Orchestral Masters Vol. 2
Edward Smaldone-The Beauty of Innuendo The Beauty of Innuendo was composed in 2013 at the invitation of conductor Daijiro Ukon and was first performed by him and the Oratorio Sinfonica Japan in Tokyo in March 2013. The title comes from Thirteen Way of Looking at a Blackbird, by Wallace Stevens. This line comes from the fifth stanza of the poem: "I do not know which to prefer,/the beauty of inflections/or the beauty of innuendoes,/The blackbird whistling/or just after." The line indicates the dilemma of the choice between the beauty of the inflections of the blackbird's whistling (i.e. - the beauty of a thing we experience directly), and the beauty of the innuendo of the memory of it (i.e. - the beauty of something that is absent). My composition therefore explores the beauty found in the memory of something that is not experienced directly. Peter Dayton-From Sombre Lands I had originally conceived From Sombre Lands (2013) as a work for solo piano. It was requested by a dear friend and fellow composer for a recital, which would connect Rachmaninoff's Etude Tableau in D Minor Op. 33, No. 4 and Chopin's Nocturne in B Major Op. 62, No. 1 on her program. I turned to the work of British semi-abstract landscape artist John Hitchens for inspiration, as works inspired by or responding to pieces of visual art have figured largely in my creative impetus, and I had already composed a piece based on the paintings of John's father, Ivon Hitchens, himself a well-respected modern landscape artist. While the painting was integral in beginning the piano composition, upon completion it seemed that the work had taken a different direction. However, when I orchestrated From Sombre Lands, I felt I recovered some of my original intentions, the use of varied timbres better matching Hitchen's own tactile, almost textile, textural variety and choice of warm colors than the piano's timbral limitations. From Sombre Lands is dedicated to Shelby Flowers and to Matthieu Cognet, who near-simultaneously performed this work at Vanderbilt University and as part of (SUNY) Stony Brook University's 2013 Piano Project respectively. The piano version was awarded first prize in the national division and fourth prize in the international division of the Golden Key Music Festival Piano Composition Competition. The recording is dedicated to John Hitchens, with whom I am privileged to have kept up a lively correspondence. Symon Clarke-Three Orbits The piece is in three movements and each relates to one of Saturn's many moons: Iapetus, Hyperion and Tethys. Each movement follows the form of an arch that begins and ends in a similar place, rather like the journey of a single orbit. The three movements together also form an arch and the whole piece completes a circle that ends where it began. All the movements are related to each other by taking their thematic and harmonic material from the same source as they all revolve around the larger planet Saturn. The main themes of the piece are finally distilled and heard as instrumental solos towards the end of the final movement (Tethys). Hyperion is a unique moon in the solar system in that it tumbles around unpredictably on it's own axis as it orbits Saturn-this is reflected in the somewhat turbulent music of the middle movement. Beyond that, the music does not relate to the orbits of the moons but rather to the characteristics of the Greek gods after which they are named. Iapetus the god of mortality and craftsmanship; Hyperion the god of watchfulness, wisdom and light and Tethys the goddess of water, with numerous daughters called the Oceanids. Youngwoo Yoo-Honbul (Re-creation from above) The inspiration for my orchestral work Honbul (Re-creation from above) comes from the Buddhist concept of reincarnation. Traditionally, it is believed that when a person takes his final breath, a blue light escapes from his body and flies into the sky, searching the world for a newborn child. In Korea, the name for this blue light, what we consider to be the "fire of the soul," is honbul. My piece begins with the death of a human being, captured within a pronounced glissando in the violins and violas. This is followed by the winds blowing air through their instruments in both sustained breaths and through stagger breathing, accompanied by the upper strings continuing to glissando, representing the human's final breaths and the honbul escaping from it's dying corporeal vessel. It then soars up into the atmosphere, searching for a new life to inhabit. The honbul soon finds itself in the presence of countless other soul fires, swirling about each other in a chaotic cloud of luminescence. They scour the vicinity for every kind of new life, finding a newborn creature that would be a good fit for them. Eventually, each honbul will find it's match, and as they reach the threshold of the infant creature's mouth, they bury themselves deep within, all of this heralded by