1 800 222 6872

James Primosch: Sacred Songs / Christopher Kendall, piano; Susan Narucki, soprano

Album Summary

>Primosch, James : From a Book of Hours, for soprano & chamber orchestra
>Primosch, James : Sacred Songs (4) for soprano or mezzo-soprano & chamber orchestra
>Primosch, James : Dark the Star, song cycle for baritone, clarinet, cello, piano & percussion
>Primosch, James : Holy the Firm, for soprano & piano (or chamber ensemble)
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

When honoring him with its Goddard Lieberson Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters noted that "A rare economy of means and a strain of religious mysticism distinguish the music of James Primosch... through articulate, transparent textures, he creates a wide range of musical emotion." Mr. Primosch's music has been performed by ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Collage, the New York New Music Ensemble, and the Network for New Music. This recording includes four cycles, featuring the leading American singers, soprano Susan Narucki, and baritone William Sharp.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Gildenhorn Recital Hall at the University of Maryland,.



Reviews

Fascinating blend of old and new
"Sacred Songs" these are, but they're not the comfortable platitudes of ordinary church music. James Primrosch draws from many sources to create works that are indeed deeply spiritual, often thought-provoking, and always demanding the listener's full attention.

From a Book of Hours, for example, is angular and aggressive, but with an almost retro-sounding atonality in some movements. The music matches the unsettled and conflicted musings of the narrator's relationship with God. By contrast, Four Sacred Songs is a more elegiac work, drawing on sacred music traditions of the past to create music that sounds both contemporary and timeless.

Dark the Star has a somewhat mysterious air about it, especially as sung by William Sharp. Sharp seems to be holding back his dark, baritone voice, as if refraining from revealing too much. But his performance fits the dark, nocturnal nature of the work. The program concludes with Holy the Firm, a beautiful and lyrical solo cantata. The work's spacious sound and wide-open intervals remind me a little of Copland or Barber in spots.

Soprano Susan Narucki has very expressive voice. It can have a rich, creamy sound in the lyrical passages, yet still develop a steely edge when necessary for the more dissonant sections.

Christopher Kendall and the 21st Century consort are in top form. Of the four works on this album, only one was originally scored for chamber orchestra, and it's the only one whose chamber orchestra version wasn't premiered by the Consort. This ensemble knows these works intimately -- and it's apparent in their performances.
Submitted on 04/29/14 by RGraves321 
Login or Create an Account to write a review

Works Details

>Primosch, James : From a Book of Hours, for soprano & chamber orchestra
  • Performer: Susan Narucki (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Christopher Kendall
  • Ensemble: Twenty First Century Consort
  • Running Time: 17 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2001-2006

>Primosch, James : Sacred Songs (4) for soprano or mezzo-soprano & chamber orchestra
  • Performer: Susan Narucki (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Christopher Kendall
  • Ensemble: Twenty First Century Consort
  • Running Time: 13 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1989-1990

>Primosch, James : Dark the Star, song cycle for baritone, clarinet, cello, piano & percussion
  • Performer: William Sharp
  • Conductor: Christopher Kendall
  • Ensemble: Twenty First Century Consort
  • Running Time: 20 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2008

>Primosch, James : Holy the Firm, for soprano & piano (or chamber ensemble)
  • Performer: Susan Narucki (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Christopher Kendall
  • Ensemble: Twenty First Century Consort
  • Running Time: 21 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1999-2000