Faith Esham, soprano. Seattle Symphony and Chorale. Gerard Schwarz, conductor.
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Richard Danielpour's neo-Romantic music is a rich amalgam of energy, intensity, and serenity. First Light reveals these elements perfectly, with its rhythmically charged writing contrasting with hypnotic chant melodies. The Awakened Heart is a kaleidoscopic three-movement work that moves from darkness and passion through a stately chorale to an exuberant conclusion. Featuring soprano Faith Esham as the "voice of an angel" in an ecstatic text by Helen Schucman, the Symphony no. 3 of 1990 ("Journey Without Distance") charts a triumphant ascent from "the dream of death and our own fearful existence" to a belief "in a world of hope and love."
"Danielpour is an outstanding composer for any time—one who knows how to communicate deep, important emotions through simple, direct means."—New York Daily News