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As a segue to the first Whitman setting, granite like brass fanfares had visceral impact and firepower. Scheibe brought tremendous energy to the fierce setting of battle cries from Drum Taps. The strong, massive sound of the Master Chorale was thrilling! In the contrasting Whitman poem Reconciliation, the warm, mellow baritone voice of David McCutcheon embraced Vaughan Williams' evocative, deeply felt arioso.

David McCutcheon
David McCutcheon

An exquisite violin solo by concertmaster Huifang Chen led to the massive choral setting of Whitman's Dirge for Two Veterans. Amid heartrending harp glissandos, hushed strings, and clarion brass timbres, Scheibe's masterful blend of choral textures was a sound of true beauty. The hushed, a cappella conclusion was magical! Scheibe brilliantly achieved huge contrasts of dynamics and vocal color. McCutcheon brought dramatic power to John Bright's grim vision of the Angel of Death. The natural beauty of his burnished sound was pure gold.

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Copyright © 29 January 2006 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA

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