike their predecessors from the 18th and 19th centuries, these songs seem generally more concerned with style than with melody, but there are moments of variety and discovery.
The Copland song, penned early in the famous populist's career, is uncharateristically neoclassical, though the skippity-chase between reeds is familiar. Miriam Gideon achieves an evocative spectrum of moods as she sets ancient texts and a children's song to cerebral melodies and arrangements. Louise Talma's brief depictions of individual precious jewels are more programmatic,
Read more but with clever surprises. Henry Cowell's 'Vocalise' is perhaps the most eminently musical of the lot, in the interactive teaming of voice and instruments and the refreshing syncopations. Ruth Crawford Seeger's setting of Carl Sandburg's song/poems is arty but fun.
The instrumentalists are faultlessly precise, the singers enhancing: Phyllis Bryn-Julson's light, pleasant soprano is beautifully paired with flute, mezzo Beverly Morgan brings rich character, and tenors Constantine Cassolas and Paul Sperry infuse an engaging Peter Pears-like urgency. Read less

Works on This Recording

1. As it fell upon a day by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Laura Flax (Clarinet), Phyllis Bryn-Julson (Soprano), Joan Tower (Piano),
Joel Lester (Violin), André Emelianoff (Cello), Patricia Spencer (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Da Capo Chamber Players
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923 
2. Voices from Elysium by Miriam Gideon
Performer:  Joan Tower (Piano), Patricia Spencer (Flute), Joel Lester (Violin),
André Emelianoff (Cello), Laura Flax (Clarinet), Constantine Cassolas (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Da Capo Chamber Players
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; USA 
3. Diadem by Louise Talma
Performer:  Laura Flax (Clarinet), Patricia Spencer (Flute), Joel Lester (Violin),
Joan Tower (Piano), Paul Sperry (Tenor), André Emelianoff (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Da Capo Chamber Players
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1980; USA 
4. Vocalise for Soprano, Flute and Piano by Henry Cowell
Performer:  Phyllis Bryn-Julson (Soprano), Joan Tower (Piano), Patricia Spencer (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Da Capo Chamber Players
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; USA 
5. Songs (3) by Ruth Crawford Seeger
Performer:  Beverly Morgan (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Paul Dunkel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Speculum Musicae members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930-1932; USA 
Notes: Composition written: USA (1930 - 1933). 

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