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MP3 James Durst - A Whaling Trilogy

A synthesis of folk and classical traditions, James has interwoven three original songs to underscore the interconnectedness of the three disparate yet interdependent characters.

1 MP3 Songs in this album (12:00) !
Related styles: FOLK: Modern Folk, CLASSICAL: Orchestral

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Whaling is My Trade, Thoughts of a Whalers Wife & Whale Soliloquy
Featuring guest vocal soloists Jon Joyce, Susan Boyd Joyce and James Durst

For centuries our greatest classical composers have borrowed liberally from the melodies, themes and motifs of the folk tradition. These three interwoven songs offer a Rashomon-like view of whaling. A WHALING TRILOGY distills into twelve minutes the epic struggles of three disparate yet interdependent characters. Their plaintive perspectives have been orchestrated by Kim Scharnberg, whose work is heard regularly with the Atlanta Symphony, the Boston Pops and on Broadway. The orchestra parts were skillfully realized digitally by arranger Bill Smith, who also oversaw the recording of the 32 singers in our Whaling Chorus. This recording was created as a demo of the piece for consideration by conductors and symphony programmers. A complete conductor’s score is available upon request.

“I can’t think of too many folk cantatas. There’s Earl Robinson’s ''Ballad for Americans'', Millard Lampell’s ''Lonesome Train,'' Robert DeCormier’s ''They Called Her Moses.'' James Durst has contributed an impressive new work to this highly limited folk repertoire for solo voices, chorus and orchestra. Starting with the song of a whaler, the piece swerves into his wife’s touching lament for the man long missing at sea, then proceeds to the musings of a whale, who bemoans the unreasoned enmity of man, and wonders--as do we all--if they, and we can survive.” --Robert Sherman, ‘Woody’s Children,’ WFUV-FM, New York

James composed ''Thoughts of a Whaler''s Wife'' in 1969, ''Whale Soliloquy'' in 1972 and ''Whaling is My Trade'' in 1973, interweaving the three into this epic work. He finally got around to recording it solo for his 2006 CD, ''Internationally Unknown,'' accompanied only by his guitar and Ritt Henn''s sterling upright bass playing.

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