From the New York Herald Tribune Friday May 14. 1965

Stunning Debut For Cantata by David Amram

About a year ago the Interracial Chorale commissioned the versatile young composer David Amram to write a cantata for Its 1965 spring concert. The concert took place last night In Town Hall, and Mr. Amram' piece, "A Year In Our Land," was given Its premiere by the Interracial Chorus and Orchestra conducted by Harold Aks.

It is a beautiful work. Mr. Amram's score celebrates the four seasons as they appear in four different parts of America. For text he has gone to the writings of James Baldwin, John Dos Passos, Jack Kerouac, John Steinbeck, Thomas Wolfe and Walt Whitman, using excerpts from their prose to comment on "Spring in the East," "Summer in the West," "Autumn In the North," and "Winter in the South."

Soloists alternate with chorus in warm, wistful vignettes of life in a less troubled time. Mr. Amram admits his portrait is more "a dream of what I hope America will become than what it is." Even so, Its tranquility, Its Copland-like cleanliness is most welcome, and last night's audience greeted the 34-Year-old composer with cheers and long applause.

The 60-voice chorus with orchestra gave a splendid performance, assisted by four first-rate soloists: Lynn Blair, soprano; Elaine Bonazzi, contralto: Seth McCoy, tenor and Herbert Beattie, bass.


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