JACK STAMP (b.1954): String Quartet No. 1 (Soltis String Quartet), And the Time Is for Chorale and Percussion, Canticle: Voces Cadentes for Chorus, String Orchestra, Band and Narrator, Southpaw for Tenor, Double Wind Quintet and Percussion (Tucker Biddlecombe [tenor]), Roulette’s Deception and The Final Beguine for Band.
Catalogue Number: 01S038
Description: Immaculately crafted, genial Americana with depth and humor as appropriate to the works' subject matter. Wind orchestra enthusiasts know Stamp as a highly regarded conductor, but he has worked extensively as a composer throughout his career, largely but by no means exclusively for the type of ensemble with which he is most closely associated. The most ambitious work here is the Canticle, written for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The narrator describes the harrowing events of that day, which are then elaborated and emotionally expanded in the sung texts. The solemn, sumptuous orchestral textures frame the choral reflections on the human responses to unthinkable horror and tragedy. And The Time Is sets a poem by Samuel Hazo Sr., which reflects on the passing of time. Here the composer's eloquent choral writing is accompanied by ingenious percussion textures. The quartet is a succinct, traditional four-movement specimen, very tonal like all the pieces here, with an open-air, Coplandesque quality. American-ness of another kind is found in Southpaw, setting poems that explore the place of baseball in the American psyche; here there is a suggestion of a Bernsteinesque popular touch and a sense of humor, also evident in the lively Roulette's Deception, a brief overture on an unlikely story from 19th century Minnesota political history. Beguine is a big, bold fantasia on Cole Porter's famous tune in memory of the composer's mother, who had a music box that played it. Texts included. Ji Hye Jung (percussion), String Orchestra, Vanderbilt Wind Symphony, Chorale and Symphonic Choir; Thomas E. Verrier.