voices 1900/2000: a choral journey through the twentieth century

San Francisco Symphony Chorus
Vance George, director

The Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Symphony Chorus explores the rich variety of choral traditions of the 20th century. The Chorus’s acclaimed director, Vance George, has compiled a program of remarkable scope and variety. Voices 1900/2000 traces the last century’s extraordinary evolution of musical styles, through Romanticism, Expressionism, Impressionism, Minimalism, and a host of experimental forms along the way, incorporating chant, religion, jazz, folk, Broadway, pop and more. It includes an array of international influences, from America, England, France, Holland, Switzerland, and Hungary. The 20th century’s advances in technology and global communication have encouraged these seemingly disparate elements to co-exist as they do so comfortably on this CD. What all the works on Voices 1900/2000 have in common is their undisputable quality. The San Francisco Symphony Chorus is one of America’s foremost symphonic choruses and has had the opportunity to work with many of their notable compatriots. Voices 1900/2000 presents the meditative and hypnotic works of Aaron Jay Kernis and Meredith Monk, as well as the stalwart tonality of Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein. France is represented by Claude Debussy, and Francis Poulenc in an Expressionist 1940s war-time work. Mid-century compositions by Hungarian Gyorgy Ligeti and Dutch Henk Badings offer fascinating contrast. A 1993 work by the Swiss composer Carl Rutti successfully fuses minimalist rhythms with impressionist harmonies. The CD opens with one of the choral icons of the 1990s, John Tavener’s Song for Athene, which was notably performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. Voices 1900/2000 is an engaging retrospective of choral music from around the world, allowing the listener to enjoy revisiting the developments of the last century and look forward to seeking out new vistas in the next.

Tavener: Song for Athene (Alleluia) 1990 (6:09) Ligeti: Reggel (Morning) 1955 (1:22) Debussy: Dieu! Qu’il La Fait Bon Regarder 1898 from Trois Chansons de Charles deOrleans (1908) (2:16) Badings: La Nuit en Mer from Trois Chansons Bretonnes 1948 (3:05) Poulenc: Bois meurtri… from Un Soir de Neige 1944 (2:10) Rutti: Ite missa est from Missa Angelorum 1993 (3:38) Thompson: Alleluia 1940 (5:11) Copland/Conte: Simple Gifts 1944/1997 (3:46) Kernis: How the Soul Speaks to God from Ecstatic Meditations 1998 (5:02) Susa: Winds of May from Six Joyce Songs, Vol II 1984 (2:37) Lauridsen: O Love, Be Fed With Apples While You May 1991 (2:23) Barber: The Coolin (The Fair Haired One) from Reincarnations 1942 (3:23) Monk: Earth Seen From Above 1991 (7:14) Monk: Other Worlds Revealed from Atlas 1987 (1:19) trad./arr. A. Parker: Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal (2:27) trad./arr. J. Erb: Shenandoah (3:53) Kern: All the Things You Are from Very Warm for May 1939 (2:38) Bernstein: Make Our Garden Grow from Candide 1955 (3:51)