g g

Classics Today - Your Online Guide to Classical Music
Search Reviews
American hymns, songs, & spirituals arranged by Diemer, Luboff, Paulus, Applings, Hawley, Warland, others

The Dale Warland Singers

Dale Warland

Gothic- 49243(CD)
No Reference Recording



If you remember a time when truth, in all areas of life, was a virtue, when personal responsibility was the rule, when everyone, young and old, knew the old hymns and songs of faith and communal fellowship, then you will appreciate the sentiments expressed by many of the pieces on this fine disc, one of the last CDs from the Dale Warland Singers before the group's "retirement" in May, 2004. Although the program certainly is appropriate as a tribute to the revered place of home and family in the traditional North American celebration of Thanksgiving, it also stands as a well-chosen compilation of some of the more beloved old American hymns--especially Shaker tunes--and spirituals, spiced with a few folk songs such as Emma Lou Diemer's spiffy arrangement of She'll be comin' round the mountain and Carol Barnett's equally lively version of Cindy.

The arrangements, by some of the finest in the business, are excellent, and that is one reason choral fans will enjoy this disc. The other reason is the typically outstanding ensemble singing--highlighted by lovely legatos and unisons (listen to the opening bars of Kevin Siegfried's Peace)--and by consistently sensitive sectional and group balances. From the opening Beautiful River, by Rev. Robert Lowry, to William Hawley's touching setting of the Shaker hymn Not one sparrow is forgotten, to Siegfried's Lay me low (another Shaker tune), this is as satisfying and uplifting a choral program as you're likely to hear in this repertoire. Stephen Paulus is well represented (his The Old Church is especially affecting), as are Carol Barnett and Warland himself, whose setting of Simple Gifts is the embodiment of simplicity and beauty. The sound perfectly complements this superb choir. Warmly recommended. [11/8/2005]

--David Vernier

Search Reviews

Review Digest

© 1999-2004 ClassicsToday.com. All rights reserved.