Wall Street. Salvador Dali. Gustav Mahler. Some of the sources of inspiration for composer Sergio Cervetti on his fourth solo Navona release, UNBRIDLED. Spanning over forty years of his career, the works represent Cervetti’s continued aesthetic of combining traditional and postmodern techniques and instrumentation.
The title track is a response to the crisis of the American financial institutions of the last few years. For Mémoires du Paradis, Cervetti’s vision comes from five Salvador Dali paintings that portray fragmentary scenes from Milton’s Paradise Lost. First premiered in 1973, …from the earth… treats a five-note passage from Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with minimalist techniques, extrapolating the notes into new melodies and drawing out harmonic structures for several minutes. A review from the now defunct High Fidelity magazine hailed …from the earth… as “a straightforward and touching composition, and obviously the work of a gifted creator.” Read More
Ruud Van Eeten
On his debut release on Navona Records, INNER MUSIC, composer Ruud van Eeten presents three works that highlight the refinement and control evident in his compositional style. Throughout the four movements of Piano Quintet No. 1, the composer adds no excess; every note has a role. Yet the piece exudes emotion, particularly the second movement which develops a deep sense of longing. Punctus Einz, based on Bach’s The Art of Fugue, builds layers of textures, ranging from punctuated rhythms to fluid melodic lines, which are heightened by the timbres of the saxophone quartet. Jhero pulls inspiration from a painting by the famous Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch, representing three stages from human’s divine history: Heaven, the Garden of Earthly Delight, and Hell. Respectively, the first stage is slow, meditative, and brooding; the second is repetitive and sensual; and the third is heavy, accented, and fleeting. Read More
Addressing the man who greatly contributed to the theory of our evolutionary ascent, DEAR DARWIN, the second release on Ravello Records by composer Scott Brickman, explores several themes relating to Charles Darwin’s studies and interests including birds, love, world travel, and human boundaries.
The song-cycle Dear Darwin is set to 26 poems by Kathleen Ellis and arranged as an abecedarium. Many of Ellis’ poems discuss observations of nature and human behavior, some proposing questions and others suggesting answers, while Brickman’s compositions consider different relationships between the piano and the soprano voice: he places the piano in three different roles in respect to the soprano – as an imitation, as a supplement, and as harmonic support. Read More
The breadth of musical textures and colors capable of being produced by a piano and saxophone pairing are larger than expected. Turning expectations upside-down, METROPOLIS, the debut release on Ravello Records by the Harrington/Loewen Duo, comprised of saxophonist Allen Harrington and pianist Laura Loewen, highlights the adventurous and unpredictable approach to the two instruments.
The Harrington/Loewen Duo builds sonic landscapes and structures from their dynamic and often frantic interplay in The Skin of Night while interpreting and responding to conventional and graphic notation such as colors, images, and glyphs throughout the score of Metropolis. In pieces such as Oran, they focus on the elements of intensity, duration, and timbre, creating expressionistic gestures and stark contrasts in mood. Harrington and Loewen showcase their sophisticated skills by way of extended techniques of the piano such as scraping the strings, pizzicato, harmonics, and glissando; and of the saxophone such as flutter-tongue, multiphonics, and bisbigliando (trilling between two timbres). Read More
In 2008 PARMA Recordings acquired Capstone Records, the highly respected New York-based classical label founded by composer Richard Brooks in 1986, with the intent of shepherding the company and its music into the digital era. This product, originally released on Capstone and now presented by PARMA’s Ravello Records imprint, is one of a series of re-releases from the catalog called THE CAPSTONE COLLECTION.
This solo piano album featuring Canadian pianist Jane Solose, presents works by American composers George Gershwin, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Amy Beach, Chen Yi, Deniz Ince, and James Fry. Read More
SOUNDS FROM THE DELTA
From Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club de France to the American jazz players who immigrated to immerse themselves in its vibrant musical scene, Paris has been an epicenter of haute jazz culture. Jean-Philippe Grégoire has been a staple of the Paris jazz scene for many years and on his debut Big Round Records release SOUNDS FROM THE DELTA the guitarist/composer presents a refined and inspired hybrid of French and American jazz styles.
Grégoire’s works show a diverse compositional style, ranging from driving and syncopated rhythmic structures to smooth and swaying melodic textures. But even the slower-tempo pieces peak with high-energy improvisations, pulling influences from his rock, blues, and classical roots which combine to form a singular fusion. Read More