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Counterpoint, Bella Voce Women's Chorus of Vermont, Solaris Vocal Ensemble, Nathaniel G. Lew & Dawn O. Willis | Echoes - Choral Music of Richard Stoehr

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Echoes - Choral Music of Richard Stoehr

by Counterpoint, Bella Voce Women's Chorus of Vermont, Solaris Vocal Ensemble, Nathaniel G. Lew & Dawn O. Willis

The first recording of choral works by the Austrian composer Richard Stoehr (1874-1967) who lived in Vienna and Vermont, containing works from all the periods of his creative life sung by three of Vermont's finest choruses.
Genre: Classical: Choral Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Spring
Bella Voce Women's Chorus of Vermont, Dawn O. Willis & Frank Whitcomb
2:39 $0.99
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2. Echoes
Bella Voce Women's Chorus of Vermont, Dawn O. Willis & Frank Whitcomb
2:17 $0.99
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3. Cradle Song
Bella Voce Women's Chorus of Vermont, Dawn O. Willis & Frank Whitcomb
5:03 $0.99
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4. Psalm 62
Counterpoint & Nathaniel G. Lew
3:07 $0.99
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5. Psalm 67
Counterpoint & Nathaniel G. Lew
5:10 $0.99
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6. Psalm 24
Counterpoint & Nathaniel G. Lew
5:32 $0.99
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7. Armseelchen
Bella Voce Women's Chorus of Vermont, Dawn O. Willis & Frank Whitcomb
5:17 $0.99
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8. Schneeflocken
Bella Voce Women's Chorus of Vermont, Dawn O. Willis & Frank Whitcomb
4:32 $0.99
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9. The Great Adventurer
Solaris Vocal Ensemble, Dawn O. Willis & Susan Summerfield
3:51 $0.99
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10. A Grace for Christmas
Solaris Vocal Ensemble, Dawn O. Willis, Susan Summerfield & Counterpoint
3:23 $0.99
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11. Nachtlied
Counterpoint & Nathaniel G. Lew
2:36 $0.99
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12. Crossing the Bar
Solaris Vocal Ensemble, Dawn O. Willis & Susan Summerfield
5:41 $0.99
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13. Ave Maria
Solaris Vocal Ensemble, Dawn O. Willis, Susan Summerfield & Counterpoint
3:44 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Richard Stoehr (1874-1967) was born Richard Stern, the scion of a prominent Jewish family in Vienna. His father, a professor of medicine, insisted that Richard follow in the same field, but Richard was strongly drawn to music, and upon completion of his medical training in 1898, he immediately enrolled in the Vienna Academy of Music. The same year, he converted to the Protestant faith and changed his name to Stoehr. He received a Ph.D. in Music in 1903 and remained on the faculty of the Academy for the next thirty-five years, teaching harmony, composition, and music history to several generations of students, including Erich Leinsdorf, Herbert von Karajan, and Rudolf Serkin. Through the early 1920s he was active as a composer, with orchestral, chamber, and vocal works performed frequently in German-speaking cities, and he also maintained an active salon in his home attended by the most prominent musicians in Vienna. However, the Anschluss – the 1938 Nazi annexation of Austria – brought an end to Stoehr’s career in his native city, as all staff members of the Academy of Music with Jewish ancestry were summarily fired. While Stoehr’s wife Marie remained in Vienna, his son Richard Jr. sought safety in Sweden, his daughter Hedi was sent to England, and Stoehr himself came to America. (The family was not to be reunited until 1946.) In America, Stoehr was initially hired as music librarian and theory instructor at the Curtis Institute, the renowned Philadelphia school of music, where among his students was Leonard Bernstein. However, America’s entry into World War II reduced the number of students, and Curtis was forced to cut its faculty, leaving Stoehr unemployed. Through the aid of a former student who had moved to Burlington, Vermont, and a refugee assistance fund, Stoehr was hired by Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont, to teach German and music. In 1941, now in his late sixties, he settled into an apartment on the Saint Michael’s College campus and remained in Vermont for the rest of his life. With limited teaching duties, Stoehr returned prolifically to composition in 1942, producing a steady stream of works for the remainder of the decade.

Although Stoehr kept up with modernist developments in Vienna, discussing the works of Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg with his students, he was a stylistically conservative composer, committed to tonality and classical forms. The works on this recording fall into three groups, each of which represents a different aspect of Stoehr’s artistry. The four earliest works (all a cappella) date from 1903, and may have been composed as a part of, or in celebration of the completion of his musical studies. The psalm motets, with their smooth contrapuntal harmony, fugal expositions, and hints of Brahms, reveal Stoehr’s deep roots in nineteenth-century musical traditions, and his mastery of that style, although an occasional harmonic surprise reveals his individual personality. The two works for women’s chorus, representing his mature Viennese period, show his fascination with the dark world of German fairy tales and romanticism and his skill at capturing the imagery of the poems with pictorial musical details. By contrast, the American works, mostly composed for students at the University of Vermont, are brighter and more extroverted. For these pieces, Stoehr adopted the poetic tastes of his new country and strove to speak to, and in a musical language accessible to, his new audience. “The Great Adventurer,” for instance, shows real musical humor, a characteristic largely absent from the earlier choral works, while the late “Grace for Christmas” has an earnestness and melodic appeal carefully calibrated to mid-twentieth-century American tastes. In all, Stoehr’s wrote over fifty choral works, including partsongs both accompanied and unaccompanied, cantatas, oratorios, and several other genres.

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