Review By Steven Ritter,Audiophile Audition,February 2012
The Sowerby and Schuman pieces are, amazingly, first recordings, and the wide soundstage and spectacular depth and presence of the orchestra are fitting compliments to two deserving pieces. If Appalachian Spring doesn’t quite live up to expectations it in no way diminishes the importance of this release. Let’s pray that Cedille continues the efforts. © 2012 Audiophile Audition Read complete review
Review By Rafael-Juan Povena Jabonero,Ritmo,February 2012
El registro recoge tres composiciones que obtuvieron el Premio Pulitzer en otras tantas convocatorias del mismo a lo largo del siglo pasado. Concretamente las de 1943, cuando le obtuvo William Schuman con A Free Song, de 1945 en que se le otorgó a Aaron Copland por Primavera Apalache y de 1946, año en que Leo Sowerby alcanzó el galardón con su El Cántico del Sol. La razón de esta publicación es evidente, pues 1911 es el año en que falleció el húngaro Joseph Pulitzer, quien inspiró la constitución de estos premios en 1917. Se ha querido de esta forma homenajear con el presente registro la figura de Pulitzer, pero la verdadera cuestión es si vale la pena
Review By Walter Simmons ,Fanfare,January 2012
this is a warm, sympathetic, and polished rendition of the score, worthy of consideration alongside the best of the many other recorded performances.
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Review By Michael Quinn,The Classical Review,December 2011
The surprise of this enormously rewarding disc from Chicago’s Cedille Records was that it hadn’t been done before. The pleasure of it was that it was carried off with such aplomb. …Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus under Carlos Kalmar proved ardent and eloquent advocates of all three works. Cedille’s live recording perfectly framed the obvious adrenalin of the performances to memorable effect. © 2011 The Classical Review See complete list
Review By Merlin Patterson,Fanfare,November 2011
…two important premiere recordings, A Free Song by William Schuman and Leo Sowerby’s The Canticle of the Sun, highlight the collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning works performed by Carlos Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus.
Review By Paul A. Snook,Fanfare,November 2011
With performances of total involvement and commitment, magnificently recorded in concert at the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus’s new Frank Gehry-designed home in Chicago’s Millenium Park…this release is monumental in every sense. My first Want List selection is hereby spoken for.
…making this disc indispensable are the first recordings of the Schuman and the Sowerby.
Review By Paul A. Snook ,Fanfare,November 2011
The Schuman-Sowerby Pulitzer Prize-winning cantatas on Cedille is a no-brainer because this is a pairing I have been fantasizing about for decades.
Review By Laurence Vittes,Gramophone,November 2011
Chicago’s Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus make an eloquent case for music by William Schuman and Leo Sowerby that strives to capture American enthusiasm and energy…The performance of Appalachian Spring is more vital…
…the sound is brilliant throughout.
Review By David Hurwitz,ClassicsToday.com,September 2011
…the playing is excellent and as lively as one could wish.
…Canticle is…a wonderfully varied, textually aware piece of writing, sensitively scored, harmonically pungent and sophisticated, atmospheric and evocative. It does not sound easy to sing, and Christopher Bell’s Grant Park Chorus does a really impressive job bringing the piece to life.
Cedille’s sonics are uniformly excellent, warm and very well balanced, particularly in the choral works. An impressive and important release.
Review By Frank J. Oteri,NewMusicBox,August 2011
…On Freedom’s Ground…reveals a remarkably consistent compositional voice throughout and begs the question of why this music has still not entered the repertoire of orchestras in this country.
The Canticle of the Sun…is another total revelation….powerful work, a half-hour long setting of Malcolm Arnold’s translation of the “Prayer of St Francis of Assisi” for chorus and orchestra…
…A Free Song…reveals…a deeply moving and sensitive interpreter of important American poetry…A Free Song is a stirring and powerful celebration of liberty that Americans should listen to with pride and appreciation.
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