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Tag Archives | Janet Linton

Home on the Range

Most are likely familiar with the tune “Home on the Range,” but you must have a listen to this version by Michael Linton, featuring tenor H. Stephen Smith and pianist Janet Linton. Like last week’s Featured Release, Git Along You Littl’ Doggiesit is part of the song cycle Song’s of the Sand Hills. This live recording features tenor, H. Stephen Smith and pianist, Janet Linton, and is available as a free download below (be sure to check out other free downloads at the Refinersfire SoundCloud). Another major song cycle from Michael Linton featuring Mr. Smith, Seven Songs of Franchetti, which he premiered at Carnegie Hall in March, is anticipated for a August 2014 release.


 

Git Along You Littl’ Doggies

Like Dakota Wind, this live recording by Stephen Smith and Janet Linton recalls the great American West and the triumphs and hardships of the homesteading families that created it during the westward expansion. Yippee Ti Yi Yo, Git Along, Ye’ Littl’ Doggies by Michael Linton, is part of the song cycle Song’s of the Sand Hills. Smith premiered another Linton song cycle, Seven Songs of Franchetti, last month at Carnegie Hall, the studio recording of which is anticipated for release in August 2014.


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Drop, Drop Slow Tears

Continuing with the Lenten season, today’s featured piece is an arrangement of the 17th century hymn “Drop, Drop Slow Tears.” Orlando Gibbons composed the music in 1623 and ten years later Phineas Fletcher set the words below; Luke 7: 38 – As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet […]

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Fairest Lord Jesus Picture

Fairest Lord Jesus

Reflecting upon the season of Lent, today’s featured piece is an arrangement of the hymn “Fairest Lord Jesus.” Originally written by German Jesuits in the 17th Century, the text Schönster Herr Jesu is a meditation upon the beauty and majesty of nature that is uniquely experienced each Spring, the splendor of which is only transcended by Jesus, the […]

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Second Cantata – (Christmas Day)

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The Second Cantata (“Christmas”) was completed in 1978 and premiered ten years later by Kathleen Shimeta at New York’s Merkin Hall. It is dedicated to Krzysztof Penderecki. Unlike the first, third, and fourth cantatas (“Good Friday,” “Advent One”, and “Easter”) it is not a liturgical piece but is instead intended for a recital performance. Although the texts are by the English metaphysical poet Henry Vaughan (1622-1695), the cantata is in many ways a meditation on the second question of the 1563 Heidelberg Catechism. Generally, the first movement focuses upon the Catechism’s first answers and the second movement upon its last:

Question 2. How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?
Answer: Three; (a) the first, how great my sins and miseries are; (b) the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; (c) the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance.

The first movement opens with a quotation, played on LP, from the fourth movement of Bach’s Cantata No. 80, “Komm in mein Herzenshaus, Herr Jesu” (Come in my heart’s house, Lord Jesus). The quote returns in the body of the movement, performed by the trumpet, where it introduces the movement’s cadenza. It returns at the movement’s close. Throughout the movement, sections of Bach’s Cantata 140 (“Wachet Auf”), as well as Richard Strauss’ Rosenkavalier, appear as part of the musical texture.

Whereas the first movement can be seen as centering on the Bach quotations, the second movement centers on a lullaby (“One born in a manager. . .”). On either end, the lullaby is buttressed by a set of musical “wheels” that circle each other like the orbits of the heavens Vaughan references in his text. As the movement progresses the pitches in these wheels are gradually eliminated until at the end only a pair trichords remain.


Wendy WhiteMezzo soprano Wendy White has sung in over forty productions at the Metropolitan Opera, including the title role in Carmen, Fenena in Nabucco, Dame Quickly in Falstaff, Brangene in Tristan und Isolde, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress, Maddalena in Rigoletto, both Bersi and Madelon in Andrea Chenier, Isabella in L’Italiana in Algieri, Erda in Goetterdaemerung, as well as Cieca in La Gioconda and her performances in Nabucco, Chenier, Figaro, Wozzeck, Il Trittico, Cenerentola, and Madama Butterfly have been broadcast by PBS in its “Live from the Met” series. Miss White’s recordings have included Nabucco, Luisa Miller, La Traviata, Rake’s Progress, Oedipus Rex, and Songfest; her performance in A Quiet Place (conducted by the composer Leonard Bernstein) earned her a Grammy nomination. Miss White has appeared as a soloist the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Washington National Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Symphony, and the Netherlands Radio Orchestra, under the direction of conductors Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Leonard Slatkin, Seiji Ozawa, Christoph von Dohnanyi, John Williams, Lorin Maazel, and Zubin Mehta.

