After seeing the performance of H. Leslie Adams' Prayer by tenor Darryl Taylor with pianist Maria Thompson Corley on YouTube, the soprano Kim Eunhyeung and pianist/composer Silvia Maserati decided to search for the sheet music and to program this piece on their holiday recital in Milan, Italy, on Dec. 18th.
Prayer was recorded by Darryl Taylor on the popular CD, Love Rejoices: Songs of H. Leslie Adams (2001), a CD that has enjoyed several reprintings due to popular demand. Click here to hear samples and to purchase the album.
Prayer, on a text by Langston Hughes, is the first song in Nightsongs, a collection of art songs on poetry by African-American writers, one of ACA's most popular-selling song collections. It's available in high, medium, and low voice settings. The entire collection with all voice ranges sells for $32, or individual songs can be purchased separately. An orchestrated version of the songs was created for Mezzo-Soprano Hilda Harris; full score and parts are available from ACA.
Harrison Leslie Adams was born in 1932 in Cleveland. He studied composition with Herbert Elwell and Joseph Wood; voice with Robert Fountain; and piano with Emil Danenberg, B.M., 1955. In New York, he studied composition with Robert Starer, 1959 and Vittorio Giannini, 1960. At California State University, he received his master's in music with Leon Dallin and Robert Tyndall, 1967. He received his Ph.D from Ohio State University in 1973.
His music has been widely performed all over the world, by artists such as Denyce Graves, Louise Toppin, Leon Bates, the Robert Page singers, the Cavani String Quartet, Eliesha Nelson, and Paul Zukowsky, among many others.