Nominated for Best Choral Performance Grammy in 2003!
Composer and librettist Dominick Argento is one of America’s leading composers and among the most frequently performed 20th-century composers of opera. His chamber pieces as well have met with international acclaim. Argento has a long history of collaboration with the Dale Warland Singers; this new release features a world-premiere recording of the composer’s Walden Pond, a song cycle based on text by Henry David Thoreau and scored for chorus, three cellos, and harp.
Rich, virtually flawless singing from longstanding champion of Argento’s music
"...Oddly, the most unlikely text - some lines of philosophic prose from Thoreau’s Walden - inspired the most traditional setting. The music is gentle and lyrical, suggesting an atmosphere of profound tranquility, and this feeling is enhanced by a gauzy accompaniment from three cellos and a harp. Argento claims this 1996 cycle is his favourite among his large-scale choral works, and it’s easy to hear why. These are magical songs that allow one to savour the richness of Thoreau’s thoughts - not how every word can be clearly and easily understood - yet have their own, thoroughly Argento-esque character.
The Dale Warland Singers, longtime champions of Argento’s music, sing all three works on this disc with a rich, well-blended tone and virtually flawless ensemble. Pure ’liquid joy,’ as Thoreau might have put it."
Gramophone Magazine - Awards Issue 2003