WIND DEVIL & CO. is a selection of sound scores commissioned by choreographers and dance companies that were performed nationally and internationally at venues such as Berlin’s Akademie der Kunste and three Next Wave Festivals at Brooklyn Academy of Music.
WIND DEVIL & CO. was created, composed, and performed by Sergio Cervetti, and is his third Navona release. The music, termed “DancElectronics” by the composer, is evocative and austere yet simultaneously whimsical and playful. “This Music reflects [Cervetti’s] intimate and extensive collaboration with the world of dance as a composer favors by many experimental dancers.” (The New York Times).
The title track, “Wind Devil,” premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1983. In a contemporary review The Village Voice‘s Deborah Jowitt stated that “by the time Thompson and Grunewald begin a loving, playful duet, [Cervetti’s] music acquires sonorities that make me think of Aaron Copland’s open ‘American’ sound. And I suddenly see the robust duet as celebrating both the intimate spaces between lovers and the vastness of the terrain around them, like a latter day version of the duet in Graham’s Appalachian Spring.”
The seven works vary from layered improvisation to traditionally composed pieces that include beat-driven and narrative dance to panoramas of sound, an aural snapshot of the cutting edge dance boom in New York City with its mosaic of techniques and styles from modern dance pioneers to their post modern descendants. The electronic scores also counterbalance Cervetti’s impressive instrumental and vocal output such as heard on the Navona Records albums NAZCA (2012) and KEYBOARD3 (2013).
The much-loved and much-debated Chopin concerto was an early milestone in Mr. DeGaetano’s life. “Chopin wrote the E Minor Concerto when he was only eighteen years old and premiered it at nineteen. I strongly relate having learned it at approximately the same age. I remember that initial captivation, and I was so moved by its power and beauty,” says the now-seasoned performer recalling his studies at Juilliard.
About his own exuberant and powerful Concerto No.1, Mr. DeGaetano reveals, “Often my music will sound atonal. That is only because there are many tonal passages being played together, each offering their own information. It’s these varied resonances that interest me because they correspond to our contemporary world.’
Visit the DeGAETANO CONCERTO NO. 1 | CHOPIN CONCERTO NO. 1 web application to access the digital booklet, study scores, video, extended liner notes, and more.
CYCLES OF THE MOON
Navona Records NV5928
CYCLES OF THE MOON, the new release from composer Ayala Asherov, is a colorful and poignant cross-section of works from various cycles of the composer’s life. As a native of Israel, Ms. Asherov’s music is largely informed by Hebrew chamber music. The music is tonal and intended to be accessible, says Asherov, “I didn’t want to write what I thought a listener would not want to hear. My guiding light-or should I say melody-is something one can hold on to while exercising the imagination.” The titles suggest themes, as in the haunting and solemn Memories of a Homeland and Tomorrow Never Came, which utilize poetry by children from the Terezin Ghetto.
“These pieces were all written over the last four years and sum up a time in my life where music served as my sounding board, and in many ways kept for individual instruments and exploring the communication and intimate connection between them so deeply. This experience has given me a better understanding of myself, especially as a composer.”
The chamber ensemble format has historically been able to intimately interpret works with a variety of emotional nuance, and retains flexibility to perform music with myriad influences. ALLUSIONS, an album of evocative chamber works, showcases the expressive and interpretive abilities of contemporary composition and features works by five composers: Christopher Dietz’s La fleur du ciel, with a broad harmonic palette inspired by Camus’ The Stranger, and Quintet No. 2, driven by movement and individualism; Kjell Magne Andersen’s Suite for Oboe and Piano, a melodic and vivacious work lending itself to interpretation; Sarah Wallin Huff’s Anima Mechanicae: Soul of the Machine, a musical tale of a computer program gifted with human emotion; Timothy Edwards’ The Conjecture, a dynamic, gestural, and rhythmic work of contrasting moods, and Vera Ivanova’s Three Studies in Uneven Meters, a dedication to the composer’s influences and an homage to their styles.
Navona Records NV5926
DEDICATION, a compilation of newly recorded works by composer Howard Quilling, features two sonatas for violin and piano, a suite for saxophone and wind orchestra, and a trio for violin, cello, and piano.
The album’s centerpiece, the Suite for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra, brings a sense of accomplishment and happiness to the composer when he speaks about it. Says Quilling, “It is one of my best and very favorite pieces. I wrote it in 1970, and I still keep coming back to it…after all this time I still think it’s quite a good piece.” The piece has five movements, which are contrasting. They are: Prelude, a march-like introduction; Pastoral, smooth and romantic; Scherzo, fast and lively; Song, a melody-driven diversion; and Finale, a brilliant, fast, energetic culmination. “There was no attempt to use related materials or to introduce programmatic elements,” says Mr. Quilling.
Quilling has written over 200 compositions, including works for orchestra, symphonic band, various chamber ensembles, chorus, solo vocal, and solo compositions for various instruments.
Visit the DEDICATION web application to access the digital booklet and study scores.
WINE DARK SEA
Ravello Records RR7879
WINE DARK SEA is the debut Ravello release from Couloir, a Vancouver-based duo consisting of harpist Heidi Krutzen and cellist Ariel Barnes. Highlighting the duo’s versatility and dedication to contemporary music, WINE DARK SEA features three new works for the seldom-heard combination of harp and cello: Jocelyn Morlock’s Three Meditations on Light, Baljinder Sekhon’s Drifting Seeds, and Glenn Buhr’s A monk, dancing. Couloir’s expressive performance deftly interprets the composers’ works, illustrating conceptions of light and sun, exploring the social and cultural connections between individuals and societies, and presenting a metaphor for the composer–all while showcasing versatility between classical and contemporary composition.