H. Leslie Adams

Email ACA Regarding This Composer: 

Biography: 

H. Leslie Adams (b. 1932) is the winner of the 2015 Cleveland Arts Prize Lifetime Achievement Award.  Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he attended school in California, and served many years as a choral conductor, show musical director, and educator, before becoming a composer full time in 1979.   His unique music touches a wide variety of musical tastes and preferences. His stage work BLAKE was featured on the VOX Showcase of New York City Opera, and on the National Opera Association programs. His art songs have been sung by leading artists worldwide, in many languages. His orchestral works have been performed by the Prague Radio Symphony, Iceland Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra and Indianapolis Symphony, to name a few.

Recordings of Adams' music include "Love Rejoices: Songs of H. Leslie Adams" first released in January, 2001, featuring the internationally-known tenor, Darryl Taylor. It was chosen as one of the ten best  recordings of the year by American Record Guide, and is now in its second printing. Love Rejoices is a 75-minute all-Adams recital featuring the artistry of Mr. Taylor and accompanist Robin Guy. The album features the complete song cycle, "Nightsongs" and "The Wider View" along with excerpts from "Five Millay Songs" and many individual songs, including the composer's original setting of "Amazing Grace."

Adams' very popular "Etudes for Piano" have been recorded variously by pianists including Maria Corley and Thomas Otten. 

"Nightsongs" a collection of songs on poetry by African-American poets, is one of ACA's most popular sheet music collections, year after year. Many critics have observed that they find no other composer writing like Adams in the world. They find it simple yet complex, fun yet serious, spiritual yet nonreligious. Above all, his music touches the heart and soul in a personal manner.

African American Art Song Conference, UC Irvine, 2012

Links to purchase recordings below:

"Love Rejoices: Songs of H. Leslie Adams" [2nd ed.; Darryl Taylor, tenor]

http://cdbaby.com/cd/darryltaylor

"Twelve Etudes"  [Maria Corley, pianist]

Etudes for Piano [Thomas Otten, pianist]: 

***Notice: Any recordings of songs or vocal music by H. Leslie Adams may require licensing and clearances from all legal rightsholders, including text authors and their estates. Purchase of a score does not transfer recording rights.

ACA List for H. Leslie Adams

2 Alone . . . (from Collected Songs) (1999)
high voice, pf
3 Amazing Grace (from Collected Songs) (1992)
2 versions: high voice, piano; medium/low voice, piano
4 ANNIVERSARY SONG (2000)
voice, pf
6 BLAKE (Choral Part) (1985)
Vocal w/ piano or orch
8 BLAKE (piano vocal score) (1985)
piano, vocal
10 BLAKE'S ARIA ( MY NEW-FOUND FRIENDS ) (1985)
Tenor, piano
12 BLAKE: MIRANDA'S PRAYER (O SWEET JESUS) (1984)
Soprano, piano
16 CHRIST AT A WEDDING (LOVE UNION) (2000)
voice, pf
17 CHRISTMAS LULLABY - voice and piano (1983)
high voice, piano
19 A Christmas Wish
SATB score; simplified lead sheet version
20 CITISCAPE (a.k.a. PIANO CONCERTO) (1968)
large orchestra
21 COLLECTED SONGS (1986)
voice, pf
23 CONTRASTS for Piano (2001)
pf
24 Creole Girl (from the song cycle NIGHTSONGS)
voice and piano (edition includes high, medium, and low)
25 DAYBIRTH (2008)
voice, piano
28 DUNBAR SONGS (1981)
medium high voice, piano
29 DUNBAR SONGS - orchestrated version (1981)
Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon; 2 horns; timpani; percussion; harp; strings; high voice
31 Etude No. 10 in F minor
solo piano
33 Etudes for Solo Piano (Twenty-Six Etudes) (2007-12 edition) (2012)
solo piano

