I Hear America Singing!
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Forceful, elegant choral works by the master.

This new all-Harris disc contains the best of his choral music. In his program notes for this disc, John Proffitt writes: "Roy Harris wrote music especially rich in qualities American regard as reflecting their national life and character - honesty, vigor and expansiveness - a tonal reflection of his western background. This Americanism was not that of the big cities and Tin Pan Alley, but rather was that of the bleak and barren expanses of the western plains, of the brooding prairie night, of stronger, more fundamental emotions than are usually associated with that other musical Americanism, that of Jazz and Broadway." The selections on this CD range from a cappella chorus to chorus with brass and organ. The "Mass," "Alleluia," and "Madrigal" are world premiere recordings. The "Three Songs of Democracy," "Symphony for Voices on Poems of Walt Whitman," and "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" are first stereo recordings.
Contents:
Roy Harris, composer
Easter Motet, Alleluia
Roberts Wesleyan College Chorale and Brass Ensemble, Ann Honeywell, organ, Robert Shewan, conductor


Roy Harris, composer
Mass
Roberts Wesleyan College Chorale, Ann Honneywell, organ, Robert Shewan, conductor


Roy Harris, composer
Madrigal, They Say that Susan has no Heart for Learning
Roberts Wesleyan College Chorale, Daryl Scott, piano, Robert Shewan, conductor


Roy Harris, composer
Whitman Triptych
Roberts Wesleyan College Chorale, Robert Shewan, conductor


Roy Harris, composer
Three Songs of Democracy on Poems of Walt Whitman
Roberts Wesleyan College Chorale, Robert Shewan, conductor


Roy Harris, composer
Symphony for Voices on Poems of Walt Whitman
Roberts Wesleyan College Chorale, Robert Shewan, conductor


Roy Harris, composer
When Johnny Comes Marching Home
Roberts Wesleyan College Chorale, Robert Shewan, conductor

Review:
"...The two religious works are rough-hewn and honest, and not unlike the Vaughan Williams's Mass in G Minor in their balancing of an almost medieval austerity with a contemporary harmonic adventurousness. The three Whitman-inspired sets are even finer; the intricate, expressionistic Symphony for Voices on Poems by Walt Whitman contains some of the most evocative choral writing that I've heard coming from the years before the Second World War....Sometimes Harris's work seems like dated Americana, but these choral works, all of them written in the 30s and 40s, are very much alive and viable. They need to be heard more often....This is wonderful music, but these performances are only a stopgap until something better comes along." (Fanfare)
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