Recorded in Abravanel Hall, 2000, Cherbourne Music
Review: Edward Reichel, Deseret News
The Salt Lake Children’s Choir is an absolute delight on this CD; these young singers are a joy to hear. Their voices are pure and crystalline, and their diction and intonation are perfect.
The choir performs with a high degree of professionalism that speaks volumes for its founder and director, Ralph B. Woodward. And it’s Woodward’s vision and dedication that have fashioned the Salt Lake Children’s Choir into one of the premiere vocal groups of its kind in the country.
“A Day in Spring” shows off the versatility and talent of this wonderful choir.
The CD opens with a group of art songs by Grieg, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann and the relatively unknown Robert Franz. These pieces are sung with sensitivity and tender expression. Particularly beautiful is the choir’s interpretation of Schumann’s “Moonlit Night” (“Mondnacht”).
There’s also a set of European folk songs, which the choir sings in the original languages, and the album includes a group of songs written by Woodward.
In addition to being a fine conductor, Woodward is also a first-rate composer. His songs are melodic and charming, and well-written for children’s voices.
Several of Woodward’s pieces are noteworthy. His setting of Psalm 23 (“The Lord is My Shepherd”), for example, is delicate, simple and tender. “Evening Prayer” is a beautifully touching hymn, and the title song, “A Day in Spring,” is hauntingly evocative.