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Songs from Spoon River  


SONGS FROM SPOON RIVER (from Spoon RiverAnthology by Edgar Lee Masters)

Classics Today 
Grier’s songs…impress with their uncontrived spontaneity and sensitivity to words that’s not always easy to achieve when writing songs to English texts. . Petit the Poet, and Margaret Fuller Slack (the latter two texts from Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology), show the nuanced, multilayered sophistication of the most refined songwriter, reminding us that Grier was--and is--the real thing, and we can be glad that she's back as a full-time composer”.

Audiophile Audition
“Edgar Lee Masters’ tombstone poetry deals with a wide range of stories not necessarily – in fact they aren’t - connected, yet Grier finds an overarching theme to them all – death…and is able to spin a tone that pervades all of these pieces.  A long overdue tribute to a woman whose compositional corpus is long overdue itself”


Classical Voice of New England 
Songs from Spoon River is a true cycle rather than a simple set, with opening and closing songs that bookend the others, some of which have inter-relationships and cross references, such as a granddaughter addressing her grandmother who spoke earlier… Grier seemingly has an inborn knack for judicious selection of texts and skill for making the notes caress them and bring them to life.  These musicians also literally caress the songs.   These works are a marvelous addition to the art song repertoire.”                                                                                                                               
IAWC Journal
“This disc is representative of Grier’s ability to create a harmonic environment that enhances the interpretation of the text.  Even the most dissonant moments add to the expressive nature of these songs, never detracting from the declamation of the text.  Her piano accompaniments are beautifully supportive of the voice, often weaving thoughtful countermelodies around the vocal line”.

Chicago Tribune
“CD of the Week
: This is a wonderful collection of songs and song cycles spanning the entire career of Chicago composer Grier.  Her settings of 10 poems from Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology (a result of three Ravinia commissions) lend evocative counterforce to their bittersweet sentiments.”

Fanfare Magazine
The hypnotic opening song (of Spoon River) ,“All are sleeping on the hill” for tenor, intriguingly introduces the listener to the inhabitants of a cemetery There is a death motif here that reappears at various points in the cycle. The entry of a soprano for “Sarah Brown,” the second song, is pure genius, a ray of exquisite vocal light… That Songs from Spoon River hangs together so well is testament to Grier’s skill in the song-cycle genre”