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Recording of Christmas Cantata from Michael Linton on Vimeo.

Directed by Karen Louisa Linton

Conductor Jerry Blackstone Jerry Blackstone is Director of Choirs and Chair of the Conducting Department at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance where he conducts the Chamber Choir, teaches conducting at the graduate level, and administers a choral program of eleven choirs. In February 2006, he received two Grammy Awards (“Best Choral Performance” and “Best Classical Album”) as chorus master for the critically acclaimed Naxos recording of William Bolcom’s monumental Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Internationally recognized as of his generation’s leading conductors, Mr. Blackstone is also a strong advocate for the training of young musicians, serving as Director of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance’s summer programs for high school students and adults.

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A Child’s Carol

A Childs Carol - RefinersfireIn this beautiful and delicate carol, the soprano portrays both the boy and his patient mother, ending with the mother’s gentle lullaby.

Peter Dale (born 21 August 1938) is a British poet, translator and educator.  As well as writing the text used here, he is also the poet of the second of the “Three Marion Carols“.


Dakota_Wind3SOPRANO Elizabeth Linton is a native of Connecticut and has studied in both music and nursing at Middle Tennessee State University. Most recently she has spent time nursing in East Africa and singing the role of the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute in Siena, Italy. Her performances of “The Silver Swan,” “Three Songs of Separation” and “Dakota Wind” also appear on Refinersfire. She is the daughter of composer Mike Linton and pianist Janet Gustafson Linton.

 

 

 

Dakota_Wind4ENGINEER Michael Fleming is a former music producer for WGBH Radio Boston, whose credits range from sound editorial and premastering work to producing recordings and broadcasts for numerous solo artists and ensembles, ranging from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Nashville Opera to jazz pianist Jan Jarczyk and Nashville singer- songwriter Phil Lee. He is a violinist and holds degrees in physics and sound recording from Carleton College and McGill University’s Tonmeister program. A member of the Middle Tennessee State University’s Recording Industry faculty since 2004, Fleming was the engineer and sound designer for Refinersfire’s Christmas: Cantata No. 2 , The Silver Swan, Three Songs of SeparationThree Marian Carols and Dakota Wind.

 

 

Dakota_Wind2COMPOSER Mike Linton lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and teaches freshman and sophomore level music theory at Middle Tennessee State University.

Three Songs of Separation

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POET The author of bestselling Kindle Singles, from “The Gospel According to Tim” to “Dakota Christmas” (revised and expanded as part of his new seasonal volume, “The Christmas Plains”), Joseph Bottum is a widely published essayist and poet, with work in magazines and newspapers from the “Atlantic” to the “Wall Street Journal.” The former literary editor of the “Weekly Standard” and former editor in chief of the journal “First Things,” he holds a Ph.D. in medieval philosophy and has done television commentary for networks from the BBC to EWTN, including appearances on NBC’s Meet the Press and the PBS NewsHour. His books include his latest poetry collection, “The Second Spring.” He lives with his family in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

 

Dakota_Wind3SOPRANO Elizabeth Linton is a native of Connecticut and has studied in both music and nursing at Middle Tennessee State University. Most recently she has spent time nursing in East Africa and singing the role of the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute in Siena, Italy. Her performances of “The Silver Swan,” “Cantata No. 2” and “Dakota Wind” also appear on Refinersfire. She is the daughter of composer Mike Linton and pianist Janet Gustafson Linton.

 

 

 

Dakota_Wind4ENGINEER Michael Fleming is a former music producer for WGBH Radio Boston, whose credits range from sound editorial and premastering work to producing recordings and broadcasts for numerous solo artists and ensembles, ranging from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Nashville Opera to jazz pianist Jan Jarczyk and Nashville singer- songwriter Phil Lee. He is a violinist and holds degrees in physics and sound recording from Carleton College and McGill University’s Tonmeister program. A member of the Middle Tennessee State University’s Recording Industry faculty since 2004, Fleming was the engineer and sound designer for Refinersfire’s Christmas: Cantata No. 2 , Three Marian Carols and Dakota Wind.

 

 

Dakota_Wind2COMPOSER Mike Linton lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and teaches freshman and sophomore level music theory at Middle Tennessee State University.

