Monotonous Forest reviews Lukas Foss: The Prairie

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Monotonous Forest
December 20, 2008

And from conductor Andrew Clark and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project comes The Prairie (1943) by Lukas Foss, using Carl Sandburg's poem from The Cornhuskers. This ambitious cantata includes four excellent soloists—Elizabeth Weigle, Gigi Mitchell-Velasco, Frank Kelley and Aaron Engebreth—and another chorus new to me, the Providence Singers (of which Clark is artistic director), all of whom make Foss's spacious landscape spring to life. Listeners who only know the composer's later work may be surprised by the unabashedly tonal colors here, written when the composer was just 21 years old. The exemplary recording, released on BMOP/Sound, was made by Joel Gordon in Mechanics Hall in Worcester