Finally on My Way to Yes: Choral Music by Elizabeth Alexander

Finally on My Way to Yes: Choral Music by Elizabeth Alexander

CD

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Overview

Finally on My Way to Yes is the self-produced debut of accomplished Minnesota-based choral composer Elizabeth Alexander. It consists of 12 choral pieces recorded at a variety of locations with a number of choruses ranging from the First Unitarian Church Choir of Portland, Oregon, to the Cornell University Chorus with many stops in between. As to the music, Alexander is very gifted, writing in an accessible style that is well tailored to the requirements of both semi-pro and amateur choruses, but only obviously so in a couple of the shortest pieces. Alexander's use of harmony is somewhat reminiscent of Morten Lauridsen, but she is less languid and makes more use of declamatory projection in her text settings. Alexander's writing for women's chorus is especially good, and although her choice of texts is catholic in nature, her settings of subjects relating to women's issues are exceptionally strong. Several pieces stand out among those collected here, but her setting of poet Yehuda Amichai's "Even a Fist was Once an Open Palm" is particularly potent and makes one sit up and take notice. There is a significant downside to this collection -- the sound. As these recordings were made at choral conferences, university recitals, in public concerts, church services, and other such venues, the quality of the sound from track to track is all over the map. No one ever accused the one-size-fits-all recording equipment setups found in universities and churches of providing satisfactory results for general purpose listening, and the disc is full of stray noises, even that of passing automobiles, resulting from such circumstances. As a demonstration item to a record company considering recording Alexander's work, Finally on My Way to Yes might pass muster, or as a way to encourage and assist amateur choruses in learning the pieces it is sufficient, if not ideal. Nevertheless, for the average listener curious about the composer and her work the disc is far too noisy. One hopes that the release of Finally on My Way to Yes will generate enough interest to facilitate a full-on, professional-quality recording of Alexander's music by a single chorus, because the fine qualities and sound artistry behind Alexander's work certainly merit that.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/05/2009
Label: Cd Baby
UPC: 0798576385323
catalogNumber: 5637288181
Rank: 189103

Tracks

  1. Finally on My Way to Yes, for chorus
  2. A Palette to Paint Us as We Are, for chorus
  3. Even a Fist Was Once an Open Palm, for chorus
  4. Glen Song, for chorus
  5. Spring Revels, for chorus
  6. Praise Wet Snow Falling Early, for chorus
  7. Those Who Wish to Sing Always Find a Song, for chorus
  8. Songs of Youth, for chorus
  9. We Lift up Our Hearts, for chorus
  10. If You Can Walk You Can Dance, for chorus
  11. Cherish Your Doubt, for chorus
  12. Why I Pity the Woman Who Never Spills, for chorus

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