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Celebrating American Spirit / Kelli O'Hara, Ron Raines. Essential Voices USA

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> The Pledge of Allegiance (arr. L. Hochman) - The Pledge of Allegiance (arr. L. Hochman)
> The New Colossus - The New Colossus
> Reason to Be Thankful - Reason to Be Thankful
> Hymn for America - Hymn for America
> 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Act I: Take Care of this House - 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Act I: Take Care of this House
> Washington Round - Washington Round
> John Adam's Prayer - John Adam's Prayer
> Opinion is Power - Opinion is Power
> Round - Round
> One man with Courage makes a Majority - One man with Courage makes a Majority
> The Ballot is stronger than the Bullet - The Ballot is stronger than the Bullet
> A Theodore Roosevelt Round - A Theodore Roosevelt Round
> I Believe in Democracy - I Believe in Democracy
> Admonition of FDR - Admonition of FDR
> Truman - Truman
> Eisenhower Round - Eisenhower Round
> Freedom's Road - Freedom's Road
> Moral Courage - Moral Courage
> An Ode - An Ode
> A Simple Oath - A Simple Oath
> With Hope and Virtue - With Hope and Virtue
> It Gets Lonely in White House (arr. B. Test) - It Gets Lonely in White House (arr. B. Test)
> The Stars and Stripes Forever (arr. B. Test) - The Stars and Stripes Forever (arr. B. Test)
> 2 Paraphrases on American Anthems - 2 Paraphrases on American Anthems
> A Seed of Grain: Theme from The American President (arr. L. Hochman) - A Seed of Grain: Theme from The American President (arr. L. Hochman)
> A Quiet Moment - A Quiet Moment
> American Dream - American Dream
> God Bless America (arr. L. Hochman) - God Bless America (arr. L. Hochman)

Album Summary

>Hochman, Laurie : The Pledge of Allegiance, for orchestra
>Ludwig, David : The New Colossus, for chorus
>Hochman, Larry : Reason to be Thankful, for chorus
>Paulus, Stephen : Hymn for America, for double mixed chorus
>Bernstein, Leonard : Take Care of This House, for voice & orchestra or piano (from "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue")
>Gilbertson, Michael : Washington Round, for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
>Heggie, Jake : John Adams' Prayer, for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
>Hochman, Larry : Opinion is Power (Jefferson), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
>Babbitt, Milton : Round (Madison), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
>Muhly, Nico : One Man with Courage makes a Majority (Jackson), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr
>Brown, Jason Robert : The ballot is stronger than the bullet (Lincoln), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out M
>Cabaniss, Thomas : A Theodore Roosevelt Round, for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
>Lippa, Andrew : I Believe in Democracy (Wilson), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
>Adler, Samuel : Admonition of FDR, for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
>Ludwig, David : Truman, for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
>Moravec, Paul : Eisenhower Round, for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
>Beaser, Robert : Freedom's Road (JFK), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
>Wiener, Jesse : Moral Courage (Reagan), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
>Wadsworth, Zachary : An Ode (Clinton), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
>Kroll-Rosenbaum, Nora : A Simple Oath (Bush), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
>Stitt, Georgia : With Hope and Virtue (Obama), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
>Berlin, Irving : Mr. President, musical
>Sousa, John P. [Composer] : The Stars and Stripes Forever, march for band
>Hochman, Larry : Paraphrases (2) on American Anthems, for horn, violin, viola & cello
>Shaiman, Marc : A Seed of Grain, for chorus (for the film The American President)
>Higdon, Jennifer : A Quiet Moment, for chorus
>Hochman, Larry : American Dream, for chorus
>Berlin, Irving : God Bless America
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Sono Luminus proudly presents Celebrating the American Spirit, performed by Essential Voices USA and directed by Judith Clurman, which reconfigures musical expressions of nationhood. EVUSA comes together with guest soloists and instrumentalists, including singers Kelli O'Hara and Ron Raines, and composer-arranger Larry Hochman. There is even a new lyric by Sheldon Harnick, the famed lyricist of Fiddler on the Roof. From beginning to end, EVUSA delivers imaginatively conceived performances that articulate new visions of community and civic responsibility in the 21st century. At the core of the CD is "Sing Out Mr. President", a series of sixteen newly commissioned works set to quotations by U.S. presidents stretching from George Washington to Barack Obama. Judith Clurman initiated this inventive project in response to 9/11, after she conducted the Juilliard Choral Union in a wrenching memorial concert at a firehouse in New York City. She felt a need to contribute creative responses to the tragedy, and she commissioned a cross-generational group of composers to set presidential texts. Her purpose was at once educational and artistic. Clurman observes, "I wanted a project where high school kids could learn music by living composers at the same time as they studied a president." The composers involved in the project represent a refreshingly flexible range of aesthetic orientations, stretching from Broadway to the concert hall. Some wrote canons, others ranged freely. The list of composers is a who's-who of modern composers including Nico Muhly, Samuel Adler, Paul Moravec, and many more.