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Refinersfire Blog




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Music matters . . . . at least great music does.  REFINERSFIRE is committed to the idea that great music is one of the highest achievements of civilization and that its continued cultivation is essential to civilization’s health. By performing, recording, and distributing both great new music and educational materials about great music, we at REFINERSFIRE — if but momentarily and fragilely — seek to “push back the darkness” that can overtake a people if they succumb to the ultimately self-destructive culture that is the product of rapacious consumerism. The “refiner’s fire” both purifies and enlightens.

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Music matters … at least great music does

 

Refinersfire is a for profit independent recorded label committed to the idea that great music is one of the highest achievements of civilization and that its continued cultivation is essential to civilization’s health. By performing, recording, and distributing both great new music and educational materials about great music, we aim to preserve this idea for generations to come.


If you share our conviction that great music matters a great deal and it is worth investing in you may want to help support Refinersfire through a donation – of any amount, nothing is too small – via the secure PayPal button below.




 


Also, reach out – we’d love to hear any other ideas on how you’d like to help.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit Refinersfire and for your investment in the preservation and continuation of great music.

Most sincerely,
Michael, Janet, and Chris


REFINERSFIRE, LLC is chartered in the State of Tennessee

Founding members:

Michael Linton (b. 1952, Long Beach, CA) Along with Wendy White, Jerry Blackstone, Mary Hopper, and Janet Linton (all musicians featured on REFINERSFIRE “Cantata No. 2, Christmas”) Linton is graduate of Wheaton College (Ill). He studied composition with Krzysztof Penderecki, Lukas Foss, T. Scott Huston, John Gilbert and Bruce MacCombie and was awarded various graduate degrees from the University of Cincinnati, Yale, and New York University. While still in graduate school, Linton was appointed to the faculty of the University of Bridgeport where, besides teaching music history and theory, he directed the Mertens Contemporary Composers Festival, which was at the time the country’s largest festival devoted to the music of a living American composer. Leonard Bernstein, Lukas Foss, George Rochberg, Ned Rorem, Alice Parker, Stephen Sondheim, and Randall Thompson were all honored by festivals celebrating them and their music through performances, roundtables and scholarly presentations. Upon completion of his studies in New York, a small Christian college in Arden Hills, Minnesota brought-in Linton to chair their growing music program and although Linton was fired from that position after eighteen months (word to the prudent, if not the wise: don’t push for excellence where good-enough is valued), he continued to teach at the college and to conduct the college’s semi-professional orchestra. For the last twenty years Linton has taught undergraduate theory at Middle Tennessee State University’s School of Music and coordinated the school’s undergraduate composition and theory program.

Linton worked closely with George Rochberg as he wrote his dissertation on the composer’s famous “Concord Quartets”, material that eventually became the liner notes for the New World Records CD of Rochberg’s quartets 3 – 6. He has twice been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and has written for the Wall Street Journal, First Things, The Weekly Standard and the Groves Dictionary of Art and worked as a music critic for The Connecticut Post and the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. With his wife Janet, he served as a church musician in Baptist, Congregational, and Episcopal churches in Kentucky, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Tennessee.

Janet Gustafson Linton is a native of Stratford, Connecticut. After studying at the Hartt School of Music, she went on to receive degrees in piano performance from Wheaton College (Illinois) and Northwestern University where she studied with Donald Issac. She and Michael Linton married in 1976 after which time she continued to study in New York with Anne Chamberlain and briefly with Beveridge Webster. Linton is known for her interest in contemporary music and through her career won praises from Lukas Foss, Leonard Bernstein, George Rochberg and Ned Rorem for her performances of their music. Beginning the age of 15, Linton has served as a church organist and pianist in American Baptist, Congregational, independent, and Episcopal churches in Connecticut, Minnesota, and Tennessee. She has been a member of the faculty at The University of Bridgeport, Northwestern College (St. Paul) and Middle Tennessee State University and now teaches music and heads the fine arts program at The Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. She has premiered almost all of her husband’s works featuring piano and organ.

Chris McMurtry (b. 1979) is a Nashville native who began performing at the age of 15. He supported himself as a studio musician and toured the indie-rock circuit until 25. It was while on the road, mostly with the band aireline, that he began shaping his compositional technique. Somewhere along the line he began wondering how ‘serious’ he really was about music and decided to dive headlong into classical music composition. He of course fell in love and has been solely dedicated to it ever since. In addition to music, McMurtry had the great pleasure of serving the meticulous and insanely great Apple Inc for 8 years, helping to develop systems and shape the customer experience in their most successful product – the Apple Retail Store. With several releases planned for early 2014, McMurtry’s music explores the role of the electric guitar as a serious orchestral instrument. McMurtry lives in Tennessee with his wife Anna and two daughters.

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