maria_corleyadamshletude_in_b_minor.mp3

Etude in B minor, excerpt, performed by Maria Corley
,

maria_corleyadamshletude_in_g_minor.mp3

Etude in G minor, excerpt, performed by Maria Corley
34 FIVE MILLAY SONGS (1977)
voice and piano
35 FIVE MILLAY SONGS - orchestral versions
fl/pic, clar, ob, bsn, 2hn, perc, harp, strings, solo voice (Medium)
36 Flying (from the song cycle Daybirth) (2000)
high voice only
37 For you there is no song (from the song cycle Five Millay Songs) (1977)
high, medium, and low voice versions
voice and piano
41 HOMESICK BLUES (from The Wider View) (1988)
High voice and Piano, or Low voice and Piano

adamshomesickbluesexcerpt.mp3

Excerpt - Homesick Blues by H. Leslie Adams
43 HYMN TO ALL NATIONS (1997)
SATB divisi, pf
44 HYMN TO FREEDOM (Sop, Ten, BBar solo, plus 10 players) (1989)
Sop, Ten, BassBar; Woodwind (1 player: picc or flute, cl, bscl, Ebaltosax), Bb trumpet, trombone, tuba (optional euph, bass tbn, or db), perc(1), piano, v1, v2, va, vc, (opt)db

adamshymntofreedomchicago2ndmvmtexcerpt.mp3

EXCERPT from 2nd movement - Chicago performance
,

adams_hymn_to_freedom_lead_gently_lord.mp3

excerpt - Hymn to Freedom (Indiana University)
46 I WANT TO DIE EASY (2005)
SATB, pf
50 L'EXTASE D'AMOUR (2009)
viola, piano
53 LOVE EXPRESSIONS for orchestra (1990)
flute/picc, oboe, b flat clarinet, bassoon, F hor, b flat trumpet, tenor trombone, 2 perc, harp, pf, strings
54 LOVE MEMORY
voice, pf (high voice - original, or version for Baritone in Gm)
57 LOVE RESPONSE
high voice, piano
58 LOVE SONG (1985)
SATB
60 LOVING TOUCHES (2013)
ob, pf
61 LULLABY ETERNAL (1993)
high or medium voice with piano
62 MADRIGAL (1981)
SATBB
65 MIRANDA'S PRAYER (1984)
voice, piano
68 NIGHTSONGS - 6 songs for voice and piano (2010)
voice and piano (high, medium, low ranges)

adamsnightsongs__prayer.mp3

Excerpt: Darryl Taylor sings "Prayer" from Nightsongs
69 NIGHTSONGS - Orchestral version (Mezzo range)
small orchestra: 1.1.1.1 - 2.0.0.0 - timp.perc.hp.strings
70 ODE TO LIFE (1982)
2222 432+bstbn1 timp perc(3) cel strings
71 OFFERING OF LOVE (1992)
solo organ
74 Piano Etude in G Minor (1990)
pf
77 PSALM 121
SATB, pf
78 PSALM 23 (1990)
SATTB, with BsBar or MzSop solo
79 REMEMB'RING, REJOICING
SATB, piano
81 THE RIGHTEOUS MAN (Cantata) (1985)
0121 2000 timp, perc (2), hp, strings, SATB choir (8pt)
82 ROMANCE IN D FLAT (2009)
ehn, pf
83 Sence you went away (voice and piano, high, med, low)
High, Low, and Medium versions with piano
84 SENCE YOU WENT AWAY - choral version
treble voices SSS, with piano; optional cello
86 SONATA FOR HORN AND PIANO (1960)
horn, pno
87 SONATA for violin and piano (1976)
vln, pf
91 STRING QUARTET in D Flat (2016)
string quartet
92 SYMPHONY NO 1 (1982)
full orch
93 THERE WAS AN OLD MAN (1985)
SATB,pf
96 TRIO IN D MINOR (2011)
cl, vln, pf
97 TROMBONE QUARTET (2005)
4 trombones

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