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Voices from Elysium - Copland, Cowell, Crawford-Seeger, etc

Album Summary

>Copland, Aaron : As it fell upon a day, song for soprano, flute & clarinet
>Gideon, Miriam : Voices From Elysium, for voice & ensemble, no 1, The Swallow
>Gideon, Miriam : Voices From Elysium, for voice & ensemble, no 2, Cicada
>Gideon, Miriam : Voices From Elysium, for voice & ensemble, no 3, Prayer to Hermes
>Gideon, Miriam : Voices From Elysium, for voice & ensemble, no 4, Epitaph of a Sailor
>Gideon, Miriam : Voices From Elysium, for voice & ensemble, no 5, Of the Sensual World
>Gideon, Miriam : Voices From Elysium, for voice & ensemble, no 6, Hesperos
>Gideon, Miriam : Voices From Elysium, for voice & ensemble, no 7, Rest
>Talma, Louise : Diadem, for voice & ensemble, no 1, Jade
>Talma, Louise : Diadem, for voice & ensemble, no 2, Aquamarine
>Talma, Louise : Diadem, for voice & ensemble, no 3, Ruby
>Talma, Louise : Diadem, for voice & ensemble, no 4, Topaz
>Talma, Louise : Diadem, for voice & ensemble, no 5, Diamond
>Talma, Louise : Diadem, for voice & ensemble, no 6, Sapphire
>Talma, Louise : Diadem, for voice & ensemble, no 7, Emerald
>Cowell, Henry : Vocalise, for voice, flute & piano, HC 524
>Seeger, Ruth Crawford : Rat Riddles, for voice & chamber orchestra (Three Songs on Poems by Carl Sandburg no 1)
>Seeger, Ruth Crawford : Prayers of Steel, for voice & chamber orchestra (Three Songs on Poems by Carl Sandburg no 2)
>Seeger, Ruth Crawford : In Tall Grass, for voice & chamber orchestra (Three Songs on Poems by Carl Sandburg no 3)
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composers
Notes & Reviews:

Personnel: Paul Sperry (tenor saxophone).

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, 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.



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Works Details

>Copland, Aaron : As it fell upon a day, song for soprano, flute & clarinet
  • Performers: Phyllis Bryn-Julson; André Emelianoff (Cello); Laura Flax (Clarinet); Joel Lester (Violin); Patricia Spencer (Flute); Joan Tower (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Da Capo Chamber Players
  • Running Time: 5 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1923
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Gideon, Miriam : Voices From Elysium, for voice & ensemble, no 1, The Swallow
  • Performers: Constantine Cassolas (Tenor); André Emelianoff (Cello); Laura Flax (Clarinet); Joel Lester (Violin); Patricia Spencer (Flute); Joan Tower (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Da Capo Chamber Players
  • Running Time: 2 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Gideon, Miriam : Voices From Elysium, for voice & ensemble, no 2, Cicada
  • Performers: Constantine Cassolas (Tenor); André Emelianoff (Cello); Laura Flax (Clarinet); Joel Lester (Violin); Patricia Spencer (Flute); Paul Sperry; Joan Tower (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Da Capo Chamber Players
  • Running Time: 2 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Gideon, Miriam : Voices From Elysium, for voice & ensemble, no 3, Prayer to Hermes
  • Performers: Phyllis Bryn-Julson; Constantine Cassolas (Tenor); Patricia Spencer (Flute); Joan Tower (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Da Capo Chamber Players
  • Running Time: 1 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Gideon, Miriam : Voices From Elysium, for voice & ensemble, no 4, Epitaph of a Sailor
  • Performers: Constantine Cassolas (Tenor); Beverly Morgan (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Paul Dunkel
  • Ensemble: Members of the Speculum Musicae (Members)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Gideon, Miriam : Voices From Elysium, for voice & ensemble, no 5, Of the Sensual World
  • Performer: Constantine Cassolas (Tenor)
  • Running Time: 1 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Gideon, Miriam : Voices From Elysium, for voice & ensemble, no 6, Hesperos
  • Performer: Constantine Cassolas (Tenor)
  • Period Time: Modern

>Gideon, Miriam : Voices From Elysium, for voice & ensemble, no 7, Rest
  • Performer: Constantine Cassolas (Tenor)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Talma, Louise : Diadem, for voice & ensemble, no 1, Jade
  • Performer: Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 3 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Talma, Louise : Diadem, for voice & ensemble, no 2, Aquamarine
  • Performer: Paul Sperry
  • Period Time: Modern

>Talma, Louise : Diadem, for voice & ensemble, no 3, Ruby
  • Performer: Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 1 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Talma, Louise : Diadem, for voice & ensemble, no 4, Topaz
  • Performer: Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 1 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Talma, Louise : Diadem, for voice & ensemble, no 5, Diamond
  • Performer: Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 1 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Talma, Louise : Diadem, for voice & ensemble, no 6, Sapphire
  • Performer: Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 3 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Talma, Louise : Diadem, for voice & ensemble, no 7, Emerald
  • Performer: Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 2 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Cowell, Henry : Vocalise, for voice, flute & piano, HC 524
  • Performer: Phyllis Bryn-Julson
  • Running Time: 6 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 11/29/1936

>Seeger, Ruth Crawford : Rat Riddles, for voice & chamber orchestra (Three Songs on Poems by Carl Sandburg no 1)
  • Performer: Beverly Morgan (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Paul Dunkel
  • Running Time: 3 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 03/1930

>Seeger, Ruth Crawford : Prayers of Steel, for voice & chamber orchestra (Three Songs on Poems by Carl Sandburg no 2)
  • Performer: Beverly Morgan (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Paul Dunkel
  • Running Time: 1 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: ?/?1930-11/1932

>Seeger, Ruth Crawford : In Tall Grass, for voice & chamber orchestra (Three Songs on Poems by Carl Sandburg no 3)
  • Performer: Beverly Morgan (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Paul Dunkel
  • Running Time: 4 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1930-1932