An American Sampler
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Vocal works by contemporary composers for the more adventurous listener.

From Billings to Bolcom - the subtitle of this recording dedicated to the American art song is a compilation of the best American has to offer from our musical beginnings to today. "Some of our best American composers have not been prolific songwriters," says Paul Sperry. "I think William Schuman's Orpheus with His Lute has everything a song needs: it is simple, moving and beautiful. But it is a single song, written for a proposed production of Henry VIII and has no companion pieces. Elliott Carter's three settings of Robert Frost constitute almost half of the solo songs he wrote, and Elie Siegmeister's arrangement of William Billings is the only solo Billings song I have seen. That is why I have compiled this American Sampler - to be able to record songs I love without having to worry about assembling a group by each composer. I have simply picked 31 of my favorite songs and put them together the way I would in a recital: organized to show each one to greatest advantage. I have deliberately not grouped the songs by composer, period or style, except for John Musto's little cycle, Shadow of the Blue: I kept it together because it is so powerful as an entity." Paul Sperry is recognized as one of today's outstanding interpreters of American music. Although he is equally at home in a repertoire that extends from Monteverdi opera and the Bach Passions to Britten's War Requiem and hundreds of songs in more than a dozen languages, he brings to American music a conviction and an enthusiasm that has brought it to life for countless listeners.
Contents:
Samuel Barber, composer
Solitary Hotel
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Robert Beaser, composer
Quicksilver
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


William Billings, composer
David's Lamentation
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


William Bolcom, composer
George
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


William Bolcom, composer
Waitin'
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Elliott Carter, composer
The Rose Family
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Elliott Carter, composer
Dust of Snow
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Henry Cowell, composer
Who Wrote This Fiendish Rite of Spring
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Celius Dougherty, composer
Love in the dictionary
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Celius Dougherty, composer
The Bird and the Beast
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


John Duke, composer
Bells in the Rain
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


William Flanagan, composer
Horror Movie
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Stephen Foster, composer
No One to Love
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Charles Griffes, composer
The Lament of Ian the Proud
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Morten Lauridsen, composer
When Frost Moves Fast
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Morten Lauridsen, composer
And What of Love
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


John Musto, composer
Shadow of the Blues
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Ned Rorem, composer
For Poulenc
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Ned Rorem, composer
Spring
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


William Schuman, composer
Orpheus with His Lute
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Warren Swenson, composer
The Lepidoptera Waltz
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Louise Talma, composer
Pied Beauty
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Louise Talma, composer
Leap Before You look
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Louise Talma, composer
Rain Song
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Ben Weber, composer
Mourn, Mourn
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Kurt Weill, composer
Dirge for Two Veterans
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Hugo Weisgall, composer
My Sweet Old Etcetera
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano


Maury Yeston, composer
I Don't Wanna Rock and Roll
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano

Review:
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