For Stefan Wolpe: Choral Music of Morton Feldman and Stefan Wolpe
Choral Music of Morton Feldman and Stefan Wolpe Choir of St. Ignatius of Antioch, New York City / Harold Chaney, conductor Benjamin Ramirez, Thomas Kolor, percussion Stephen Foreman, tuba Stefan Wolpe (1902-1972), one of the great teachers in twentieth century music, is also now recognized as one of its most significant composers. His Two Chinese Epitaphs, composed in Jerusalem in 1937, illustrates the composer's deep allegiance to socialist issues. He wrote the work swiftly and in anger, just after learning that the Basque town of Guernica had been bombed by the Fascists the previous week. He chose to set two poems by Louise Peter that decry, in a few short phrases of stark imagery, the atrocities committed against oppressed workers. The Four Pieces for Mixed Chorus (1955) were composed for a contest sponsored by the government of Israel. It is a setting of four Hebrew texts-three from the Bible and one from Israeli poet Gershon Shofman. All the texts express hope for the new nation of Israel. Morton Feldman (1926-1987) studied with Wolpe for several years and was deeply influenced by his modernist aesthetic, particularly his interest in the visual arts. For Stefan Wolpe (1986), for chorus and two vibraphones, is Feldman's tribute to his venerated teacher. It alternates between vocal and instrumental passages. The two never intermingle, even though Feldman lets the vibraphones ring into the voices. As is characteristic of his late music, the piece combines the quiet, atonal, austere textures of his earlier music (of which Christian Wolff in Cambridge [1963] and Chorus and Instruments II [1967] are stellar examples) with several new elements-greater duration, minimalist repetition, and bigger gestures. All five works are making their first appearance on CD. An indispensable addition to the discographies of both composers.

Choir of St. Ignatius of Antioch

For Stefan Wolpe: Choral Music of Morton Feldman and Stefan Wolpe

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CD $15.99

Track Listing

Zwei Chinesische Grabschrifen (Two Chinese Epitaphs), (opus 25) I. Zwolf Bauern (Twelve peasants)
Stefan Wolpe
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Zwei Chinesische Grabschrifen (Two Chinese Epitaphs), (opus 25) II. Von eine Handvoll Reis (By a handful of rice)
Stefan Wolpe
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Christian Wolff in Cambridge
Morton Feldman
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Chorus and Instruments II
Morton Feldman
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Four Pieces for Mixed Chorus (a.k.a. Three Pieces for Mixed Chorus) I. Psalm 122 Samahti beomrim li (I was glad when they said to me)
Stefan Wolpe
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Four Pieces for Mixed Chorus (a.k.a. Three Pieces for Mixed Chorus) II. Piece by Gershon Shofman Sh(e)lu na'alekhem (Remove your shoes from your feet)
Stefan Wolpe
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Four Pieces for Mixed Chorus (a.k.a. Three Pieces for Mixed Chorus) III. Isaiah 43: 18-21 Al tizkeru rishonot (Remember ye not the former things)
Stefan Wolpe
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Four Pieces for Mixed Chorus (a.k.a. Three Pieces for Mixed Chorus) IV. Jerimiah 31: 6-12 Ronnu leya 'akov simhah (Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob)
Stefan Wolpe
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For Stefan Wolpe
Morton Feldman
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