Osvaldo Golijov, composer of the St. Mark Passion, Ainadamar, Ayre, and other works, is so hot right now! Dawn Upshaw's recording of Ayre --highly recommended-- has put him on the map. I'm going to hear his St. Mark Passion at the Barbican on Friday and will report. If his other stuff is anything like this interesting, it puts him well ahead of a long list of composers.
I am puzzled about why this is "classical music" and songs about people in WWII is not. Classical music is often a puzzling topic. A symphony is something that is played by a symphony orchestra. Opera is something sung by opera singers. Or what exactly is the definition?
I keep listening to Susan Graham's recording of Ned Rorem songs, but it simply never comes to life for me. Perhaps something interesting could be made of his songs, but I sure haven't heard it.