The musical aphorisms of "Sing Out Mr. President" form a kind of American songbook for the 21st-century: a re-imagining of patriotic expression, couched in thought-provoking newly composed sound-bites. The pieces consistently convey respect for the nation and its ideals, yet they deliver no rubber stamp on traditional tropes of national ambition. Surrounding "Sing Out Mr. President" is a combination of recently composed works and well-known tunes that are newly arranged by Larry Hochman, providing up-to-date perspectives on national chestnuts. Diverse voices take center stage, starting with Laurie Hochman, who at age eight wrote a melody for "The Pledge of Allegiance," which was gorgeously arranged by her father. Another female then steps forth: Emma Lazarus, a Jewish American of the late 19th century, who wrote the sonnet "The New Colossus" that graces the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Lazarus's sonnet has been set here by composer David Ludwig. A new lyric by Sheldon Harnick graces "Reason to be Thankful," composed by Larry Hochman. There are recent compositions by Stephan Paulus, Jennifer Higdon, and Marc Shaiman, as well as works by Leonard Bernstein and Irving Berlin. Hochman contributes paired instrumental arrangements of "America the Beautiful" and "America" that portray the U.S. as both "positive" and "troubled," as he puts it. The CD culminates with the patriotic anthem "God Bless America," which has been completely reconceived. Rather than strutting national power, which is the norm with this tune, the version sung here by Broadway star Kelli O'Hara is wistful and ruminative, and the result is more a supplication than an assertion of global primacy.

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
The program is very nicely recorded; and the thick booklet has everything you need and then some. Choirmasters who are planning patriotic-themed concerts, take heed: there's a lot of material here that will bring your houses down. Whether the music tickles your funnybone or brings a tear to your eye, here's a release that will reinforce your patriotism and make you prouder.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-).



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Works Details

>Hochman, Laurie : The Pledge of Allegiance, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Ensemble: Essential Voices USA
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 4 sec.

>Ludwig, David : The New Colossus, for chorus
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Hochman, Larry : Reason to be Thankful, for chorus
  • Performer: Ron Raines (Voice)
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Paulus, Stephen : Hymn for America, for double mixed chorus
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bernstein, Leonard : Take Care of This House, for voice & orchestra or piano (from "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue")
  • Performer: Kelli O'Hara (Voice)
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1976

>Gilbertson, Michael : Washington Round, for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Heggie, Jake : John Adams' Prayer, for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Hochman, Larry : Opinion is Power (Jefferson), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Babbitt, Milton : Round (Madison), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Period Time: Modern

>Muhly, Nico : One Man with Courage makes a Majority (Jackson), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Brown, Jason Robert : The ballot is stronger than the bullet (Lincoln), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out M
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Cabaniss, Thomas : A Theodore Roosevelt Round, for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Lippa, Andrew : I Believe in Democracy (Wilson), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Adler, Samuel : Admonition of FDR, for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Ludwig, David : Truman, for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Moravec, Paul : Eisenhower Round, for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Beaser, Robert : Freedom's Road (JFK), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Wiener, Jesse : Moral Courage (Reagan), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Wadsworth, Zachary : An Ode (Clinton), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral

>Kroll-Rosenbaum, Nora : A Simple Oath (Bush), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Stitt, Georgia : With Hope and Virtue (Obama), for chorus (part of collaborative work "Sing out Mr. President")
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Berlin, Irving : Mr. President, musical :: It Gets Lonely in the White House
  • Performer: Ron Raines (Voice)
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1962

>Sousa, John P. [Composer] : The Stars and Stripes Forever, march for band
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1896

>Hochman, Larry : Paraphrases (2) on American Anthems, for horn, violin, viola & cello
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Shaiman, Marc : A Seed of Grain, for chorus (for the film The American President)
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Higdon, Jennifer : A Quiet Moment, for chorus
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Hochman, Larry : American Dream, for chorus
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Berlin, Irving : God Bless America
  • Performer: Kelli O'Hara (Voice)
  • Conductor: Judith Clurman
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (07/11/2012); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (07/11/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-); DiMenna Center for Classical Music (2011-01-17&2011-12-07_2011-)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1938