by Mike Telin
While many in the Cleveland area may be familiar with the choral works of Lakewood native David Conte — his music is regularly performed by ensembles such as Good Company — his recent CD, Everyone Sang, offers another side of his vocal-writing talents. Released in August on the Arsis label, this two-disc set comprises engaging works for solo voice and piano, as well as voice and instrumental ensembles.
Conte, who chairs the composition department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, opens the album with four American Death Ballads. Written for tenor Brian Thorsett, the songs are inspired by Copland’s Old American Songs. Thorsett brings a warm tone, thoughtful phrasing, and perfect diction to Wicked Polly, The Unquiet Grave, The Dying Californian, and Captain Kid. Pianist John Churchill provides colorful support throughout. [Read more…]