Digital Album $9.99
Compact Disc $15.99
More From Sam Cardon; Kurt Bestor
Innovators - Sam Cardon; Kurt Bestor
This is the soundtrack to "Innovators," PBS's tribute to the pioneering spirit. The program honors a diverse group of innovators, including the great humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, and the wily John Brodison, who outwitted a policeman after a night of drinking. The music is equally varied, embracing contemporary sounds, world rhythms, and classical styles. Sam Cardon and Kurt Bestor's score calls for a vast array of musicians and singers. For the moving "Sage of Lamberene," Schweitzer's world is conjured stereophonically -- with an African men's ensemble on the left, a Christian children's choir on the right, and in the center, an orchestra with African drums weaving polyrhythms against a Bach chorale. Harmonica and accordion add touches of Americana on "Rainmaker," based on a tale of C. M. Hatfield, an enterprising cloud seeder. Another upbeat piece is the Black Pete celebration, "Man Among Men," featuring acoustic guitar, Latin percussion, and Brazilian backup singers. "Electric Highway" praises the technology that allows heroines such as Tiananmen Square's Chai Ling to carry on their cause. "Requiem," for string orchestra, tells the heartbreaking story of a village decimated by bubonic plague and a father who digs his own grave to save his son from the burden. Kurt Bestor, a missionary for several years in war-torn Yugoslavia, ends the album with a gripping vocal solo, "Prayer of the Children." INNOVATORS is impressive for its strong musical substance, spirited sense of fun, and genuine nobility of purpose. Highly recommended.