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classical chamber

Virgil Thomson: Four Songs to Poems of Thomas Campion; Violin Sonata; Praises & Prayers

 
 
Artist
Ellen Lang, mezzo-soprano. Continuum. Cheryl Seltzer & Joel Sachs, directors.
Label Naxos
Format CD
Runtime/Release Date 50'53/2005
UPC 636943919828
Daedalus Item Code 57669
This item is not available.
Description
Virgil Thomson wore many hats: pal of trailblazers Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, and Darius Milhaud; nonpareil music critic; and redoubtable American composer whose works balanced modernity, classicism, and Romanticism. This multi-genre collection opens with the lively Synthetic Waltzes (1925) and closes with the lyrical sacred songs Praises and Prayers (1963). His neo-Romantic Sonata for Violin and Piano of 1930 is performed gracefully by Mia Wu and Cheryl Seltzer. Later works include glorious settings of Thomas Campion's poetry (1951) and Two by Marianne Moore.

"His songs … reveal a gentle and respectful soul and deep feelings for the Midwestern America where he grew up…. The sensitive 'There is a Garden in Her Face,' with its arch echoes of the phrase 'Cherry-ripe,' is especially enchanting. It's fun to listen to Thomson play with the sheer sound of words, as he does with the witty Marianne Moore settings…. His religious songs, like 'Canticle of the Sun' and 'Before Sleeping,' again shine light on what must have been a generous, deep-feeling soul…. An illuminating glimpse of the reflective side of a great spirit of American music."—Buffalo News

 
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