Release Date: April 14, 2015
Catalog #: NV5994
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Vocal Music

Michael Murray: Percipience

Michael Murray composer

Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Petr Vronsky conductor; Andrew Childs tenor soloist; Ann Moss soprano; John Ferraro clarinet; Zoia Bologovsky violin I; Amy Ripka violin II; Justin Ouellet viola; Dorothy Braker cello; Peter Sulski viola; and Chris Thompson baritone

The history of setting literary text in music is a considerable one, from Schubert’s Lieder to Benjamin Britten’s Serenade to art songs of the 21st century. Composer Michael Murray presents four song cycles on PERCIPIENCE, all of which emphasize the deep connection between poetry and music as varying means of expression that can reveal different facets of the same idea.

Five Blake Songs explores the wide range of emotions in William Blake’s (1757-1827) works, from cynicism and despair to playfulness and irreverence. Poetry from the Song of Songs is used in Four Songs of Solomon, in which Murray’s settings, sung by tenor Andrew Childs, express the complex and various emotions depicted through both explicit and metaphorical descriptions of sexual intimacy in the biblical book. Neutral Tones: Four Songs of Thomas Hardy addresses common themes in Thomas Hardy’s (1840-1928) writing such as the process of aging and how our perceptions of significant events in our lives change over time. Based on works of the English metaphysical poet John Donne (1572-1631), Three Donne Songs portrays a cynical and ironic attitude toward human love, offering a refreshing alternative to the typically idealized treatment of the subject.

In addition to works for the concert hall, Murray has written music for film, theater productions, dance and visual art installations. He is Professor of Music at Missouri State University where he teaches composition and music theory. He earned his BM in Composition from the Catholic University of America and his MM and DMA in Composition from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music.


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Artist Information

Michael Murray

Michael Murray


Michael Murray’s music has been described as “well-crafted” and “easy to listen to in the best possible way.” His compositions cover a wide variety of styles and media, but his gift for lyricism is particularly well suited to acoustic music featuring the human voice. Much of his work involves setting the words of classic poets to new music for singers accompanied by various instrumental combinations.

Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra


The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the foremost and oldest symphony orchestras in the Czech Republic. It is based in the historical capital of Moravia, the city of Olomouc, and has been a leader of music activities in the region for the past 70 years. Its artistic development was directly influenced by distinguished figures from the Czech and international music scene.

Petr Vronský


After successes in several important international competitions for conductors — including the competition in Besancon France in 1971 and the Karajan Competition in Berlin in 1973 — his career began at the opera company in Pilsen. From 1974 to 1978, he was Chief of Opera of the State Theater in Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic. In 1978, he was appointed Chief Conductor of the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he held until 1991. Vronsky was later appointed Chief Conductor of the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava in 2002.