Earth Day Heritage: A Celebration in Music and Words
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Two works, one new and one older, celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Earth Day.

Two works honoring Earth Day comprise this distinctive recording. The first, by composer John Harmon, is a symphonic setting of the words of John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and Earth Day Founder Sen. Gaylord Nelson with descendants of these men as narrators. The second, Hymn to the Earth by Edward Joseph Collins, is a secular cantata for soloists, choir, and orchestra, praising Mother Earth and the beauty of the four seasons using text set by the composer. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day's founding in 1970, this recording was undertaken by a non-profit: Earth/Art Resources as part of their educational and cultural mission to foster Earth Day values.
John Harmon, composer
Earth Day Portrait
William Muir Hanna, Nina Leopold Bradley, Gaylord Nelson, Jr., Kiva Nelson, Patty Loew (narrators); Madison Youth Choirs; Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Marin Alsop (conductor)

Edward Joseph Collins, composer
Hymn to the Earth
Jeni Bern (soprano); Jane Irwin (mezzo-soprano); Peter Auty (tenor); Henry Waddington (bass); Royal Scottish National Orchestra & Chorus; Marin Alsop (conductor)

"2020 saw the 50th anniversary of the founding of Earth Day by the Wisconsin senator, Gaylord Nelson, whose writings and speeches helped to shape our modern environment ethics. John Harmon's Earth Day Portrait…first performed by the Wisconsin-Madison Symphony in 2001, is scored for full orchestra, children's choir, and spoken parts from the writings of John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and Senator Nelson. I find the piece well written and conceived, with a lush, romantic style lying somewhere between Copland's Lincoln Portrait, Prokofieff's Peter and the Wolf and the movie scores of John Williams. The spoken parts appear separately or are effectively woven into the musical fabric, and the orchestral writing is superb…The handsome booklet has extensive notes on Earth Day, the Wisconsin Earth Day Heritage Trails and Natural Wildlife Areas, the composers, music, and texts. The orchestra and soloists are superb. Surprisingly enjoyable." (American Record Guide)