LUMINESCENCE brings to light six works for small and large orchestra, showcasing the inspired directions and composers of contemporary orchestral music. Marvin Schluger’s Manhattan Suite for full orchestra is being released 14 years after its recording. New York, 2013 by Raymond Bokhour is another piece alluding to the Big Apple, as experienced by the composer that year. Serenade for Strings by Robert Burrell captures the musicality of Australian avian species while Daniel Burwasser’s piece Catching Fireflies reflects the innocence and playfulness of childhood pastimes. David Kirtley contemplates the life and mystical journey of the Oglala Sioux holy man, Nicholas Black Elk, in Leaves falling from the Holy Tree. In the tone poem, Within a Dance, Rain Worthington evokes the intimacy of a first invitation to dance, and the continuing dance of love. Read More
88 + 12
With a distinctly contemporary compositional signature that draws on minimalism and popular music of the late 20th century, and also recalls the 19th-century Romantic tradition, composer and pianist Scott Pender explores the expressive natures of four instruments – piano, violin, viola, and cello – on his debut solo release on Navona Records, 88+12.
Pender presents three piano and string duos: Rhapsody, Elegy, and Finale for Violin and Piano is a study in contrasting mood and texture, featuring virtuosic writing for the violin, while the deeply lyrical Sonata for Cello and Piano is a work of sweeping dramatic gesture. Sonata for Viola and Piano, subtitled “From Old Notebooks,” uses material that Pender sketched while living in London during the mid-1980s to create a work of rhythmic pulse and intensity. The string trio Veil of Ignorance, which takes its title from the writing of the 20th-century philosopher John Rawls, provides three differing approaches to the same thematic material. Read More
TREASURES FROM THE ARCHIVES
TREASURES FROM THE ARCHIVES, composer Carol Barnett’s debut solo release on Navona Records, presents shining choral arrangements and originals from the composer’s diverse catalog as interpreted by several choral groups, which gives the pieces an added tonal quality and presence.
Many of the featured works were arranged by Barnett for the Minnesota-based Dale Warland Singers during her nearly decade-long residency with the group. Among these pieces are the spirituals My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Wonder Where, and By and By, as well as Children of the Heavenly Father, a recasting of an old Swedish folk song with added hymn text by Carolina Sandell Berg. Original works include Veni Sancte Spiritus, a setting of the traditional 12th-century text, written for the Gordon College Choir. Remember the Ladies and the arrangement of the Greek folk song Dance of Zálongo respectively celebrate the lively correspondence of Abigail Adams and the heroism of the women of Souli. Read More
THE GOLDEN GALAXY, Navona Record’s fourth release of works by the late French composer Yves Ramette (1921-2012), presents works for organ, an instrument which Ramette found to be expressive, dynamic, and warm in color, especially after his position as organist at Église Saint Ferdinand de Ternes in Paris, where he played the church’s now replaced Cavaillé-Coll organ. This album is particularly significant in the catalog of this prolific composer since it is the first to feature Ramette both as the composer and the performer. As are the compositions on Ramette’s other Navona releases, CASCADING INTO REVERIE, WITH PASSION, and AT THE PRECIPICE, the works on this album illustrate the composer’s “motivation for writing music [which] comes from a desire to express and communicate, to connect with the audience’s deepest emotions” (American Record Guide). Read More
As leading instrumentalists of their generation, the musicians of Trio Verlaine, David Harding (viola), Lorna McGhee (flute), and Heidi Krutzen (harp), offer spellbinding interpretations, and a kaleidoscopic range of colors in their debut Ravello Records release SIX DEPARTURES, including both old and newly commissioned works. This combination of instruments was first dreamt of by Debussy who provided the inspiration for future composers. Arnold Bax’s evocative, nostalgic, and celtic-inspired Elegiac Trio (1916) provides the first point of departure. André Jolivet’s Petite Suite (1941) furthers the magical sound world, and is at once modern and primitive. Jeffery Cotton’s Six Departures, written specifically for Trio Verlaine, incorporates the baroque passacaglia form as well as jazz influences and German expressionism. R. Murray Schafer’s Trio for Flute, Viola and Harp, commissioned by Trio Verlaine, provides a wildly colorful and theatrical element, with a hymn-like, sacred slow movement and a fin-de-siècle yearning. With this album, the highly imaginative Trio Verlaine reflects back through the 20th century and beyond, while embracing the future with open arms. Read More