Howard Shore: A Palace Upon the Ruins

Howard Shore: A Palace Upon the Ruins


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Howard Shore: A Palace Upon the Ruins

The presence of such superstars as Lang Lang and the Kronos Quartet on this album may seem surprising until you consider that Howard Shore has penned scores for the highly successful Lord of the Rings films, as well as a host of other films (his association with director David Cronenberg has been a long one) and even an opera based on the film The Fly. He has the clout to call on major guest stars, and in fact, in this program of concert pieces he makes use of their talents. Shore's musical language here certainly bears the marks of his cinematic background, but the effect is different from that of film music because the pieces are shaped by a text (or in the case of the "Six Pieces," by an abstract form) rather than by onscreen action. His style is neo-Romantic, inflected in the direction of minimalism, with a characteristic way of stopping on a single chord to explore its sonorities rather than proceeding according to its harmonic implications. You can hear it deployed simply and distinctively in "Catania," written for a wedding in that locale, performed by Lang Lang, and entirely appropriate for future wedding ceremonies. Other highlights are the two choral works, one sung by a non-professional youth choir and the other by a more polished group, but each displaying a real knack for text-setting. "Peace," which sets texts by Eleanor Roosevelt, has an anthemic quality with a punch. The titular work is a song cycle evoking six different weather conditions; despite its thematic unity, it was assembled in steps, and it's not clear how the text, by Shore's wife, and written mostly for an American commission, happens to have been written in German. It is beautifully sung by mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano and accompanied by a small chamber ensemble. Concert music by top film composers is a small but fascinating field, and this entry is welcomed.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/04/2016
Label: Howe Records
UPC: 0899158002208
catalogNumber: 1020
Rank: 155030

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kronos Quartet and Trio Da Kali   String Quartet
Howard Shore   Conductor
RTÉ Concert Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Marya Martin   Flute
Clara Sanabras   Vocals
Lang Lang   Piano
Bridget Kibbey   Harp
Judith Clurman   Choir Master
Ian Rosenbaum   Percussion
Clive Greensmith   Cello
Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival   Performing Ensemble
21st Century Symphony Chorus   Choir, Chorus
Ludwig Wicki   Conductor,Choir Master
Gilles Vonsattel   Piano
Essential Voices USA   Choir, Chorus
Jennifer Johnson Cano   Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal)
Benjamin Hutto   Organ

Technical Credits

Kronos Quartet and Trio Da Kali   Producer
Alan Frey   Producer
Howard Shore   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
Robert Penn Warren   Text
Adam Abeshouse   Engineer
Johannes Wohlleben   Engineer
Richard McCullough   Engineer
Tobias Lehmann   Engineer
Laura Dean   Engineer
Geneviève Begou   Liner Note Translation
Christian Leins   Executive Producer
Elizabeth Cotnoir   Lyricist,Liner Notes
Eleanor Roosevelt   Text
Mark Huffmann   Engineer
Hilla Maria Heintz   Liner Note Translation
Joe Augustine   Executive Producer
Jeremy Cucco   Producer

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