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Andrew Simpson: A Crown of Stars; Alfred Schnittke: Requiem / Lisa Edwards-Burrs, soprano; Joseph Dietrich, tenor

Album Summary

>Simpson, Andrew Earle : A Crown of Stars
>Schnittke, Alfred : Requiem, music to Schiller's drama "Don Carlos", for soloists, mixed chorus & instrumental ensemble
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Andrew Earle Simpson's A Crown of Stars is a wedding oratorio celebrating the universality of human love and was commissioned by the Cantate Chamber Singers while Simpson was the ensemble's Composer-in-Residence. This is the world premiere recording. Mr. Simpson's music follows four principal threads of interest: humanistic music; music for silent films; theatrical music; and folk music. He has created a prodigious array of works for the concert and operatic stage, which have been performed throughout the U.S., Europe and South America. Russian composer Alfred Schnittke's (1934-1998) Requiem evokes vivid images, perhaps because it began as a stage work. It is based on music from a piano quintet that Schnittke dedicated to his mother just after her death.

American Record Guide, January/February 2013
Crown's unlikely disc partner is Alfred Schnittke's Requiem, which is a stylistic eyebrow- raiser itself. (How often do trap drums, electric guitars, and a rock beat pop up in Schnittke's other scores?) As with Crown of the Stars, the Cantate singers can be commended for their efforts. They're pretty good technically; and whether they're mourning the dead or serenading the lovers, they make a full emotional commitment to the composers and their music.


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Works Details

>Simpson, Andrew Earle : A Crown of Stars :: Wedding Oratorio in 3 parts for 4 voices, chorus & orchestra
  • Performers: Anne Ament (Clarinet); Lori Barnet (Cello); Robert Birch (Trumpet); Fatma Daglar (Oboe); Eri Dircksen (Bassoon); Eri Dircksen (Contrabassoon); Karin Firsow (Piano); Michelle Humphreys (Percussion); Osman Kivrak (Viola); Terri Lazar (Violin); David Lonkevich (Flute); David Lonkevich (Piccolo); Kate Rogers (Harp)
  • Conductor: Gisèle Becker
  • Ensemble: Maryland State Boychoir
  • Notes: John Paul Hall, Ward Hall, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. (03/06/2011-03/08/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 2006

>Schnittke, Alfred : Requiem, music to Schiller's drama "Don Carlos", for soloists, mixed chorus & instrumental ensemble
  • Performers: Robert Birch (Trumpet); John Bisesi (Timpani); Mark Carson (Percussion); Glenn Dewey; Ben Fritz (Trombone); Jane Kaye (Organ); Pamela Lassell (Percussion); Philip Mathieu; Christopher Rose (Percussion); Andrew Simpson (Piano); Michael Thomason (Piano)
  • Notes: Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, Bethesda, Maryland/Borden Hall at the Manhattan School of Music (03/14/2011-03/16/2011)
  • Running Time: 30 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1974-1975