This recording features largely unknown sacred art songs from the late 19th to the late 20th century, including works by American composers Leo Sowerby and Daniel Pinkham as well as their stylistic predecessors Gabriel Fauré, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Max Reger, Louis Vierne, and Gaston Litaize. These composers' common musical vocabulary of chromatic harmony, realized through the expansive timbral palettes of the organ and voice, creates vivid musical settings of sacred poetry. Baritone Stephen Lancaster was winner of the Nico Castel International Master Singer Competition and of The American Prize for men in art song and oratorio. He has been featured in venues around the world as a recitalist, and soloist. He holds degrees from the University of Note Dame and the University of Michigan and is currently on the faculty at Notre Dame. Organist Kevin Vaughn is director of music and organist at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in South Bend, Indiana and on the faculty at Goshen College. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
Robert Vaughn, and his band The Shadows (not British rock group The Shadows), debuted in 1987 with a classic rock sound. He recorded another album with The Shadows on Alternative Records (1991's Songs from the Riverhouse), then headed up the thematic project, Southside Blades of Eden releasing the album Spirit, Love & Fire in 1993. Vaughn then formed the band the Dead River Angels, and released an album on Miramar Records (1994's Robert Vaughn and the Dead River Angels). A track from Vaughn's later band landed on the soundtrack album for the Steven Seagal movie, On Deadly Ground.
The Chicago guitarist/saxist spreads his stylistic wings considerably further than he did on his debut, embracing funk more fully than his first time around but offering enough tasty contemporary blues to keep everyone happy. The prolific triple threat (he's also an engaging singer) wrote all but three tracks himself (one of the covers is the shuffling "Small Town Baby"; its composer, veteran pianist Jimmy Walker, plays on the cut).–by Bill Dahl
Louis-Gabriel Guillemain (1705-1770) was one of the foremost French violinists of the eighteenth century. […] He mastered a brilliant Italian technique and fiery style through his studies with Giovanni Battista Somis in Italy and after his return to France became one of the most popular and highest-paid court musicians of Louis XV […] Guillemain's Six sonates en quatuor (1743) were certainly inspired by Telemann's sonatas. […] [His] skill is evident in blending French dance rhythms with Italian vigor and German counterpoint. (George Houle, conversationsgalantes.com)