Prayer: The Songs of Morten Lauridsen CD
Composed by Morten Lauridsen (1943-). CD only. Peermusic #E-3599. Published by Peermusic (HL.210628).
Item Number: HL.210628
ISBN 1495084396. 5.5x5 inches.
Morten Lauridsen is one of the most successful and profound choral composers of recent times. His understanding of writing expressively for the voice extends to art song as well. The CD Prayer features 19 art songs for voice and piano, some of which are the composer's adaptations of notable choral compositions, such as “O Magnum Mysterium,” “Dirait-on” and “Sure on This Shining Night.”
“Morten Lauridsen has achieved the kind of popular success that serious composers almost never do. While meticulously crafted and often fabulously complex, Lauridsen's music gets in touch with the larger public through a direct, deceptively simple, instantly recognizable voice that has made him one of the most widely performed (and widely imitated) composers of our time. Yet even those familiar with his choral music will find much to discover in this album of his not terribly familiar songs. Perhaps not surprisingly, the finest songs in the collection are the latest to have been written: a haunting 2010 setting of Dana Gioia's Prayer-whose title gives the album its name-and the 2016 duet fashioned from Pablo Neruda's Ya eres mía, whose sinuous counterpoint and refined eroticism are irresistible. The burden of the singing falls to the fine Welsh baritone Jeremy Huw Williams, whose vocal production and physical sound bear a striking resemblance to those of Peter Pears, with whom he also shares a highly developed musical intelligence. With her creamy voice, the Welsh soprano Caryl Hughes proves an ideal partner in the duets, while pianist Paula Fan is as supportive as one could wish without ever slipping anonymously into the background. For Lauridsen fans this is obviously indispensable; for the uninitiated-if such actually exist-here's an engrossing way to discover what all the shouting is about.” -Jim Svejda, Fanfare Magazine
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