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American choral music has many faces and, while aware of tradition, often looks resolutely towards the future.
Vincent Persichetti’s Mass envelops an original cantus firmus in a shimmering silken garment of ever-shifting harmonies, while Lukas Foss provides a lyre-like accompaniment for his lean, sometimes athletic, settings of three Psalms.
Irving Fine sets poems by Shakespeare’s contemporary Ben Jonson (The Hour-Glass), William Schuman draws on texts by Walt Whitman for his Carols of Death, while William Bolcom uses African- American poems as the basis for a wide-ranging song cycle, The Mask.