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.