REQUIEM: FOR THE LIVING
Arthur Gottschalk | St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Chamber Choir; Vladimir Lande, conductor
From Verdi and Mozart to Stravinsky and Britten, the requiem has been a musical tradition used by many composers to remind us of life's indeterminacy. American composer Arthur Gottschalk's momentous masterwork, REQUIEM: FOR THE LIVING, an 8-movement, 45 minute work for full orchestra, chorus, and four soloists, including tenor Alberto Mizrahi and GRAMMY-nominated soprano Lauren Snouffer, resigns the fear of uncertainty by celebrating the rich narrative of Western art and culture.
Gottschalk commemorates Western music, quoting many genres from its history, from Renaissance madrigals and Classical sonatas to jazz, pop, and blues. Alongside some of the traditional Requiem Mass texts, the composer sets words by influential philosophers, spiritual leaders, and authors, from Buddha and Mohammad to George Eliot and Duke Ellington. By honoring Western and Eastern thought, innovation, and art, Gottschalk creates a holistic and humanistic work that attempts to embrace people and beliefs from almost all parts of the world. Read More
Peter Vukmirovic Stevens | Mara Gearman
Capturing the viola’s rich and haunting quality, composer Peter Vukmirovic Stevens’ second release on Navona Records, FERAL ICONS, is a suite of six works for solo viola performed by the extraordinary violist Mara Gearman of Seattle Symphony. The album embodies the raw and expressive energy of Stevens’ impassioned compositional style, inviting the listener on an emotional narrative.
Through primal driving tempos and captivating melodic phrases, the title track sets the scene for a musical journey, expertly emphasizing the viola’s lower register. Gearman continues through rich and meditative harmonies found in Sovereign, I, and lingers in a place of refuge created by the loving single melodic line in Sanctuary. Ex Nihilo derives its title from the Latin phrase meaning “to create out of nothing.” Stevens expresses this theme by juxtaposing phrases of aggressive double-stops and rich, expressive harmonies, until arriving at a fervent conclusion. Read More
Craig Madden Morris
From the passion of a new romance to the devotion and deep affection of parents for their children, love can take many forms. On his Ravello Records release CIRCLE OF LOVE AND OTHER CHORAL OFFERINGS, composer Craig Madden Morris presents a song cycle for chorus and piano set to traditional texts from The Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, The Book of Ruth, Malachi, and The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, as well as original verse by the composer. This CIRCLE OF LOVE portrays the blossoming and growth of love, from the initial passion to the poignancy of later years.
Works such as Arise My Love, The Rubaiyat, and How Sweet My Love are a testament to the intimacy and ardor of falling in love, often comparing the beloved to the beauty of nature. Wherever You Go and The Touch of Memory depict the devotion of beloved companions, their lives and family connected by an unbreakable bond. Two Are Better Than One speaks of the later years of love, when the tenderness and experience of a shared life soften the passage of time and the tribulations of aging. Read More
On a starry night, we may find ourselves gazing up and contemplating our own place among the stars and galaxies that reside an unfathomable distance away. On his debut Ravello Records release, SELECTED GALAXIES, composer Samuel Pellman immerses listeners on a dreamy journey deep into the encompassing and mysterious universe in which we live. Throughout the album, the composer depicts the ominous and impressive beauty of space through the use of electronic sound generated by the Kyma System, a symbolic sound design program.
The first three works, Peculiar Galaxies, Spiral Galaxies, and Elliptical Galaxies capture a free floating experience within the intergalactic unknown through ethereal passages and moments of atmospheric drones. The changing and flowing patterns of the music are filled with chimes and delays, suggesting a sci-fi exploration of the cosmic void. The final piece, Selected Cosmos, replicates the structure of DNA through a layer of filtered two-tone music, overlapping in a way to propose that each direction may extend to infinity. Read More