Taking a moment to catch up from the past month of recent film music releases now and mostly hitting the highlights. BuySoundtrax.com has released a host of downloadable scores through their Dragon's Domain label. Often these are small batch releases with 500 pressings for those wanting a physical unit. Earlier, I did a fuller overview of their Ernest Gold Collection which is a must have for any fan of classic film music. It gives a great overview of some of his earliest w
In their new release on Navona Records (Navona 6421) the Southern California-based group Choral Arts Initiative invites listeners on a modern musical trek on the Pacific Coast Trail. From Wilderness is a new work by one of the ensemble's own, Jeffrey Derus. The piece is musical meditation on a personal journey from Campo, California, to Manning Park, British Columbia, along the Pacific Coast Trail. It is set across over two dozen snapshots. The piece opens with centering c
Telemann: 12 Fantasias for Solo Violin, TWV 40-14-25
Tomas Cotik, violin.
Total Time: 62:48
Performance: ****/**** A couple years ago, violinist Tomas Cotik gave us moving interpretations of Bach’s solo sonatas and partitas in an impressive two-disc set from Centaur. His period performance approach provided a fresh look at some of these important works. His informed and well-researched approach creates an aural window into the perio
Margaret Brouwer: Reactions; Songs & Chamber Music
Sarah Beaty, mezzo-soprano. Brian Skoog, tenor.
Mari Sato, violin, narrator.
Elisha Nelson, viola. Shuai Wang, piano.
Total Time: 56:00
Performance: ****/**** It has been a few years since the last release of chamber music from American composer Margaret Brouwer (b. 1940). She was most recently was head of composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where most of these perfo
The first musical I ever composed was for Brian Vinero's The Jurgens File". I began work on this project in the Spring of 2012. I never thought this early collaboration would go on to create some of my finest dramatic work and result in (to date) 4 other musical theater projects. The Jurgens File is based on actual events that occurred in Minnesota. Strangely, at the time we were living in White Bear Lake and the home where much of this story took place was several blocks
This latest release of Peter Greve’s music is a follow up to a collection form 2021 (Navona 6257). As with that release, Oerbos & Other Works (Navona 6381) provides listeners with a collection of Greve’s work in different genres across both orchestral and chamber music. Six pieces paint a broad swath of exploration of his style here. The album is bookened by two works for orchestra. It takes its title from the opening brief symphonic poem which is cast across four sections.
Elaine Greenfield, piano.
Disc One: Total Time: 65:08
Disc Two: Total: 63:13
Performance: ****/**** Pianists tend to have their preferences for the make of instrument that they like to perform on and for the average person the difference between a Steinway and a Yamaha might be rather negligible, but they are indeed easy to discern. Some of this has to also do with the response of the keys, how the pedal devices react,
Frederic Hand, guitar. Lesley Hand, vocalist.
Total Time: 51:54
Performance: ****/**** Guitarist Fredric Hand gained international attention when he performed on the soundtrack for Kramer vs. Kramer. It is hard to believe that some 30 years has passed since this reviewer first experienced Frederic Hand’s Jazzantiqua album and later Heart’s Song. A student of Julian Bream, Hand carried on that tradition of exploring earlie
Marti Epstein: Nebraska Impromptu
Rane Moore, clarinet.
Winsor Music Ensemble:
Sarah Brady, flute. Gabriela Diaz, violin. Donald Berman, piano.
Mark Berger, cello. Rafael Popper-Kelzer, cello.
Peggy Pearson, oboe.
John McDonald, piano.
New Focus Recordings FCR 324
Total Time: 75:46
Performance: ****/**** Clarinetist Rane Moore is featured in five modern works by Boston-based composer Marti Epstein. She teaches composition at the Berklee Colle
The first couple weeks of April are shaping up to be quite busy ones for concerts for me. What a far cry from where life was a year ago! I was not quite sure what life in New England would bring for performance opportunities with all the many well-trained musicians abounding throughout the region. Somehow, I have now found myself playing with four different orchestras! First up, today, Friday, April 8, I will be in Providence joining the Rhode Island College Orchestra for