David Ward-Steinman’s composition, Fragments From Sappho, has just been reissued on CD by New World Records, NY. Originally released on LP in 1969, it featured Phyllis Curtin (soprano), Samuel Baron (flute), David Glazer (clarinet), and David Ward-Steinman (piano).
The critic for High Fidelity magazine called the recording “one of the great finds of the year. To begin with, he has a marvelous translation by Mary Barnard which is full of kittenish intensity and is a bit of a masterpiece in its own right. The setting is for voice, with very important obbligato parts for flute and clarinet ricochets off this text in brilliant fashion, and the performance by Curtin, Baron, and Glazer is equally brilliant. This is the best setting of old Greek texts since Debussy’s Chasons de Bilitis. [A.F. in High Fidelity, November 1969] (The CD also includes songs by Ned Rorem.)
In other news, Ward-Steinman was recently commissioned to write a song for the Brazilian soprano Daniella Carvalho’s Carnegie Hall debut Jan. 23, 2012. The song, Jewels, was commissioned by the conductor Jeff Eckstein for his wife Daniella to premiere on her Jewels of the Heart benefit concert for the International Children’s Heart Foundation, held in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. The pianist for the occasion was Martin Hennessy.