When Richard Danielpour composed An American Requiem in September 2000, he had no idea it would be presented to a nation experiencing a battlefront on its own soil. Yet a year later he was on the phone to his New York publishers, discussing the details of the recording's inscription, when his editor stopped to witness the jet hurtle into the second World Trade Center tower. In that tragic moment, Danielpour revised his inscription to read, "To all the victims of war."
Danielpour is a prolific and vibrant composer whose sweeping and reflective style has given a distinct voice to contemporary American classical music. His motivation in writing An American Requiem grew out of a desire to understand his nation's warring past. As a child of the '60s and early '70s, war was very much part of his life, but the "experiences and their implications were taken in from a distance," he writes in the CD's liner notes. Too young to fight but old enough to understand the calls of the anti-war movement, he grew up believing that the United States picked its battles because of "economic and political agendas" and had little concern for the men and women enlisted to fight these wars.