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Nothing Divine Is Mundane - Thomson: Songs / Siebert, Et Al


Release Date: 12/16/1997 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 272   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Virgil Thomson
Performer:  Dora OhrensteinPhillip BushGlenn SiebertWilliam Sharp
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cassatt String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"...In this thoughtfully assembled collection of songs, Thomson's expertise is aptly matched by the intelligence of the singers and accompanist...With very nice recorded sound, this disc can be enthusiastically recommended."

-- Fanfare (5-6/98, p.218)

Dora Ohrenstein in her notes for this disc writes: "At its best Thomson's music achieves an eloquence all the more moving because it is done with such seemingly simple means. And in no genre is this more true than in his vocal music, where his outstanding literary skills came into play."

Thomson was a gifted writer of prose, and he had an unerring ear and feel for language. When these talents were put to use in the setting
Read more of a text the results are exemplary - indeed, his achievements here are seldom disputed. That recognition has focused primarily on his fidelity to the natural rhythms and cadences of speech and for Thomson this was an enduring concern. Writing about his first song settings of poems by Gertrude Stein, he says: "My hope in putting Gertrude Stein to music had been to break, crack open, and solve for all time anything still waiting to be solved, which was almost everything, about English musical declamation. My theory was that if a text is set correctly for the sound of it, the meaning will take care of itself...I had no sooner put to music...one short Stein text than I knew I had opened a door. I had never had any doubts about Stein's poetry; from then on I had none about my ability to handle it in music. His text settings are models of clarity, but closer examination reveals that there is far more to admire in Thomson's handling of poetry. Time and time again, he finds ingenious ways to reveal a poem's structure, enhance and amplify its meaning, and underline the potent word or image." Here we have a wonderful selection of songs by this fine American composer who composed so well for the voice.
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Works on This Recording

1.
Preciosilla by Virgil Thomson
Performer:  Dora Ohrenstein (Soprano), Phillip Bush (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; France 
Date of Recording: 1996 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: English 
2.
Susie Asado by Virgil Thomson
Performer:  Phillip Bush (Piano), Glenn Siebert (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; USA 
Date of Recording: 1996 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 1 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: English 
3.
Songs (4) to Poems of Thomas Campion by Virgil Thomson
Performer:  Glenn Siebert (Tenor), Phillip Bush (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951/1956; USA 
Date of Recording: 1996 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 9 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: English 
4.
Stabat mater by Virgil Thomson
Performer:  Dora Ohrenstein (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cassatt String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931/1981; USA 
Date of Recording: 1996 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 5 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: French 
5.
Estampas (3) de Ninez by Virgil Thomson
Performer:  Glenn Siebert (Tenor), Phillip Bush (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957; USA 
Date of Recording: 1996 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 6 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: Spanish 
6.
Two by Marianne Moore by Virgil Thomson
Performer:  William Sharp (Baritone), Phillip Bush (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; USA 
Date of Recording: 1996 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 4 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: English 
7.
Mostly about Love by Virgil Thomson
Performer:  Dora Ohrenstein (Soprano), Phillip Bush (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; USA 
Date of Recording: 1996 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 8 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: English 
8.
Blake Songs (5) by Virgil Thomson
Performer:  William Sharp (Baritone), Phillip Bush (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951; USA 
Date of Recording: 1996 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 15 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: English 
9.
La belle en dormant by Virgil Thomson
Performer:  Phillip Bush (Piano), Glenn Siebert (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1996 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 5 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: French 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Great Poetry June 6, 2013 By Dr. Mitchell Gurk (Spencer, MA) See All My Reviews "with inspired music that is perfect for it." Report Abuse
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