American Psalmody of the 20th Century – Gloriae Dei Cantore/Richard K. Pugsley – Paraclete (3 CD set)

A fine tour of American choral music on 3 CDs.

American Psalmody of the 20th Century – Gloriae Dei Cantore/Richard K. Pugsley – Paraclete Recordings 8999  (3 CD set) TT: 3:11:00 (7/20/16) ****: 

This new recording from Paraclete is a pretty complete tour of American Choral music based on Psalms from the Bible. The collection features 20th century music, and 23 of the works contained in this 3 CD set have never been recorded previously, making this set quite a musical treasure.

The composers represented include Charles Loeffler, Virgil Thomson, Kent Newbury, Samuel Adler, Charles Ives, Alan Hovhaness and more. The performances are by the Gloriae Dei Cantores, an internationally recognized choir with more than forty members who range in age from seventeen to seventy. This massive collection is conducted by Richard Pugsley. There are also instrumental contributions from brass instruments, a piano and the great organ at Methuen Memorial music Hall at Metheun, MA.

The collection is so large you’re not likely to get through all 3 CDs in one sitting, but wherever you dive in I think you’ll be pleased with the level of musicality. Taken together, the collection is moving and they are well performed. It was a thrill to hear works that have never been available, such as the Hovhaness Make A Joyful Noise and Virgil Thompson’s Three Antiphonal Psalms. There’s also a previously unheard work from Ned Rorem, Two Psalms and a Proverb.

Sound-wise, this is a fine rendering of these compositions, although I would have loved to listen in high resolution, especially since this label does offer some of its albums in the SACD format.

Because the selection is so large and varied, I’m including a complete track list. This is a really worthwhile collection of 20th Century religious music and is highly recommended!


1.Psalm of Dedication “Shout unto the Lord” by Samuel Adler 

2.Psalm 90 “Lord, thou hast been” by Charles Ives 

Written: 1894-1924; USA
3.Make a Joyful Noise, Op. 105 by Alan Hovhaness 

4.Thou hast loved righteousness by Daniel Pinkham 

5.Behold, how good and how pleasant by Daniel Pinkham   

6.Thou has turned my Laments into dancing by Daniel Pinkham 

7.Open to me the gates of Righteousness by Daniel Pinkham

8.O Lord, Thou Hast Searched Me and Known Me by Ronald A. Nelson 

9.Psalms (2) of Woe and Joy by Robert Starer  

10.How Excellent Thy Name, Op. 41 by Howard Hanson 

11.The Lord is my shepherd by Randall Thompson 

12.By the Rivers of Babylon by Charles Martin Loeffler 

13.Antiphonal Psalms (3) by Virgil Thomson 

14.De profundis by Virgil Thomson 

15.De profundis, Op. 50b by Arnold Schoenberg

16.Sing to the Lord a New Song by Clifford Taylor 

17.The eyes of all wait upon thee by Jean Berger 

18.Psalm 150 by Kent A. Newbury 

19.My song shall be alway of the loving-kindness of the Lord by Gerald Near 

20.A Psalm Trilogy by Gerald Near 

21.Hallelujah! Sing to the Lord a new song by Bruce Neswick 

22.Give Thanks Unto the Lord by Robert Starer 

23.Cantate Domino by David Ashley White 

24.The God of Love my Shepard Is by Conrad Susa 

25.Psalm 100 “Make a joyful noise” by Charles Ives 

26.Psalms (2) and a Proverb by Ned Rorem Period: 20th Century 

27.Make Haste, Op. 86 by Alan Hovhaness 

 28.The House of the Lord by Daniel Pinkham 

29.Proverbs for a Son by Robert Starer 

30.Psalm 23 by Samuel Adler 

31.Cantate des proverbes, Op. 310 by Darius Milhaud 

32.By the Waters of Babylon by Philip James 

33.I will set his dominion in the sea by Bruce Neswick 

—Mel Martin

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