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The wedding cantata is a genre of great antiquity, and Washington, D.C.-based composer Andrew Earle Simpson tries to draw on many phases of its existence, both textually and musically, in A Crown of Stars, his contemporary entry into the genre. The texts range from Sappho and India's Rig Veda to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, while the music features an idiom reminiscent of another wedding cantata, Stravinsky's Les Noces, updated with some jazz and blues moves. It might sound as though it's all over the map, but Simpson has ...

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