Virgil Thomson - The Complete Songs for Voice and Piano | New World Records NW80775

Virgil Thomson - The Complete Songs for Voice and Piano

£37.76

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Label: New World Records

Cat No: NW80775

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 3

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 29th April 2016

Contents

About

These discs offer the most complete recorded collection of works for voice and piano of Virgil Thomson, one of the most important American composers of the twentieth century. Thomson wrote songs throughout his career and they offer a unique window into his changing musical concerns and his compositional evolution. Since this recording includes works previously unpublished and unrecorded, it makes possible a more complete understanding of his work.

Thomson wrote that the great song composers — Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Wolf, Mahler, Faure, Debussy, Duparc, Ravel, and Poulenc — accomplished their miracles through their ability to make the music “not only of equal quality with the verse but also its mate. It gets inside a poem and stays there, intertwined unforgettably, never to be thought of henceforth as not a part of the whole idea.” He contrasted these works with the songs of Purcell, which he thought, although very beautiful and expertly done, nonetheless did not fuse the music and text — the music was merely “decorative”.

The Florestan Recital Project:
- Sarah Pelletier (soprano)
- Lynne McMurtry (contralto)
- William Hite (tenor)
- Aaron Engebreth (baritone, co-director)
- Alison d’Amato (piano, co-director)
- Linda Osborn (piano)
- John McDonald (percussion)

Reviews

This set is as important to the history of American art song as the Barber recordings of Cheryl Studer and Thomas Hampson two decades ago. ... here is the full gamut of the songs written by Virgil Thomson over six decades. There are 77 of them, and around 20 have never been recorded before. Together, they constitute a formidable body of achievement, kaleidoscopic in its shifting styles and emotions.  Terry Blain
BBC Music Magazine August 2016

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