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Danielpour: Elegies/Sonnets to Orpheus

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 15, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

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Richard Danielpour, one of today's most successful American composers, was born in New York to Jewish-Iranian parents. His work seems to represent a fusion of his cultural heritage and the idioms of this country. The wide appeal of his music is certainly due, at least in part, to its honest emotional directness. This is a composer obviously not afraid to follow the dictates of his ear and heart. Tonal, clear, mildly dissonant, often discursive, the music is basically conventional, sometimes almost derivative, but it has its own voice, because it combines elements of his Persian roots with the influence of American jazz.

The five "Elegies" were written at the instigation of Frederica von Stade as a memorial to her father, killed in World War II before she was born, and are based on his letters transformed into rather abstruse poetry by Kim Vaeth. The voices alternate, suggesting an interchange between father and daughter; only one long passage is sung together. The expression ranges from gentle, sad, and peaceful to passionate, aggressive, and wild. The emotional impact is total and immediate, abetted by deeply involved, splendid singing and playing.

The "Sonnets" are more jazz-influenced: syncopated, dancelike, raucous, though some are languid, sensuous, and solemn. Rilke's poetry (in English translation) is equally abstruse, and it is interesting that a composer of such accessible music should choose such inaccessible texts. The soprano sounds a bit shrill. She is accompanied by a chamber ensemble of such fine soloists that the omission of their names from the booklet is unpardonable. --Edith Eisler

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Product details

  • Performer: Frederica von Stade, Ying Huang, Thomas Hampson, Perspectives Ensemble
  • Orchestra: London Philharmonic
  • Conductor: Roger Nierenberg
  • Composer: Richard Danielpour
  • Audio CD (May 15, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Run Time: 65 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005JA2K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,389 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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July 18, 2001
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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July 24, 2014
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July 12, 2001
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February 13, 2014
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April 5, 2009
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