The Washington Master Chorale's first compact disc, The Earth & I, features two pieces commissioned by the Chorale. Lori Laitman's expressive cycle of "word paintings," The Earth & I, based on poems by Emily Dickinson, and Donald J. McCullough's The Eye Begins to See, based on the poetry of Theodore Roethke, anchor a recording that explores humankind's relationship with nature. The 19 tracks feature some of America's most celebrated poets and composer and move seamlessly from the purely whimsical (Norman Dinerstein's An Old Silent Pond), through darkness and introspection (McCullough's The Eye Begins to See), to arrive, finally, at tranquility and spiritual enlightenment (Stephen Chatman's On the Beach at Night Alone). Throughout, the nuanced artistry of the Washington Master Chorale shines through.
Lori Laitman (b. 1955) - The Earth & I (2011): The Sun Went Down
The Earth & I: The Sky is Low
The Earth & I: The Wind
Patricia Plude (b. 1957) - October (1978)
Stephen Chatman (b. 1950) - Nature Songs (2007): Autumn Violets
Nature Songs: The Voice of the Rain
Nature Songs: On the Beach at Night Alone
Norman Dinerstein (1937-1982) - Frogs (1979): An Old Silent Pond
Samuel Barber (1910-1981) - To be Sung on the Water, Op. 42, No. 2 (1968)
Barber - Heaven-Haven (A Nun Takes the Veil) (1961)
Kirke Mechem (b. 1925) - Loveliest of Trees (1968)
Ross Lee Finney (1906-1997) - See How the Arched Earth (1947)
Cecil Effinger (1914-1990) - Four Pastorales (1963): No Mark
Four Pastorales: Noon
Four Pastorales: Basket
Four Pastorales: Wood
Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943) - Sure On This Shining Night (2005)
Donald McCullough (b. 1957) - The Eye Begins to See (2012): I. In a dark time
The Eye Begins to See: II. A steady storm of correspondances
THE EARTH & I NEW AMERICAN CHORAL MUSIC
WASHINGTON MASTER CHORALE Thomas Colohan, conductor Mark Vogel, piano Kacy Clopton, cello Noelle Drewes, oboe
Recorded on March 11, 18, & 25, 2013 Recording engineer: Edward John Kelly Recording producers: Joseph Gascho, Elena Tsai Front photo: Diane Kresh (C&O Canal, Washington, D.C.) Photo of WMC: Rhianna Victoria Nissen
Laitman The Earth & I - Enchanted Knickers Music (BMI) Plude October - available directly from the composer McCullough The Eye Begins to See - McCullough Music Press Chatman Nature Songs - ECS Publishing Dinerstein An Old Silent Pond - Carl Fischer, Inc. Barber To Be Sung On the Water & Heaven-Haven - G. Schirmer, Inc. Effinger Four Pastorales - G. Schirmer, Inc. Mechem Loveliest of Trees - Beekman Music, Inc. Finney See How the Arched Earth - Henmar Press Inc. Lauridsen Sure On This Shining Night - Songs of Peer, Ltd.
This recording was made possible by a generous gift from Diane Kresh in memory of David B.G. Kresh.
Additional kind support was provided by Dr. Adelaide Whitaker and an anonymous donor.
"The Washington Master Chorale is nothing short of radiant...the choral sound [is] positively gorgeous...a fascinating disc." - Fanfare Magazine
THIS ENDRIS NIGHT CHRISTMAS WITH THE WASHINGTON MASTER CHORALE
This Endris Night is a feast for the ears. A cornucopia of time-burnished carols, motets, folk ballads, shape-note hymns, and chants, ranging from medieval to modern times. The Washington Master Chorale plumbed its personal favorites to present works by composers from both sides of the Atlantic, from Estonia (Arvo Part, Bogoroditse Djevo) to Minnesota (Stephen Paulus, Three Nativity Carols). The texts are no less diverse, ranging from the 16th century Piae Cantiones to the poetry of Christina Rossetti (In the Bleak Mid-winter) and E.E. Cummings (little tree) and the spiritual writings of Mother Thekla, the longtime muse of the late Sir John Tavener (Today the Virgin). The Chorale's dedication to new music is represented by renowned local composer Russell Nadel's Early Winter Tree, which was commissioned by the WMC. An artful interweaving of harp and voice with a text by American lyric poet Sara Teasdale, the piece evokes both winter's time of loss and the inevitability of spring's rebirth. And no Chorale holiday recording would be complete without selections from Carols for Choirs, the masterful compilation of songs edited by the late Sir David Willcocks, arguably the most influential choirmaster of his generation. This Endris Night is the perfect companion for long winter nights.