RICHARD DANIELPOUR (b.1956): Darkness in the Ancient Valley (Symphony in Five Movements), Lacrimae Beati, A Woman's Life for Soprano and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 10P072
Description: Darkness is a five-movement symphony, in which Danielpour explores aspects of his Persian heritage, confronted by the troubled recent history of Iran. The work follows a powerful dramatic arc, in which prayerful lament alternates with stark aggression, conflict and frantic activity. The work's long, ornate melodies, derived from Persian folk music, seamlessly blend with Danielpour's customary rich neo-romantic idiom. The last movement is a beautiful setting of a poem by Rumi, achingly serene in the face of violence and falling shadows. Lacrimae beati is a somber, sometimes agitated yet ultimately consoling tribute to Mozart, based on material from the Lacrimosa of his Requiem and inspired by some experiences of Danielpour's to which Mozart's last work provided a kind of backdrop. A Woman's Life sets a cycle of poems by Maya Angelou, eloquently and evocatively charting a childhood to deathbed trajectory. Danielpour here achieves a Bernsteinian blend of the colloquial and the most emotionally charged romanticism, vividly matching the texts' moods and resonances. Texts included. Texts included. Hila Plitmann (soprano), Nashville Symphony; Giancarlo Guerrero.