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America Again / Downes


Release Date: 10/28/2016 
Label:  Sono Luminus   Catalog #: 92207   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Morton GouldLou HarrisonTraditionalAmy Marcy Beach,   ... 
Performer:  Lara Downes
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

What defines America? Pianist Lara Downes has a musical answer in her smartly programmed, wide-ranging anthology of solo piano works by American composers past and present; male and female; straight and gay; rich and poor; white, black and Latino.

The album's title is taken from "Let America Be America Again," a poem by Langston Hughes. Like Hughes, Downes embraces a distinctively American brand of hope.

You can hear it in familiar chestnuts like Downes' clear-eyed rendition of "Over The Rainbow," or the inherently yearning "Shenandoah." But there are more confident aspirations to be found in lesser-known music. Morton Gould's American Caprice sports whimsical, syncopated rhythms,
Read more and Amy Beach's sparkling From Blackbird Hills dances to the beat of an American Indian song. Sueño Recurrente (Recurring Dream), by Puerto Rican-born composer Angélica Negrón, sways like a lullaby, while Art Tatum's teeming arrangement of Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies" swings with cocksure virtuosity.

It's satisfying to see the undervalued Florence Price represented as well. Her Fantasie Negre combines virtuoso techniques with the aching lyricism of a spiritual.

There are also strong pieces by famous composers like Copland, Bernstein and Ellington, but they're not the usual suspects. Downes' keen music choices and her thoughtful performances evoke a brilliantly curated art exhibit. – NPR (Tom Huizenga) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
American Caprice, for orchestra by Morton Gould
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 5 Minutes 3 Secs. 
2.
Waltzes (3) by Lou Harrison
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 3 Minutes 13 Secs. 
3.
Shenandoah by Traditional
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Written: USA 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
4.
From Blackbird Hills, Op. 83 by Amy Marcy Beach
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1922 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 3 Minutes 50 Secs. 
5.
Negro Melodies (24), Op. 59 no 1: no 10, Deep river by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1905; England 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 5 Minutes 16 Secs. 
6.
Lonesome Roads: Nocturne by Dan Visconti
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2012 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 1 Minutes 51 Secs. 
7.
Poems of the Sea by Ernest Bloch
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; USA 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
8.
Porgy & Bess: I Love You, Porgy by George Gershwin
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1935; United States of Ame 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
9.
Sueno Recurrente, for piano by Angelica Negron
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2002 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 2 Minutes 46 Secs. 
10.
Anniversaries: for Stephen Sondheim by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1988 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 1 Minutes 22 Secs. 
11.
Promise, for piano by David Sanford
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2009 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
12.
Slumber Song by Howard Hanson
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
13.
Gladiolus Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; USA 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
14.
Blue Skies, film score by Irving Berlin
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
15.
Deserted Garden by Florence Beatrice Price
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 7 Minutes 9 Secs. 
16.
Sentimental Melody by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; USA 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 1 Minutes 35 Secs. 
17.
Melancholia, for piano by Edward "Duke" Ellington
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1953 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs. 
18.
Li'l Boy Named David, for piano by Roy Harris
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: circa 1946 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
19.
Wizard of Oz: Over the Rainbow by Harold Arlen
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 

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