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Society of Composers, Inc.
"America Sings!"

Cover Design: Gerald Warfield & Richard Brooks

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Catalog Number: CPS-8613
Audio Format: Digital Stereo
Playing Time: 59:41
Release Date: 1992

Track Listing & Audio Samples
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    Diane Thome
Suite from Porgy and Bess (16:55)
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    University of Washington Chorale
    Joan Catoni Conlon, conductor
    Jeffrey Francis, tenor
    Wendy Wilhelmi, flute
    Jennifer Hillacker, violin
    Jonathan Graber, viola
    Brian Schuldt, cello
    Naomi Kato, harp
    Joelle Wallach
  2. Mourning Madrigals (13:05)
    Karen Birnbaum, soprano
    Frederick Urrey, tenor
    Charla Abraham, flute
    Andre Tarantiles, harp
    Gregoria Karides Suchy
  3. Twelve Greek Maxims (10:14)
    Lee Dougherty, soprano
    Donald St. Pierre, piano
    George Belden
  4. Gilgamesh (10:45)
    Sandra D. Belden, contralto
    Marcia Stratman, piano
    Timothy Heavner, percussion
    Elizabeth Vercoe
  5. Herstory II (17:45)
    The Boston Musica Viva
    Richard Pittman, conductor
    Elsa Charlston, soprano
    Randall Hodgkinson, piano


All Recordings by the
Society of Composers, Inc.

Mélange CPS-8755
Mood Shifts CPS-8748
Soundscapes CPS-8741
Cornucopia CPS-8725
Sonic Images CPS-8712
Milestones CPS-8701
Inspirations CPS-8690
Cultivated Choruses CPS-8674
Inner Visions CPS-8670
Connections CPS-8660
Transcendencies CPS-8656
Chamber Works CPS-8651
Illuminations CPS-8643
Grand Designs CPS-8639
Intimate Thoughts CPS-8632
Evocations CPS-8631
Extended Resources CPS-8626
Songfest CPS-8618
Contra-Punctus CPS-8615
America Sings! CPS-8613
Potpourri CPS-8609
View from the Keyboard CPS-8606

Related Links
Society of Composers, Inc.
Jeolle Wallach
Elizabeth Vercoe



Fanfare - January/February, 1992 - by Peter J. Rabinowitz

"Despite the nationalist promise of its title, Amenca Sings! offers neither folksy charm nor patriotic fervor. Rather, this disc consists of live contemporary vocal works (1965-8O), apparently chosen by a peer review system, mining a variety of accessible and familiar, but not peculiarly American, idioms. There's nothing especially audacious here, and nothing that will strike you with its distinctive compositional voice; and I suspect that listeners will differ in their patience for some of it. Depending on your taste, for instance, you may find Gregoria Karides Suchy's mercurial Twelve Greek Maxims, which leap from jagged severity to broad parody, either witty or arch; and although I enjoyed the occasionally Messiaenic splash of Elizaheth Varcoes haiku settings, readers should be warned that Kyle Gann, reviewing an earlier Northeastern release of this same performance, called it "gutless expressionism"~"one of those angular, academic works whose style and content are already too, too familiar" (Fanfare 10:3). Still, whatever their reliance on well-tried techniques, the five works are all solidly crafted; and the contrasts between the from the sweet, piquantly harmonized lyricism of Diane Thome's Three Psalms, through the sparser, more inward contrapuntal musings of Joelle Wallach's often Brittenesque Mourning Madrigals, to the ostentatious declamations of George Belden's partly electronic Gilgamesh - make for an attractive air.

As is often the case with such miscellanies, the quality of both performances and recordings is uneven; and Capstone needs to pay more attention to their presentation. I'm not complaining about the timing errors on the jacket; nor is the pedestrian cover really an issue (although it's hard to imagine anyone being motivated to explore the disc simply by its visual impact). But texts are only provided for two of the works; and the ho-hum notes - in nearly unreadably small type - simply don't create a context for receptive listening. Capstone deserves praise for its commitment to contemporary music - but if this music is going to gain a hearing in an increasingly competitive world, it needs to be introduced more aggressively."