Notes & Reviews:
This recording of Gregg Smith's works for voice and instruments honors the life and work of this incomparable choral conductor and composer. Smith, who died in July, 2016, was one of the most influential leaders of the American choral movement and championed the music of American composers throughout his long career. His professional chorus, the Gregg Smith Singers, is world-renowned. Gregg Smith himself was also an important American composer, whose works deserve to be better known. The soprano Eileen Clark, who first met Smith more than 25 years ago, has spent several years going through manuscripts and deciding which of his works for voice and instrument to include on this recording. They are all major works that belong in the canon of American art song. Ms. Clark, a member of the Gregg Smith Singers, has an impressive list of performances with opera companies and festivals throughout the United States. Her singing has been described by the New York Times as "a knockout" for her interpretation of Gershwin and Porter, and "shining, confident" for her rendering of Krenek's Kantate. She is joined by colleagues Thomas Schmidt, piano; Ari Streisfeld, violin; and Evan Ziporyn, clarinet.