James Earl Jones, speaker
Gerard Schwarz, conductor
Seattle Symphony & Chorale
The magnificent voice of James Earl Jones – recognized by millions worldwide – needs no introduction. But his impassioned delivery of Lincoln’s timeless message brings us new awareness of its significance for our lives – now and in the years ahead. Flanking “Lincoln Portrait” are Schwarz’ powerful interpretation of the Fanfare for the Common Man and the Canticle of Freedom, a symphonic tone poem climaxed by a rousing choral testament to freedom. The Outdoor Overture is a tribute to America’s youth, brimming with “freedom and tireless energy.” The many listeners who have been requesting Harris’ music on Delos’ American Composer Series will be delighted with the compelling American Creed and with the brilliant orchestral version of When Johnny Comes Marching Home.
Billboard: A sharply programmed album as the upcoming inauguration keeps patriotic issues front and center. Jones is the vibrant speaker in Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait,” in a performance more involving than any in recent years. Schwarz and the Seattle contribute mightily here and in the other works, Copland’s striking “Fanfare,” “Canticle of Freedom,” and “Outdoor Overture,” as well as Roy Harris’ “American Creed” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.”
K. Miller, American Record Guide: Schwarz manages to bring back some of dignity to this music. His readings of these pieces are elegant, refined, and in the best possible taste.
AARON COPLAND: Lincoln Portrait (1942) Fanfare for the Common Man (1942) An Outdoor Overture (1938) Canticle of Freedom; (1955) ROY HARRIS: When Johnny Comes Marching Home (1935) American Creed (1940)