Monday, August 20, 2012

The Turtle Creek Chorale and Dallas Wind Symphony - Testament

Now this is American music as it was meant to be. Testament compiles music from some of America's best composers (Randall Thompson, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein) who used words from some of America's finest poets and writers (Thomas Jefferson, Walt Whitman, and Robert Frost). The result is something more patriotic than the national anthem itself (I actually prefer O Canada to The Star Spangled Banner. It has a better melody and conveys a better message).

All of the music on this album is performed by The Turtle Creek Chorale, an all-male chorus which is accompanied by the Dallas Wind Symphony. While The Testament of Freedom is meant to be the central gem of this album, I actually prefer the other works. Copland's arrangement of "Simple Gifts" is simply one of the best things to ever happen to music. I was also swept away by Berstein's "Make Our Garden Grow," which was a pleasant surprise. The testament itself is a fine piece of music, but I find it was somewhat overshadowed by all the other excellent music on this album.

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