the easing of the musical tension and the return of the breathy, nebulous material of the work's opening, but this time accompanied by a glockenspiel and xylophone, symbolizing the innocence of the newborn baby. Zhiyi Wang-The Aroma of Exotic The bouquet of the 'exotic' is always perceived in contrast to the 'local non-exotic', and thus the perception of 'exotic' colors by a 'non-exotic' subject seamlessly combines both color schemes. The eastern pentatonic nature of The Aroma of Exotic shifts colors implicitly and further fuses with western elements, creating a diversified montage reminiscent of our multicultural world. The Aroma of Exotic could thus either be the oriental cultural experience of a westerner or equally be the occidental interpretation by an easterner. The construction and connection of harmony are the signatures of my music. Furthermore, my unique understanding as a Chinese musician allows me to explore pentatonic elements with a contemporary approach. Inspired by my trip to Prague and Paris, this piece creates a layout of exotic characters by balancing both colors of seven-tone and five-tone scales, where the two essences fuse into one organic presentation; analogous to an Impressionist painting with contextual enrichment from Asian elements. In spite of their brevity, the materials are compressed into a musical montage, consisting of micro-appearances that shift quickly from one to another new 'scent,' as an implication of the multiple aromas. The diversity of harmonic colors brings Aroma into life by shifting colors between groups of woodwinds, brass, percussion and strings. The piece intends to create "a Perfume to the Ear;" while the melodic motives transform into delicate harmonies, the multi-layer harmonies reflect The Aroma of Exotic. The piece was awarded the first prize in 2014 Senzoku Gakuen International Composition Competition. Scott McIntyre-Particles of Time The title of the piece suggests moments in time in the life of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The year 1932 saw the creation of the ABC as Australia's premiere broadcast and performance institution. Studio orchestras were formed in both Sydney and Melbourne and in 1934 the orchestra grew to a core complement of 24 players with government funding in 1936 boosting the ensembles to 45 players each. These ensembles formed the basis for the Sydney Symphony and Melbourne Symphony orchestras we have today. This piece explores the growth of the ensemble over it's early development. After an initial tutti introduction a complement of seventeen players introduces the first of three ensemble sections. A brief tutti punctuation ushers in the next growth of the orchestra, twenty-four players. An extended tutti outburst, reminiscent of the opening, exhausts itself giving way to the forty-five piece ensemble. This elegy slowly builds in stature but is interrupted by another brief tutti. The coda builds to a tutti from the depths of the double bassoon and basses, culminating in the full sonority of an orchestra of the dimensions of the Sydney Symphony that is heard today. Embedded into the musical language of the piece are the names of three important conductors; Heinze, Goossens and Challender. It was Bernard Heinze's drive and determination that each Australian city housed it's own professional orchestra. His School Concerts in the late 1920s helped cement his vision for the establishment of the ABC orchestras in Australia. The music for Heinze has been paired with the early seventeen-piece ensemble, it's long melody casting it's tendrils out over the Australian cultural landscape. Music representing Eugene Goossens, the orchestras first Chief Conductor, is played by a twenty-four piece ensemble. A forty-five piece ensemble takes up Stuart Challender's elegy. A furtive woodwind sixteenth note figure and rich strings are accompanied by Mahlerian suggestions in the horns and harp. Kenneth Froelich-SYMPHONY No. 1: Dream Dialogs My Symphony No. 1 is inspired by the innate property of music to create a dialog on a completely abstract level. The first movement of the Symphony, Thought in Process, is inspired by patterns of thought that mimic my own personal inner-dialog. The movement begins with a collection of incomplete motives. Over the course of the movement, a single motive emerges as a principal idea. This idea becomes an obsession, a musical thought that refuses to yield regardless of the presence of other ideas. Spinning Yarns, the second movement, is inspired by the jazz concept of "trading fours" where the drummer performs a series of solos that alternate with solos by the rest of the ensemble. The movement's form is divided up into three large sections, which can be further divided into thirteen separate "strands." Each of these strands, with the exception of the middle seventh one, is presented as a call and response utilizing different sections of the orchestra. The third movement, At a Loss for Words, is the emotional core of the symphony. The form of the movement loosely mirrors a conversation between two unidentified individuals. This conversation builds organically, slowly introducing musical material in a hesitating manner, and intensifying as "details of the dialog" emerge through thematic development. The conversation builds until one voice explodes through a frantic, uncontrolled trombone solo. This is followed by a surprisingly peaceful and introverted song incorporating both voices. This song concludes the movement, with an ever-so-brief interruption from the first movement. Bernard Hughes-Anaphora Anaphora takes it's title from a Greek rhetorical device. 