There is simply no way to overstate how important Gene Puerling’s influence has been on 20th and 21st century vocal music. I believe he is the among the most important choral writers of the last 100 years, and someday his writing will be recognized by the choral world as on a par with Thompson, Lauridsen, Barber, Copland, or any other you can name.
Gene Puerling died seven years ago today. I can’t think of a better way to memorialize him than with this recording by the remarkable new vocal group Accent. The last track from their debut release is titled “Song For Gene” and is a fitting tribute, both in quality and in style. The piece ends with a direct quote of Puerling’s “Lullaby,” originally recorded by The Singers Unlimited. It brings full circle the influence this amazing musical genius has had on us all.
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