The Pulitzer Project

Cedille: CDR90000125

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The Pulitzer Project



Catalogue No:




Release date:

27th June 2011




73 minutes


CD (download also available)
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The Pulitzer Project


Appalachian Spring


A Free Song

World Premiere Recording


The Canticle of the Sun

World Premiere Recording

Grant Park Orchestra & Chorus, Carlos Kalmar



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The Pulitzer Prize in Music, established in 1943, is perhaps the most coveted award in American concert life. This new CD with Chicago’s Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus and principal conductor Carlos Kalmar presents three Pulitzer Prize-winning works from the competition’s earliest years: William Shuman’s Secular Cantata No. 2, “A Free Song”; Aaron Copland’s Suite from Appalachian Spring; and Leo Sowerby’s The Canticle of the Sun for chorus and orchestra. These are the world-premiere recordings of the Shuman and Sowerby cantatas.

William Schuman’s A Free Song, winner in 1943 of the first Pulitzer Prize in Music, uses excerpts from Walt Whitman’s Drum Taps, a poetic record of his humanitarian visits to Washington, D.C.’s Civil War hospitals. Schuman (1910–1992) set Whitman’s vigorous, expansive verse to a fierce and concentrated musical style. In its review of the Grant Park Orchestra’s 2010 concert performance, the Chicago Tribune observed, “Kalmar’s account was, by turns, poignant and electric.”

One of the most recognizable and beloved American orchestral works, Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring began life as a ballet score for the Martha Graham Dance Company. A favorite of many listeners is its five variations on the Shaker theme “Simple Gifts.” The original ballet score, for chamber orchestra, won the 1945 Pulitzer Prize. Copland (1900–1990) later arranged an orchestral suite, its most familiar incarnation and the one heard on this CD.

William Schuman: A Free Song, "Secular Cantata No. 2"

A Free Song, "Secular Cantata No. 2": Part I: Look Down, Fair Moon

A Free Song, "Secular Cantata No. 2": Part II: Song of the Banner

Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring

Appalachian Spring: I. Very slowly

Appalachian Spring: II. Allegro

Appalachian Spring: III. Moderato

Appalachian Spring: IV. Fast

Appalachian Spring: V. Subito allegro

Appalachian Spring: VI. Slowly

Appalachian Spring: VII. Doppio movimento

Appalachian Spring: VIII. Moderato

Leo Sowerby: Canticle of the Sun

Canticle of the Sun: O most high …

Canticle of the Sun: Praised be my Lord God with all creatures …

Canticle of the Sun: Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon …

Canticle of the Sun: Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind …

Canticle of the Sun: Praised be my Lord for our sister water …

Canticle of the Sun: Praised be my Lord for brother fire …

Canticle of the Sun: Praised be my Lord for our mother the Earth …

Canticle of the Sun: Praised be my Lord for all those who pardon …

Canticle of the Sun: Praised be my Lord for our sister the death of the body …

Canticle of the Sun: Blessed are they …

Canticle of the Sun: Praise ye the Lord …

The Guardian

14th July 2011


“Schuman's setting of passages from Drum Taps is very obviously a product of a time when the US was preoccupied with the second world war, while Sowerby's setting of words by St Francis of Assisi is an assured but rather impersonally ceremonial piece of choral writing...There are plenty of fine CD versions of [the Copland]; it's the Schuman and Sowerby pieces that provide curiosity value here.”

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