Title: Fire Within
Artist: Harrison / Rutgers University Kirkpatrick Choir
Label: Affetto Records
Product Type: COMPACT DISCS
Genre: Classical Artists
The Fire Within brings three works to light, one of which is a world premiere, "Three Songs for Men's Chorus" by composer Lou Harrison, and one a world premiere recording, "Dark Night of the Soul" by composer Christopher Marshall, all performed by the internationally renowned Kirpatrick Choir of Rutgers University, conducted by the equally renowned Patrick Gardner. The third work, Lou Harrison's stirring "La Koro Sutro (The Heart's Soul)" is a vibrant and moving piece with the choir accompanied by The American Gamelan Kunsonoro kaj Gloro (Chime and Glory). La Koro Sutra, a live performance recording, was described by Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times as "... one of the best musical moments of the year." Composer Lou Harris had a life-long interest in the use of "found instruments" and those used in this recording appeared in his works of the 30s and 40s for percussion ensemble which he wrote while collaborating with John Cage. His later works were composed with highly chromatic music influenced heavily by Arnold Schoenberg. The 1971 piece featured here, La Koro Sutro, is a setting of the Buddhist Heart Suttra in Esperanto composed for an international congress of Esperanto speakers in San Francisco. The "Three Songs for Men's Chorus" are settings from the Book of Samuel and Walt Whitman's "Calamus" in Leaves of Grass. Finally, New Zealander Christopher Marshall's work, "Dark Night of the Soul" sets mystical text of St. John at the Cross with intricate rhythms of a beautiful lyrical melody with rich choral sonority. It is a perfect piece to end this extraordinary album.
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