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Foss: The Prairie / Clark, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, et al

Album Summary

>Foss, Lukas : The Prairie, secular cantata for 4 voices, chorus & orchestra
Performers Conductor Ensemble
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Notes & Reviews:

Lukas Foss' "The Prairie" is a secular oratorio based on Carl Sandburg's epic poem of the same name. Drawing upon Sandburg's journey through the landscape and lives of the Midwest in the 1900's, Foss has embarked on a journey of his own, creating an iconic work of American classical music that embodies the hardships and optimism that defined a generation of men and women braving industrialization in America. Offering eloquent performances by Elizabeth Weigle, Gigi Mitchell-Velasco, Frank Kelley, Aaron Engebreth, the Providence Singers, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, this recording beautifully captures the elegant and equally imaginative language of Lukas Foss.

"The robust and fearless ensemble singing of the Providence Singers, outstanding orchestral playing of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and collective vocal agility of the soloists, integrated with conductor Clark's commitment to the composer, has yielded a first-rate reading of this pioneering work. Particular sonic highlights can be found in soprano Elizabeth Weigle's ravishing lower register, baritone Aaron Engebreth's breathtaking clarity of tone, and Andrew Clark's appropriately heroic interpretation. Besides its artistic triumph, the excellent packaging of this recording - complete with relevant words from Foss himself and authoritative notes written by retired long-time Boston Globe chief music critic Richard Dyer - results in a clear-cut recommendation for immediate purchase." - Sean Burton (Choral Journal)

"I find it astonishing that this delicious oratorio hasn't been performed or recorded much. It's every bit a crowd-pleaser and very much in the tradition of middle-American composers of the 20's, 30's, and 40's, such as Roy Harris, Howard Hanson, and Aaron Copland.... It's a beautiful work, excellently performed here. Sound is terrific: clear and sharp, with just the right depth. This work and this recording belong in any decent library of 20th-century music. If you're a fan of choral works, this is most definitely for you." - Paul Cook (American Record Guide)


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Works Details

>Foss, Lukas : The Prairie, secular cantata for 4 voices, chorus & orchestra
  • Performers: Aaron Engebreth (Baritone); Frank Kelley (Tenor); Gigi Mitchell-Velasco (Mezzo Soprano); Elisabeth Weigle (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Andrew Clark
  • Running Time: 5 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944