Choral Music of Richard Wilson
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Choral music for fans of more advanced writing.

Richard Wilson, like Robert Ward, was born in Cleveland, where he studied piano and cello. After graduation from Harvard, he received a grant which allowed him to study in Munich. Back in the United States he studied composition with Robert Moevs at Rutgers and then joined the music faculty of Vassar College where he holds the Mary Conover Mellon Chair in Music. He is also Composer-in-Residence with the American Symphony Orchestra. About this disc the composer writes: "This recording encompasses all of my choral music: from In Schrafft's, begun in 1966, to Poor Warren, composed in 1995. Ten works, spanning thirty years. Four poets are involved: W.H. Auden, Stephen Sandy, John Unterecker and John Ashbery. With each of them I have had some degree of personal association. W.H. Auden was friendly with individuals in Harvard's Quincy House, where I lived half my undergraduate years, and could often be seen in bedroom slippers, taking meals in our dining hall. I never summoned the nerve to meet him. Stephen Sandy was my English teacher in 1959 and was, in fact, the first college teacher I encountered as a fearful, insecure, unconfident freshman. Only later did I discover his poetry. John Unterecker worked on his Hart Crane biography at the artists' colony Yaddo when I was also a guest. We became friendly and enjoyed long talks together. Finally, John Ashbery teaches at Bard College just up the Hudson River from Vassar. We share an appreciation of Jack Benny's radio programs from the 1940's."
Contents:
Richard Wilson, composer
In Schrafft's
William Appling Singers & Orchestra, William Appling, conductor

Richard Wilson, composer
A Dissolve
William Appling Singers & Orchestra, William Appling, conductor

Richard Wilson, composer
Elegy
William Appling Singers & Orchestra, William Appling, conductor

Richard Wilson, composer
Soaking
William Appling Singers & Orchestra, William Appling, conductor

Richard Wilson, composer
Poor Warren
William Appling Singers & Orchestra, William Appling, conductor

Richard Wilson, composer
Home from the Range
William Appling Singers & Orchestra, William Appling, conductor

Richard Wilson, composer
Can
William Appling Singers & Orchestra, William Appling, conductor

Richard Wilson, composer
Light in Spring Poplars
William Appling Singers & Orchestra, William Appling, conductor

Richard Wilson, composer
Hunter's Moon
William Appling Singers & Orchestra, William Appling, conductor

Richard Wilson, composer
August 22
William Appling Singers & Orchestra, William Appling, conductor

Review:
"This disc compiles the complete choral music of Richard Wilson...Wilson's choral music is based on tonality, with use, for example of fourth-based or whole-tone harmonies, along with other standard 20th-century approaches. He wisely keeps the voices moving in smooth, usually stepwise motion; he sets the texts in a straightforward way, generally syllabically. Pulse is steady, for the most part. The chorus is occasionally asked to speak, but Wilson avoids other kinds of non-traditional excursions....Appling's choristers sing generally with a vibratoless, cool tone that seems sometimes like a conscious anachronism, like the sound of Gregg Smith's group, only bigger. They achieve a nicely refined surface appropriate for the Wilson's equally refined, very idiomatic, and straightforward choral writing. There's no Verdi here; Thomson and Schuman come to mind as direct predecessors, not overly dramatic, more subtle than bombastic, and generally following the lead of the text. Recommended for fans of the choral genre." (Fanfare)
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