The Old Burying Ground

The Old Burying Ground


Artist: University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Kenneth Kiesler (conductor)

Composer: Evan Chambers

Format: 1 CD


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Tim Eriksen (folksinger), Anne-Carolyn Bird (soprano), Nicholas Phan (tenor), Keith Taylor (poet), Jane Hirshfield (poet), Thomas Lynch (poet), Richard Tillinghast (poet), Paula Meehan (poet), Nicholas Phan (tenor)

Evan Chambers brings to life the epitaphs etched in stone so many years ago in Jaffery, New Hampshire in his first release on Sono Luminus with his new work The Old Burying Ground, performed by the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Kenneth Kiesler, this world premiere release intertwines powerful orchestral movements, moving vocal passages and poems commissioned by world renowned award winning poets in a way that connects the listener with each of those that have passed on and inspired the piece. 

Evan Chambers’ (b. 1963) compositions bear the stamp of his early exposure to the edginess and immediacy of folk song and community music-making, readily crossing boundaries and reconciling disparate musical worlds. He is currently the Associate Professor and Chair of Composition at the University of Michigan School of Music, and serves as resident composer with the new-music ensemble Quorum. Works by this award winning composer have been performed by the Cincinnati, Kansas City, Spokane, Memphis, Binghamton, New Hampshire, and Albany Symphonies, as well as the American Composers Orchestra, with which he appeared as soloist in Carnegie Hall. 

Kenneth Kiesler has been Director of Orchestras and professor of conducting at the University of Michigan since 1995. Kiesler is Conductor Laureate of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra where, as Music Director from 1980 to 2000, he founded the Illinois Symphony Chorus and Illinois Chamber Orchestra, led debuts at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and won several awards. Having conducted numerous symphonies around the world, Mr. Kiesler is also one of the world’s most sought-after mentors to conductors. 

The album features a powerful cast of vocal soloists. The solos are led by world famous folk singer Tim Eriksen, who beyond releasing numerous recordings exploring a wide range of musical styles, was the music consultant for the lm “Cold Mountain” working with the musicians and tutoring the actors in Sacred Harp singing, appearing in the film and ultimately performing his shape-note arrangement of an Oscar-nominated Elvis Costello song on the Academy Awards. Eriksen is the only musician to have shared the stage with both Kurt Cobain and Doc Watson. Anne-Carolyn Bird (soprano) is a brilliant and award winning voice who can be heard as the “Voice of the Fountain” on the Grammy Award-winning recording of Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar. Nicholas Phan (tenor) who has performed with the numerous opera companies including Glimmerglass, New York City, LA, and Chicago, has proven to be a stellar up and coming artist. The album also features poetry commissioned for the work by internationally acclaimed poets including Keith Taylor, Thomas Lynch, Richard Tillinghast, Paula Meehan, Jane Hirshfield, read by the poets throughout the work. 

This powerful piece of music, produced by award winning producer David Frost, is a guaranteed top selection in the play lists of the traditional classical music listener, and bridges the gap to reach music lovers of all genres. The folk undertones paired with the poetry and intricate orchestral composition truly give new life to those interred at The Old Burying Ground.

Track List

Book I
1. Introduction-All the Time You Want
2. And Pass From Hence Away
3. O Say Grim Death
4. O Say Grim Death (poem)
5. A Bar So Pure
6. Uncut Grass (poem)
7. Oh Drop On My Grave

Book II
8. This Transitory Scene
9. Her Void (poem)
10. Nancy Eliza
11. Pompeii (poem)
12. Emma
13. Relentless Death
14. Paths of Peace-Poem with Two Endings (poem)

Total time: 56:11
Release date: June 2010
UPC: 053479211323

Chambers’s orchestral song-cycle lingers on the lyrical poignancy of death...soothing and idyllic lyricism.
— Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone

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