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NI 6262
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NI 6262

A Portrait of Augusta Read Thomas

The Classical Shop
release date: July 2014

Originally recorded in 2013


New Haven Symphony Orchestra

William Boughton


Merkin Concert Hall, New York City

Sprague Hall, Yale University, United States

Woolsey Hall, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA


Augusta Read Thomas & Adrian Farmer


Eugene Kimball

Record Label


Vocal & Song

Total Time - 71:15
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  A Portrait of Augusta Read Thomas  



Two E.E. Cimmings Songs for girls chorus (2008)

1 I Sky Candy Spouting Violets 3:55
2 II (Kiss Me) 5:13
  The Elm City Girls' Choir, Rebecca Rosenbaum and Tom Brand, conductors  

Hemke Concerto "Prisms of Light"

3 I Illuminations 6:50
4 II Sunrise Ballad 7:02
5 III Chasing Radiance 2:51
6 IV Solar Rings 4:02
  for alto saxophone and orchestra (2014), Frederick Hemke, alto saxophone  

Prayer and Celebration for chamber orchestra (2005)


Absolute Ocean for soprano, harp obbligato and orchestra (2008)

8 I The moon is hiding in her hair 5:50
9 II Who know if the moon's a balloon 4:57
10 - interlude - 3:42
11 III Open your heart 6:07
  Tony Arnold, soprano and Jennifer Hoult, harp  

Silent Moon for violin and cello (2006)

12 I Still: Soulful and Resonant 2:05
13 II Energetic: Majestic and Dramatic 2:08
14 III Suspended: Lyrical and Chant-like "When twofold silence was the song of love." 3:11
  Katie Hyun, violin and Mihai Marica, cello  

Of Paradise And Light for string orchestra (2010)


Spells for chorus (2013)

  The New York Virtuoso Singers, Harold Rosenbaum, conductor  
  TT 71:15      
 William Boughton
  Tracks 1-2 recorded on 19 March 2014, Tracks 3-11, 15 recorded in concert on 27 February 2014  
  Tracks 12-14 recorded on 17 January 2014  
  Track 16 Recorded on 8 March 2013  

 Bold, passionate, urgent—Augusta Read Thomas writes music that is wholly and completely alive. In many of her own program notes, she includes this sentence: “I like music that is alive and jumps off the page and out of the instrument as if something big is at stake.” The first two volumes of this Augusta Read Thomas recording series focused on orchestral and chamber/piano music respectively, collecting performances by various ensembles. This third volume is something a bit different: a recording of a live 50th birthday concert presented by the New Haven (Connecticut) Symphony Orchestra under the direction of William Boughton. One of the two large-scale works on the recording is also one of Thomas’s most recent (and was premiered on the concert), the dramatic Hemke Concerto, “Prisms of Light” (2014). This concerto was commissioned as a retirement gift for legendary saxophonist and pedagogue Frederick L. Hemke by many of his students past and present. This concerto is music that almost requires the listener to wear sunglasses—exploring fully the saxophone’s capacity for both lyrical, human expression and glorious, otherworldly color. The other large-scale composition is Absolute Ocean (2008), a song-cycle for soprano and orchestra with a significant obbligato harp part. Absolute Ocean is especially spare and atmospheric in texture. The ringing, resonant pluck of the harp is clearly the dominant musical image, inspiring the orchestral texture that surrounds it. Despite using a medium size symphony scoring, the instruments are never all heard together—the result gives an audible sense of the orchestra as one large, graceful extension of the harp.

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