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Choral Tradition Sun. 5/31/2009

A new CD of "American Choral Premieres," featuring sacred choral works by American composers including Hovhaness, Easley Blackwood, and George Rochberg, with texts drawn variously from the Bible, non-Biblical sacred writings, and poetry. Performers are the William Ferris Chorale directed by Paul French.

1) ALAN HOVHANESS (1911-2000): Four Motets, Op.268 (1973), with texts from the Hebrew Bible--verses from Jeremiah and from three Psalms.

2) EGON COHEN (b.1984), a pupil of Chicago-based composer and educator Easley Blackwood: Stabat Mater (2006), a setting of the 13th-century Latin text about Mary, the grieving mother, standing at the foot of the cross of Jesus.

3) PAUL FRENCH (b.1959) (director of the William Ferris Chorale): Who Am I? (2007), set to a poem by Dietrich Bonhoeffer from his Letters and Papers from Prison.

4) EASLEY BLACKWOOD (b.1933): A King James Magnificat (2004), to a text from the Gospel of Luke, attributed there to the Virgin Mary, her joy-filled hymn of praise to God.

5) ROBERT KREUTZ (1922-1996), a noted composer of music for the Catholic Church: Scapulis Suis (He shall cover thee with his feathers, Psalm 91:4), part of the Offertory on the first Sunday of Lent.

6) WILLIAM FERRIS (1937-2000), founder of the William Ferris Chorale: Lyrica Sacra (Three Latin Motets) (1962), with texts from John 6:56, Psalm 34, Matthew 16:24. and Song of Solomon 2:2.

7) GEORGE ROCHBERG (1918-2005): Behold, My Servant (1973), commissioned by the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, setting texts from Isaiah, Psalm 148, and William Blake.