American Record Guide (03/04)
"This release is subtitled 'A celebration for living music and the momentary beauty of the young voice', and it certainly offers extraordinary examples of both."
"Núñez's young singers offer supreme precision in both pitch and rhythm, making them a natural for any contemporary music, and their unrestrained enthusiasm in these works puts them several notches above many better-trained professionals who remain content just to get through the notes."
Classics Today (01/04)
"...this is an essential disc for fans of new choral music and for anyone who wants to experience the virtuoso capabilities of one of today's finest youth choirs."
Copley News Service (11/03)
"After my first listening to this recording I came up with the impression that it is phenomenal."
American Record Guide (10/03)
New York Times (04/03)
TRANSIENT GLORY CD PRESS RELEASE
EIGHT WORLD PREMIERE RECORDINGS FEATURED ON "TRANSIENT GLORY," A NEW CD FROM THE YOUNG PEOPLE'S CHORUS OF NEW YORK CITY
To Be Released on Vital Records October 28
"Young People's Chorus of New York City. ethereal quality and soaring range"
American Record Guide
The Young People's Chorus of New York City (YPC) conducted by its artistic director Francisco J. Núñez, celebrates the glorious sound of a children's choir on a new disc entitled "Transient Glory," featuring eight world premiere recordings by some of today's leading composers, including Stephen Mackey, John Tavener, and Michael Torke. It will be released on Vital Records October 28 and is the first in a series of "Transient Glory" recordings.
The compositions on this CD were commissioned and premiered in the choir's annual "Transient Glory" concerts at the 92nd Street Y, where they are in residence and are part of a YPC commissioning program to enlarge the limited repertoire for children's voices. They are The Smiling Eyes by Jenny Johnson, Un-labelled by Elena Kats-Chernin, Two Songs by e.e. cummings by Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum, The Attic Which is Desire by Steven Mackey; Glory to God for this Transient Life by John Tavener, Colors 41402 by Walter Thompson, Song of Ezekiel by Michael Torke, and a reduced orchestration of Claude Debussy's La Damoiselle Elue by Nils Vigeland.
Joining the Young People's Chorus of New York City on this recording are American sopranos Camellia Johnson and Cara S. Tasher, pianist Jon Holden, clarinetist Alan Kay, and The Perspectives Ensemble.
Though the Young People's Chorus of New York City performs a diverse and challenging repertoire ranging from classical, jazz, and pop, to music from many of the world's cultures, it has a particular affinity for contemporary music and has sung more than 44 premieres and commissioned 36 new works to date by many of today's most distinguished composers.
Jenny Johnson, a young composer of varied styles and interests completed her Masters degree in composition at Manhattan School of Music in 2002. Once trained as a classical percussionist, Ms. Johnson incorporated her interest in antiquities into The Smiling Eyes, a work that rejuvenated her desire to portray her imaginings and feelings about antiquity from the point of view of a young student.
Elena Kats-Chernin's music first attracted attention with the premiere of Clocks by the Ensemble Modern in 1993 and she has since become one of Australia's leading composers receiving commissions from such artists as Evelyn Glennie, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and Margaret Leng Tan, among others. Written to an original text by Ms. Kats-Chernin and Xenia Hanusiak, Un-labelled rails at being branded or labeled. In her music, she uses several techniques like canon, unison, singing in parallel chords, and sudden changes of key to challenge the young singers.
Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum, a graduate student in composition at The Juilliard School and winner of the Juilliard Orchestra Competition, has had her music performed by ensembles from the New York Concert Singers to Jim Henson's Muppets. She is co-director of VisionIntoArt, an organization that performs thematic interdisciplinary programs driven by new music. Her Two Songs from Days of Innocence by e.e. cummings comprises "maggie and milly and molly and may," a playful song that dances among the chorus, clarinet and piano, and "who are you, little I," a lullaby about the circularity of life, a tribute to growing up and finding your way.
Steven Mackey, whose first musical passion was playing the electric guitar in rock bands, is recognized as one of America's most gifted and original composers. He based The Attic Which is Desire on a poem of the same name by William Carlos Williams, which Mr. Mackey said, transported him back to his own musty attic back home and that frozen moment in time when he was the same age as members of the Young People's Chorus of New York City.
John Tavener is known for an originality of concept and style that sets him apart from his contemporaries. In recent years after joining the Russian Orthodox Church, his influences increasingly looked back to ancient tradition. His Glory to God for this Transient Life is a paean to the Transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor, which Mr. Tavener says, creates in musical terms our humility and awe of that magnificent event.
Michael Torke has created a substantial body of work in virtually every genre, each with a characteristic personal stamp that combines restless rhythmic energy with ravishingly beautiful melodies. Mr. Torke, whom The New York Times has described as "the Ravel of his generation," set the music to his Song of Ezekiel to a text by the prophet Ezekiel. Through the voices of children, Mr. Torke says, "God's message of acceptance becomes poignant, sincere, and expressive."
