The Hampsong Foundation is proud to have awarded the first American Song Initiative grant to the Florestan Recital Project for their world premiere recording project “The Early Songs of Samuel Barber.”
In 2009, Florestan was granted exclusive permission by the estate of Samuel Barber to access Barber’s unpublished (and unrecorded) song manuscripts, held in the U.S. Library of Congress. The previously unknown songs were presented as part of BarberFest: The Complete Songs of Samuel Barber, in conjunction with Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s “Voice of America” festival in Boston, later that year. Barberfest was a critical success, and included the assistance of musicologist and biographer Barbara Heyman, as well as the contributions of musical luminaries such as Martina Arroyo and Margo Garrett.
Florestan Recital Project used the Hampsong Foundation’s American Song Initiative grant, in combination with other previously raised funds, to create the premiere recordings and release of the early student works of Samuel Barber.
Six of Barber’s early songs recorded for this project were released earlier this month through the Florestan Recital Project website. The recordings are available as part of a free, online web-based listening platform and will remain available through Florestan’s website for listening, indefinitely.
Visit the Florestan Recital Project’s “The Early Songs of Samuel Barber” here!
Since its inception in 2001, Florestan Recital Project has emerged as a premier presenter of song collaborations in North America. The ensemble has garnered international critical acclaim for its groundbreaking, meticulously researched programming, delighting audiences with its “deeply felt, and impeccably prepared” performances. (The Boston Globe)
Florestan Recital Project takes its name from the fiery character of Florestan, one of the creative alter egos of composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856). In addition to composing approximately 150 songs that are cornerstones of the genre, Schumann left an immense legacy of music and writings, and he invented the revolutionary character of Florestan as a voice for many of his most impetuous and passionate works.
Led by Artistic Directors Alison d’Amato and Aaron Engebreth, Florestan Recital Project brings that fiery passion to its intrepid exploration of the full spectrum of song repertoire.
Florestan’s deep commitment to the vitality of art song tradition is seen in its long-standing efforts to foster the development of young musicians and composers. In addition to the group’s critically acclaimed recordings and live performances, Florestan offers popular masterclasses and educational residencies.
Learn more about the Florestan Recital Project on their website: Florestan Recital Project.
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New Music Box review of Florestan’s recording: SOUNDS HEARD: FLORESTAN RECITAL PROJECT
Lift every voice and sing — James Weldon Johnson, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith
that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope
that the present has brought us.
Facing the rising sun
of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.