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CORIGLIANO, J.: Dylan Thomas Trilogy (A) (T. Allen, T. Jackson, J. Tessier, Nashville Symphony and Chorus, L. Slatkin)

Composer(s):Corigliano, Jr., John
Period(s) Contemporary
Genre Classical Music
Category Choral - Secular
Catalogue 8.559394
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

Fern Hill is a blithe poem, yet touched by darkness; time finally holds the poet “green and dying” … Poem in October begins in Thomas’s seafront town: the poet, marking his birthday, climbs to a high hill, where he reflects on his youth and mulls his future … Poem on his Birthday distorts the “lamb-white days” of Fern Hill to the grotesqueries of “herons who walk in their shroud”: Poem in October’s sparkling ocean becomes a gull-haunted river Styx … Author’s Prologue – his penultimate work – was a lavish, exultant poem that bellowed with lust and life. It called for music as unusual as it was buoyant. And it offered A Dylan Thomas Trilogy the



Review By The Cheerful Earfull!,February 2010

…the most popular artists featured on “The Cheerful Earfull.” First up, an effort from a renown composer who’s peeking out at us all impish-like.

Yes, it’s John Corigliano. I only recently got my grubby paws on his “Dylan Thomas Trilogy.” Trust me, you’ll love this massively entertaining combo of music, poetry and soaring vocals. I know I do.

Review By Santiago Martín Bermúdez,Scherzo,April 2009


Review By Record Geijutsu,March 2009


Review By ,Classical Giz,November 2008

A stunning new release from the Nashville Symphony, who seem to thrive on conquering the difficulties of modern music. They really seem to shine in the challenges modern American composers throw their way (and Corigliano has more than his share). Indeed their absolute best CDs are of music written in the last 15 years (witness their Grammy-winning Joan Tower…the challenge this time is a massive “cantata” with chorus and soloists with poetry texts by Dylan Thomas. The cantata follows Dylan Thomas’ life from young boy (“Fern Hill”, the most tonal movement with chorus and boy soprano soloist), to his 30th year (“Poem in October” for tenor soloist) to just a few years before his death (“Poem on His Birthday” with baritone

Sir Thomas Allen, the world-famous baritone serves not only as soloist in the last section, but as vocal narrator all the way through. He is absolutely amazing, with no loss of vocal skill after all these years. The CD is worth it for him alone.

Tenor John Tessier is also outstanding (let’s hope we hear a lot more from him in the future). Neither soloist seems to have the least problem negotiating the treacherous vocal lines, and they really bring the words alive. Boy soprano Ty Jackson also does a nice job with his solos.

The Nashville Chorus has never sounded better in what must be an extremely difficult choral part. Their tone in “Fern Hill” is especially outstanding, and easily competes with any of the other existing recordings of just this section. (This section has been recorded elsewhere separately, but this is the premiere recording of the complete cantata.)

A special mention should be made of the recording engineering, some of the finest sound heard on a Naxos disc. The orchestra is well-balanced and the sound has a gorgeous “bloom” to it—while capturing the excitement of the performance in the moment. The balance between all of the elements (orchestra, chorus, soloists) is impeccable.


Review By David Denton, Naxos,October 2008

Last month I was fervently recommending a new Naxos disc of John Corigliano’s recent song cycles, and now I am excited to make my first acquaintance with A Dylan Thomas Trilogy. It was a work he began back in 1960 with the Corigliano’s discovery of Dylan Thomas, the poem Fern Hill so captivating him that he immediately began a setting for solo voice, chorus and orchestra. Ten years elapsed before he added a second section, Poem in October, and a further five years before Poem on his Birthday completed the trilogy. Even at its 1976 world premiere he felt the first two needed separation so as to change mood, yet was anxious to retain Poem on his Birthday to close the work. Searching through



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