Walter Thompson has conducted his soundpaintings, a system for conducting/composing and shaping improvisation during performance for dancers, poets, actors, visual artists, and contemporary orchestras around the world. It comprises more than 700 gestures indicating the type of sound desired of the performers. Mr. Thompson has taught soundpainting at the Paris Conservatoire, Eastman School of Music, and New York University, among others. Colors 41402 is a soundpainting for chorus commissioned by the YPC in 2002.
Nils Vigeland is a composer who is the chair of the Composition Department of the Manhattan School of Music and whose compositions have been performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Oslo Philharmonic, among others. Mr. Vigeland's special arrangement for children's chorus of Debussy's La Damoiselle Elue is included on this CD.
Now in its 15th year, the Young People's Chorus of New York City, one of the city's finest youth choruses, is an award-winning, multicultural youth ensemble that performs more than 40 concerts, operas, and workshops annually in New York and beyond. Their engagements have taken them from Carnegie Hall and the White House to cities in Canada, England, the Czech Republic, Barcelona, and Austria, where they have sung in such illustrious venues as Smetana Hall in Prague and St. Martin in the Fields in London, as well as with professional symphony orchestras and some of today's top artists.
As part of its goal to further the formation and advancement of youth choirs, YPC holds annual choral workshops for high school and university-level teachers and choral instructors of community and church choirs. In an effort to add to the literature of music available to choruses worldwide, Boosey & Hawkes has just launched a new series of "Transient Glory" publications edited by Francisco Núñez of compositions commissioned and premiered by YPC. The first work published-Michael Torke's Song of Ezekiel-was awarded first prize by the Music Publishing Association. Most recently, the Young People's Chorus of New York City was awarded a grant of $45,000 by the NEA for the organization's Partner Schools program, which for the past six years has provided full scholarship support for a number of inner-city children to participate in the YPC. This season, in addition, YPC has established a new curriculum-based Satellite Schools program, in which a YPC-trained music instructor brings the YPC's choral music education program into five New York City Satellite Schools.
Francisco J. Núñez is the founder and artistic director of the Young People's Chorus of New York City. He is also the conductor of the University Glee Club of New York City, the New York University Singers, and NYU Women's Chorus. Mr. Núñez's compositions and arrangements for chorus, orchestra and solo instruments inspired by the gamut of Latin cultures and musical idioms have earned him wide recognition. A leading figure in music and music education, he often gives lectures, appears frequently as a guest conductor; and each summer is composer-in-residence in the Choral Music Experience Institute at the country's leading universities.
Soprano Camellia Johnson has sung oratorios, operatic repertoire, and concerts with many of the world's finest orchestras from the New York Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Philharmonic to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, and on the stages of major opera companies, such as the Metropolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera, and the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Ms. Johnson also appears extensively as a recitalist and has sung in numerous American cities.
Cara Suzanne Tasher has performed and recorded under the batons of Robert Shaw, Margaret Hillis, Owen Burdick, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Georg Solti, Claudio Abbado, James Levine, and Christoph Eschenbach, in numerous European festivals and has frequently performed as a soloist. As a conductor she has led professional organizations from the University of Texas Opera to the Netherlands Youth Orchestra. As associate conductor and voice coach of the Young People's Chorus of New York City, Ms. Tasher formed the newest ensembles of the chorus: the Chamber Singers and the Young Men's Chorus. Ms. Tasher holds degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, la Sorbonne de Paris, and Northwestern University.
Pianist Jon Holden has degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, Yale University, and a Ph.D from New York University, where is a faculty member. An authority on the music of Paul Bowles, Mr. Holden has performed the composer's work extensively and is currently working on a revision of Bowles's opera Yerma.
The Perspectives Ensemble was founded by its artistic director Sato Moughalian in 1993 to present thematic programs on the works of composers in cultural or historical contexts, as well as on subjects that bridge the visual, musical, and literary arts. In addition to programs it produces itself, Perspectives Ensemble has appeared in concert in Lincoln Center's What Makes It Great series with Robert Kapilow, with the Quintet of the Americas in an all-Husa program and recording, and with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's summer series in an all-Bernstein program.
“Transient Glory” is distributed nationally by Sumthing Distribution (a Nile Rodgers Company) and will be available wherever recordings are sold, including Tower Records, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Virgin Megastore, J&R Music, Borders, Circuit City and Target; and online from all major e-tailers.
The Young People's Chorus of New York City is supported, in part, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Council of the City of New York, Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, and the Fund for Creative Communities/New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program, administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. YPC receives additional significant support from numerous foundations, corporations, and individual donors.