'Anaphora' means the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of a series of phrases; notable examples include Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech, or Winston Churchill's 'we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds'. The piece begins with five notes on a solo oboe - A, E, C#, F# and G - which return, sometimes straightforwardly and sometimes heavily disguised, at the beginning of each section of music. The music moves through a number of sections in it's fourteen minute duration, some still and slightly mysterious, others joyously extrovert, reaching a climax over a ground-bass made from the opening five notes in inversion, before dying away to end quietly. Anaphora was written for the Woking Symphony Orchestra as part of Making Music's Adopt-a-Composer programme, and premiered by them in June 2012. The London premiere was given by Sinfonia Tamesa in October 2012. Mauro Farrugia-Capriccio Mediterraneo Capriccio Mediterraneo is a work that is modern yet bright, folk-like and elegant. The music seeks to blend themes that represent the Mediterranean culture with both Western music traditions as well as those that come from Africa and the eastern parts of the Mediterranean in a work that is light, colorful, infectious and fun. The piece is idiomatically scored and it's three themes have been tailored to portray the Upper, Middle and Lower Mediterranean-distinctive approaches that promote the unity that exists in their diversity. An important aspect of the work is a sense of longing and feeling for one's own native identity suggested through particular 'sound-moods.' Capriccio Mediterraneo is a composition that strives to excel in portraying a soundscape determined by moods, pre-compositional thought and logical well-articulated construction. The three themes used had been all inspired by various aspects of the Mediterranean cultures such as the sounds of the east, the harmonies of the west, the percussive sounds of Northern Africa and the highly embellished melodies coming from the Iberian region. Roydon Tse-Remembrances Commissioned in 2008 by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Remembrances was written as part of the ESO's young composers' project. The premiere was given by the ESO in September 2008 by conductor Robert Bernhardt, and was subsequently chosen to be performed by the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra in 2012 under Shalom Bard. A piece in memory of friends and family in Hong Kong and the UK, Remembrances is a short prelude for orchestra written shortly after immigrating to Canada from Hong Kong. During the composition of Remembrances, I was listening continuously to the music of Ravel and Stravinsky, in particular Suite No. 2 from Daphnis et Chloe and the Firebird. Remembrances begins with a melody for the English horn, which is then passed from the winds, to the strings, and then to the French horns. There are moments of turmoil, among otherwise lyrical and pastoral sounds as I attempt to capture the feelings of loss as I left familiar homelands to start a new chapter in life. Remembrances is dedicated to my parents Kenway and Vickie, for their assistance in making this recording possible, and for all their support and advice throughout my career in music. Thanks also to composer John Estacio, who discovered my potential and mentored me during the composition of Remembrances. Paul Siskind-Clarion Call The Crane Symphony Orchestra, the resident orchestra of the college where I teach, commissioned Clarion Call for it's fall 2008 tour. Conductor Christopher Lanz asked for a short piece that would work well as a concert opener (i.e. attention-grabbing), but which would be more substantial than just a fanfare. The main theme is indeed an angular fanfare, which reappears in various guises throughout the piece to provide a sense of unity. Two additional themes are juxtaposed against the main theme, for variety and contrast. The second theme is more lyrical in nature, whereas the third theme is more animated and rhythmic. The harmonic language of the piece is mostly based on alternation between the two whole-tone collections, although the third theme suddenly introduces octatonic scales for variety.