Remembering Mehocic and Passing Through Time
A couple of recent releases from Navona celebrate the music of Beth Mehocic and Rain Worthington, composers whose work has appeared on some of the label's multi-composer compilations.
Beth Mehocic was a Professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. She died this past January and Navona, which has released a variety of her works over the past few years, put together a new release to honor her music and life. The Collected Works of Beth Mehocic (Navona 6410) allows listeners to explore a variety of pieces from those previously released on the label from intimate chamber pieces to larger orchestral works. Highlights here include her Tango Conceto and the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra which are included with some smaller chamber pieces. Her orchestral work Left of Winter is another highlight as is the Altius Quartet's Picasso's Flight. Mehocic's music stood out well amongst the composer's her pieces shared previous space with and it is an excellent way to have all her music in one nice package that is being released both digitally and in a physical format. If you have picked up the various releases where her work was included, this release may be superfluous, but if not, it is worth seeking out.
Another composer also gets an album dedicated to their music from the label as well. Passages Through Time (Navona 6398) features eight pieces by Rain Worthington. The works here run the gamut from works for violin duet to cello solo. Those solo instruments then also figure prominently in some chamber orchestra selections as well. Worthington's music is equally evocative with titles that give some clues as to the often atmospheric music that one encounters on this release. The music can feel a bit episodic as the motivic ideas are often paired in a dialogue between a soloist and the chamber orchestra. Long, lyrical moments also add an emotional depth to the music in harmony that has modern touches. The works here tend to feel like variations on a particular compositional approach that start in similar places and then diverge outward. This allows for an often deep, and occasionally somber musical quality with flashes of light and hope.