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Lilacs: The Music of George Walker
     

Lilacs: The Music of George Walker

by George Walker
 
The distinguished American composer and teacher George Walker reached a high point in his career when he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for Lilacs, a setting for voice and orchestra of Walt Whitman's poem "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd." This premiere recording, featuring soprano Faye Robinson

Overview

The distinguished American composer and teacher George Walker reached a high point in his career when he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for Lilacs, a setting for voice and orchestra of Walt Whitman's poem "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd." This premiere recording, featuring soprano Faye Robinson, proves that the award was richly deserved. Walker has honed the thorny modernist techniques of his earlier work into a style of great emotional expressivity, especially evident in the elegiac, wide-ranging, but always melodic vocal line. The masterful text-setting is accompanied by imaginative, evocative orchestral writing, and the Arizona State University Symphony Orchestra gives the work a thoroughly professional performance. The fanfare-like Tangents and the Wind Set for woodwind quintet, both written in 1999, give further evidence of the power of Walker's recent music while also showing a more playful side. Filling out this tribute to the composer are two chamber works from earlier in his career: the Violin Sonata No. 2 (1979), with Walker at the piano accompanying his son Gregory Walker, and the String Quartet No. 2 (1968). They make for rather more difficult listening than the other compositions, having a somewhat academic flavor typical of much of that era's music. Still, there's no doubting Walker's skill, and his lyrical personality does come through, presaging the synthesis of beauty, expression, and fierce integrity so evident in Lilacs.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/12/2000
Label:
Summit(Classical)
UPC:
0099402274928
catalogNumber:
274
Rank:
124958

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Tangents for chamber orchestra
  2. Lilacs, for voice & orchestra
  3. Wind Set, for woodwind quintet
  4. Sonata for violin & piano No. 2
  5. String Quartet No. 2

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