The Pulitzer Project

Cedille: CDR90000125

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The Pulitzer Project

Label:

Cedille

Catalogue No:

CDR90000125

Discs:

1

Release date:

27th June 2011

Barcode:

0735131912525

Length:

73 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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The Pulitzer Project


Copland:

Appalachian Spring

Schuman:

A Free Song

World Premiere Recording

Sowerby:

The Canticle of the Sun

World Premiere Recording


Grant Park Orchestra & Chorus, Carlos Kalmar

CD

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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"

Part I: Look Down, Fair Moon

Part II: Song of the Banner

Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring (version for 13 instruments)

I. Very slowly

II. Allegro

III. Moderato

IV. Fast

V. Subito allegro

VI. Slowly

VII. Doppio movimento

VIII. Moderato

Leo Sowerby: Canticle of the Sun

O most high …

Praised be my Lord God with all creatures …

Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon …

Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind …

Praised be my Lord for our sister water …

Praised be my Lord for brother fire …

Praised be my Lord for our mother the Earth …

Praised be my Lord for all those who pardon …

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

Blessed are they …

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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