Joseph Schwantner: Chasing Light...; Morning's Embrace; Percussion Concerto

Joseph Schwantner: Chasing Light...; Morning's Embrace; Percussion Concerto

4.5 2
by Giancarlo Guerrero
     
 

The Ford Made in America consortium is made up of orchestras from all 50 states that collectively commission and perform new works, giving the pieces a kind of extensive exposure almost unheard of for contemporary orchestral music. The first commission, for Joan Tower's "Made in America," was a huge success, receiving over 80 performances,See more details below

Overview

The Ford Made in America consortium is made up of orchestras from all 50 states that collectively commission and perform new works, giving the pieces a kind of extensive exposure almost unheard of for contemporary orchestral music. The first commission, for Joan Tower's "Made in America," was a huge success, receiving over 80 performances, and the CD of the performance with the Nashville Symphony won three Grammys, so the consortium is continuing its winning formula. The second commission went to Pulitzer Prize-winning Joseph Schwantner (born 1939), a masterful and inventive orchestrator with a distinctive, recognizable style, whose work makes full use of contemporary techniques in orchestral and chamber pieces that appeal to broad audiences. The resulting work, "Chasing Light…," written in 2008, is recorded here by Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony along with the composer's 1994 "Concerto for percussion and orchestra" and "Morning's Embrace" from 2005. The three works demonstrate a character that was less evident in Schwantner's aesthetic in his earlier works: a brawny extroversion reminiscent of Bernstein's jazzy rhythmic energy. It's a more populist sound that's certainly appropriate for a work like "Chasing Light…," which, because of its commissioning situation, has an unstated but undeniable purpose of giving expression to a specifically American vitality. The piece is still clearly Schwantner's own, with the composer's characteristic rhythmic displacements and moments of ravishing gossamer delicacy for which he is especially known, heard clearly in the lovely second movement. The "Percussion Concerto" is also a terrific piece that dazzles with the freshness of its inventiveness and the expansiveness and originality of its gorgeous timbral palette. This is a memorable work that has already had a distinguished performance history and seems destined for a secure place in the repertoire of percussion concertos. Christopher Lamb, for whom it was written, plays with enormous energy. The Nashville Symphony comes across as a world-class orchestra in its deft handling of these virtuosic scores and the fullness and polish of its sound. Naxos' sound is good -- clean, clear, and detailed -- but not great; these are pieces that require a brilliance and presence that the engineering doesn't quite achieve. Highly recommended for fans of new orchestral music and of percussion.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/28/2011
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0636943967829
catalogNumber:
8559678
Rank:
382271

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Concerto for percussion & orchestra  - Joseph Schwantner  - Christopher Lamb  -  Nashville Symphony  - Giancarlo Guerrero

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