Lewis Spratlan: Invasion - Music and Art for Ukraine

Lewis Spratlan: Invasion - Music and Art for Ukraine

by Nadia Shpachenko
Lewis Spratlan: Invasion - Music and Art for Ukraine

Lewis Spratlan: Invasion - Music and Art for Ukraine

by Nadia Shpachenko


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Only one work by Lewis Spratlan on this release by pianist Nadia Shpachenko directly touches on the Russian invasion of Ukraine: Invasion, for piano, saxophone, horn, trombone, percussion, and mandolin, was written in 2022, but that is not nearly the end of the album's relevance to the topic. For one thing, Shpachenko commissioned Ukrainian artists to respond to Spratlan's music, and some of the resulting works reproduced in the booklet (the physical CD release is highly recommended here) grow from the wartime situation. For another, Shpachenko and Spratlan have worked together in the past, and she had an idea of what to expect. The piece titled Invasion is not a wartime dirge but a mix of elements overturned by the war, "a counterpoint of moods -- between ominous undercurrents, folkloric touchstones, and a modernist 'authorial' commentary," in the words of annotator Peter Yates. This work is echoed in the Six Rags for solo piano, which are not classical piano rags but juxtapose ragtime rhythms with modernist passages in various ways, and in the final Wonderer for solo piano, a work likewise depicting a journey through a trauma-strewn landscape. The artists' "reflections" included suggest other resonances the program may have in time of war. This is certainly one of the first releases to reflect the war in Ukraine; it may go down ultimately as one of the richest and best, and it serves also as a reference for the remarkable late-life creativity of Spratlan, in his ninth decade when he composed Invasion. ~ James Manheim

Product Details

Release Date: 09/23/2022
Label: Reference Recordings
UPC: 0030911174927
Rank: 229210


  1. Invasion for piano, saxophone, horn, trombone, percussion, & mandolin
  2. Piano Suite No. 1 for solo piano~Capriccio
  3. Piano Suite No. 1 for solo piano~Dirge
  4. Piano Suite No. 1 for solo piano~Pastorale
  5. Six Rags for solo piano~Goose Eye Mountain Rag
  6. Six Rags for solo piano~Speck Pond Rag
  7. Six Rags for solo piano~Mahoosuc Notch Rag
  8. Six Rags for solo piano~Mount Greylock Rag
  9. Six Rags for solo piano~Pelham Lake Rag
  10. Six Rags for solo piano~Chesterfield Gorge Rag
  11. Two Sonatas for solo piano~Presto
  12. Two Sonatas for solo piano~Gentle
  13. Wonderer for solo piano

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nadia Shpachenko   Primary Artist,Piano
Phillip Keen   Trombone
Joti Rockwell   Mandolin
Yuri Inoo   Percussion
Aija Mattson   Horn
Anthony Parnther   Conductor
Pat Posey   Saxophone

Technical Credits

Lewis Spratlan   Composer,Producer
Christopher Briscoe   Photography
Sean Longstreet   Photography
Sean Royce Martin   Mixing Engineer,Mastering Engineer
Alice Johnston   Photography
Nadia Shpachenko   Liner Notes
Joseph Meyer   Photography
Peter Yates   Liner Notes
Tom Zasadzinski   Photography
JoAnn Nunes   Art Direction
Alex Huerta   Session Assistant
Victoria Innocenzi   Photography
Adrian Carcione   Piano Technician
Aza Nizi Maza   Visual Arts
Gabriel Tanguay Ortega   Photography
Jeff Hing   Photography
Kati Prusenko   Liner Notes,Photography,Visual Arts
Khrystyna Shevtsiv   Photography
Konstantin Golovchinsky   Photography
Lesia Babliak   Liner Notes,Visual Arts,Cover Painting
Maria Marakhovskaya   Artwork
Max Zubenko   Artwork
Maxx Iwamasa   Assistant Engineer
Mykola Kolomiyets   Art Direction
Olena Papka   Liner Notes,Visual Arts
Patrick Dillon Curry   Engineer
Yoni Fogelman   Session Assistant
Yurii Nagulko   Artwork,Liner Notes,Photography,Visual Arts
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