Paul Revere Rides Again


Maybe it's the recent political primaries and perpetual controversies that have me thinking about the great Telarc release that includes the world premiere recording of David Del Tredici's Paul Revere's Ride. Performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under Robert Spano, the optional multi-channel, high-resolution recording The Music Of Del Tredici, Theofanidis And Bernstein is a gem.

The most overtly spiritual work on the disc is the world premiere recording of The Here and Now, Christopher Theofanidis' oft-rapturous setting of twelve poetic fragments by 13th century Persian Sufi teacher and poet Rumi. Theofanidis' ability to touch the heart while illuminating words of wisdom such as "Remember: the way you make love is the way God will be with you" explains why he won the Masterprize competition.

Following a fine performance of the Lamentation from Bernstein's Symphony No. 1, "Jeremiah," Del Tredici radically alters the energy. After living through the horrors of 9/11, he experienced a spell of patriotism that led him to compose Paul Revere's Ride. It won't surprise anyone who knows the maverick Pulitzer Prize-winning composer's work that his setting of Longfellow's classic tale features an amplified soprano, huge chorus, and every instrument and noisemaker under the sun.

Always the rogue, Del Tredici even includes a spirited Fugue that pits "Rule, Britannia" against "Yankee Doodle." Complete with a rousing theme (punctuated by sirens and wind machine) that gallops through your head, its gorgeous chorale and triumphant, joy-filled ending ensure that Paul Revere's Ride a trip worth taking.