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If you like Poulenc, you should enjoy Paulus' distinctive writing.

Stephen Paulus is one of our better American composers and he is one of the finest composers anywhere writing for the voice. His large vocal output includes works for solo voice, chorus (in combination with chamber ensemble and large orchestra) and four operas. The three works on this CD cover a time span of almost three years, from "All My Pretty Ones," which was commissioned with an NEA grant in 1978, to "Artsongs" (1983), to the most recent cycle, "Bittersuite" from 1987. They represent a rich and diverse spectrum of poetical works, ranging from the words of Michael Dennis Browne for "All My Pretty Ones," written in memory of his friend and colleague, Anne Sexton, to the seven American poets represented in "Artsongs." Ogden Nash is the poet for "Bittersuite" and his words show a much darker side of that poet as he ruminates upon death and aging. Let me call your attention to two artists of special merit who participate in this recording. The great Swedish lyric baritone, Hakan Hagegard, is one of the most accomplished and applauded performers in the world today; that he would lend his talent to the wonderful songs of Stephen Paulus, shows the high esteem in which he holds the composer. Paul Schoenfield, the pianist, is also Paul Schoenfield the composer.
Stephen Paulus, composer
Hakan Hagegard, baritone, Warren Jones, piano

Stephen Paulus, composer
All My Pretty Ones
Ruth Jacobson, soprano, Paul Schoenfield, piano

Stephen Paulus, composer
Paul Sperry, tenor, Irma Vallecillo, piano

"This disc features three vocal works for voice and piano by American composer Stephen Paulus, performed by the artists who premiered them. Covering a span of ten years, the pieces display a wide variance of poetic content and musical expression. Paulus's writing for the voice is extensive, ranging from four operas to chamber works with voice to choral ensembles. Additionally, he understands the parameters of vocal expression and has a fine flair for prosody. These three cycles are a choice assortment of his vocal compositions." (The NATS Journal)
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