Lincoln comes to life in Michael Daugherty’s perfectly pitched new work

Author: Lawrence A Johnson
Source: Gramophone Review

... All the more reason then to celebrate Michael Daugherty’s Letters from Lincoln. The song cycle was premiered by Thomas Hampson and the Spokane Symphony in February, 2009, and is here revealed not only as one of Daugherty’s best works but as one of the finest historically inspired works to come from any American composer in years.

Thomas Hampson is without peer in this American-flavoured repertoire and strikes an easy balance of vocal strength, expressive phrasing and rustic charm while avoiding pomposity. The Spokane Symphony plays very well indeed for music director Eckart Preu.

Anton Webern('s) Langsamer Satz and the darker, more brooding chromaticism of Im Sommerwind complementing the Daugherty work and here given evocative, atmospheric performances by Preu and the orchestra.

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