American Classics - William Bolcom

Naxos: 8559216-18

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American Classics - William Bolcom

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2005

Label:

Naxos

Catalogue No:

8559216-18
(8.559216-18)

Discs:

3

Release date:

28th March 2005

Barcode:

0636943921623

Length:

2 hours 16 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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American Classics - William Bolcom


Bolcom:

Songs of Innocence and of Experience (William Blake)


Measha Brueggergosman, Ilona Davidson (soprano), Joan Morris (mezzo-soprano), Nathan Lee Graham (baritone), Thomas Young (tenor), Tommy Morgan (harmonica), Peter Ruth (harmonica, vocals)

University of Michigan School of Music Symphony Orchestra & Musical Society, Leonard Slatkin

CD - 3 discs

$19.25

(also available to download from $21.75)

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William Bolcom: Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Part 1: Introduction

Part 1: The Ecchoing Green

Part 1: The Lamb

Part 1: The Shepherd

Part 1: Infant Joy

Part 1: The Little Black Boy

Part 2: Laughing Song

Part 2: Spring

Part 2: A Cradle Song

Part 2: Nurse's Song

Part 2: Holy Thursday

Part 2: The Blossom

Part 2: Interlude

Part 2: The Chimney Sweeper

Part 2: The Divine Image

Part 3: Nocturne

Part 3: Night

Part 3: A Dream

Part 3: On Another's Sorrow

Part 3: The Little Boy Lost

Part 3: The Little Boy Found

Part 3: Coda

William Bolcom: Songs of Experience, Volume I

Part 1: Introduction

Part 1: Hear the Voice of the Bard

Part 1: Interlude

Part 1: Earth's Answer

Part 2: Nurse's Song

Part 2: The Fly

Part 2: The Tyger

Part 2: The Little Girl Lost

Part 2: In the Southern Clime

Part 2: The Little Girl Found

Part 3: The Clod and the Pebble

Part 3: The Little Vagabond

Part 3: Holy Thursday

Part 3: A Poison Tree

Part 3: The Angel

Part 3: The Sick Rose

Part 3: To Tirzah

William Bolcom: Songs of Experience, Volume II

Part 4: The Voice of the Ancient Bard

Part 4: My Pretty Rose Tree

Part 4: Ah! Sun-Flower

Part 4: The Lilly

Part 5: Introduction

Part 5: The Garden of Love

Part 5: A Little Boy Lost

Part 5: A Little Girl Lost

Part 5: Infant Sorrow

Part 5: Vocalise

Part 6: London

Part 6: The School-Boy

Part 6: The Chimney Sweeper

Part 6: The Human Abstract

Part 6: Interlude - Voces Clamandae

Part 6: A Divine Image

Gramophone Classical Music Guide

2010

“This is a magnum opus that occupied Bolcom for 25 years, starting as early as 1956. He's drawn on a wide range of musical styles to parallel Blake's method of moving from sophisticated to almost folk idioms. In some features – diatonic writing, English text and children's voices – Britten's Spring Symphony is in the background, but Bolcom is defined by the styles he juxtaposes with carefully calculated transitions in between.
Some of the most memorable moments involve popular idioms, evoking his ragtime performances or the songs he recorded so vividly with his wife Joan Morris. The word-setting is straightforward, reflecting the strophic poems, and refreshingly free from elaboration. The Songs of Innocence are charming and pastoral but in the Songs of Experience there's real anger at the human predicament.
This recording is based on a live performance with massive forces comprising 10 soloists, three choirs totalling almost 350 singers and a full symphony orchestra plus a harmonica and various extra electronic players and percussion.
Nathan Lee Graham is an actor-singer who can project his catchy tunes and spoken poems; Joan Morris exercises all her magic in a range of styles, but Thomas Young seems too consistently declamatory. Christine Brewer is magisterial in numbers that reflect the modernistic side of Bolcom, and Carmen Pelton has a rare purity of sound.
This unique Blake spectacular makes a cumulative impact that represents Bolcom's wide stylistic embrace at its most ambitious.”

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