Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Releases 'Hallowed Ground' on Sept. 9: Louis Langrée's Inaugural Release as CSO Music Director Features Late Dr. Maya Angelou

Hallowed Ground
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Louis Langrée, Music Director
Dr. Maya Angelou, Narrator, Lincoln Portrait

Dr. Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra announced its first commercial recording with Music Director Louis Langrée, Hallowed Ground, will be released on the Orchestra's Fanfare Cincinnati label and distributed by Naxos of America, Inc. on September 9.

"Hallowed Ground is derived from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address," said Mr. Langrée.  "All of this music is inspired by sacred spaces - from the battlefield to incredible vistas to beautiful community gathering points."

Hallowed Ground was recorded live at Music Hall in November 20133 and March 2014, and features Aaron Copland's iconic Lincoln Portrait with one of the most inspiring voices of our time, the late Dr. Maya Angelou narrating.  Part of Mr. Langrée's inaugural program as Music Director, Lincoln Portrait received its world premiere by the CSO at Music Hall in 1942, and has become a mainstay with orchestras around the world.

"November of 2013 marked the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and those powerful words resonate today, especially delivered by legendary author, poet, activist and humanitarian Dr. Maya Angelou," said Mr. Lamgrée.  "It was a great honor and privilege for us to work with Dr. Angelou, just seven months before her passing at the age of 86."

Two world premiere recordings from Hallowed Ground came out of a groundbreaking collaboration with the MusicNOW Festival and the Festival's Artistic Director Bryce Dessner.  On March 21, Mr. Langrée and the CSO recorded the world premiere of Nico Muhly's Pleasure Ground, a portrait work depicting the life of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead with baritone Nathan Wyatt.  On March 22, also during the MusicNOW Festival, Mr. Langrée and the CSO recorded the world premiere of mountain, a new work by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang inspired by American composer Aaron Copland.

"These commissions represent a true spirit of innovation in Cincinnati, and this as place of experimentation," said Mr. Langrée.

Hallowed Ground was produced by Elaine Martone of Sonarc Music Recording and engineered by Chelsea VandeDrink of Cincinnati Public Radio.  The Associate Producer was Robert Treviño, CSO Associate Conductor.


The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is a dynamic ensemble of some of the world's finest musicians.  The fifth oldest symphony orchestra in the U.S. and the oldest orchestra in Ohio, the CSO has played a leading role in the cultural life and the Midwest since its founding in 1895.


Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Music Director Louis Langrée is an internationally acclaimed conductor with an engaging presence on the podium. The French conductor is also Music Director of the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center in New York and Chief Conductor of the Camerata Salzburg.


Dr. Maya Angelou was a dancer, a singer, an actress, a poet, a writer, a magazine editor, a playwright and a film director, as well as a college lecturer, full professor and a fearless, outspoken activist.  She never let her various vocations inhibit her activism or her willingness to speak out against injustice and inequality.

Comment by email:
I will be playing that new recording of Lincoln Portrait with Maya Angelou on my radio show next Monday. I'll be sure to send you a notice about that.  Sergio [Sergio A. Mims]

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