Essential Voices USA: Celebrating the American Spirit

Dorian Sono Luminus: DSL92162

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Essential Voices USA: Celebrating the American Spirit

Catalogue No:

DSL92162

Discs:

1

Release date:

1st Oct 2012

Barcode:

0053479216229

Length:

53 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Essential Voices USA: Celebrating the American Spirit


1. The Pledge of Allegiance — 2:04

2. The New Colossus — 2:57

3. Reason to be Thankful — 3:42

4. Two Paraphrases on American Anthems — 2:42

5. Hymn for America — 3:05

6. Take Care of This House — 2:32

Sing Out Mr President

7. Washington Round — 1:10

8. John Adams’ Prayer — 1:21

9. Opinion is Power (Jefferson) — 0:32

10. Round (Madison) — 0:55

11. One Man With Courage Makes A Majority (Jackson) — 1:22

12. The ballot is stronger than the bullet (Lincoln)— 0:55

13. A Theodore Roosevelt Round — 1:15

14. I Believe in Democracy (Wilson) — 1:36

15. Admonition of FDR— 1:08

16. Truman— 1:27

17. Eisenhower Round — 1:12

18. Freedom’s Road (JFK) — 1:12

19. Moral Courage (Reagan) — 1:06

20 an Ode (Clinton) — 0:49

21. A Simple Oath (Bush) — 1:04

22. With Hope and Virtue (Obama) — 1:18

23. It Gets Lonely in the White House — 3:40

24. The Stars and Stripes Forever — 2:25

25. A Seed of Grain: Theme from “The American President” — 3:54

26. A Quiet Moment — 2:09

27. American Dream — 3:30

28. God Bless America — 3:15


Kelli O’Hara (soprano) & Ron Raines (baritone)

Essential Voices USA, Judith Clurman

CD

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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.

Laurie Hochman: The Pledge of Allegiance (arr. L. Hochman)

The Pledge of Allegiance (arr. L. Hochman)

David Ludwig: The New Colossus

The New Colossus

Larry Hochman: Reason to Be Thankful

Reason to Be Thankful

Stephen Paulus: Hymn for America

Hymn for America

Leonard Bernstein: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Act I: Take Care of this House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Act I: Take Care of this House

Michael Gilbertson: Washington Round

Washington Round

Jake Heggie: John Adam's Prayer

John Adam's Prayer

Larry Hochman: Opinion is Power

Opinion is Power

Milton Babbitt: Round

Round

Nico Muhly: One man with Courage makes a Majority

One man with Courage makes a Majority

Jason Brown: The Ballot is stronger than the Bullet

The Ballot is stronger than the Bullet

Thomas Cabaniss: A Theodore Roosevelt Round

A Theodore Roosevelt Round

Andrew Lippa: I Believe in Democracy

I Believe in Democracy

Samuel Adler: Admonition of FDR

Admonition of FDR

David Ludwig: Truman

Truman

Paul Moravec: Eisenhower Round

Eisenhower Round

Robert Beaser: Freedom's Road

Freedom's Road

Jesse Wiener: Moral Courage

Moral Courage

Zachary Wadsworth: An Ode

An Ode

Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum: A Simple Oath

A Simple Oath

Georgia Stitt: With Hope and Virtue

With Hope and Virtue

Irving Berlin: It Gets Lonely in White House (arr. B. Test)

It Gets Lonely in White House (arr. B. Test)

John Philip Sousa: The Stars and Stripes Forever (arr. B. Test)

The Stars and Stripes Forever (arr. B. Test)

Larry Hochman: 2 Paraphrases on American Anthems

2 Paraphrases on American Anthems

Marc Shaiman: A Seed of Grain: Theme from The American President (arr. L. Hochman)

A Seed of Grain: Theme from The American President (arr. L. Hochman)

Jennifer Higdon: A Quiet Moment

A Quiet Moment

Laurie Hochman: American Dream

American Dream

God Bless America (arr. L. Hochman)

God Bless America (arr. L. Hochman)

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