CHAMBER MUSIC of KERRY TURNERFor Strings, Woodwind Quintet, Piano & Horns
ROTTERDAM PHILHARMONIC CHAMBER PLAYERS
World Premiere Recordings
REVIEWS"...those who dare to try the new will awaken to the delights of Kerry Turner's music...finely crafted short structures and delicious sonorities...[The Berceuse] is a delightful, well crafted piece...The Horn Sonata is given a supremely assured performance...The virtuosity of all four parts [in the Quartet] is breathtaking (raid fire articulation is astonishingly clean), as are the stunningly accurate rhythmic unisons...[The Rhapsody] is the finest work on the disc...Wide-ranging in its emotional world...A fascinating disc. Performance standard is uniformly high...Recording standards match them."
Fanfare - September / October 2007
"The readings by members of the Rotterdam Philharmonic are energetic and highly skilled."
American Record Guide - September / October 2007
"Turner's work provides a wonderful collage of colors..."
The Horn Call - May 2007
PROGRAM NOTESOver the past 10 years, several CD recordings of the chamber works of Kerry Turner have been released. The programs for these projects had been more or less comprised of works composed around the same periods of time.
His prodigious output over the past two decades makes it somewhat simple, generally speaking, to categorize Mr. Turner’s works into several different styles. The works from the late nineteen-eighties combine an interesting “Shostokovitch-like” sound to Turner’s already developing “Western-American” style. The Sonata for Horn and Strings on this album provides a very good example of this. As Kerry Turner performed increasingly frequently and further abroad with the renowned American Horn Quartet, it became clear to him that audiences around the world desired to hear more of the “Western-American” sound. It is, after all, an intrinsic and colorful style, unique to the United States. The development of this particular sound is largely due, of course, to the soundtracks of the great American Western films seen around the world. The Quartet Number 3 on this CD is quite possibly the best example of Turner’s compositional style during this period in the mid-nineties.
As the millennium approached, and Kerry began to look toward his 40th birthday, he started to seek a deeper level at which to express himself. A keen interest in counterpoint and a deep insight into the works of Arnold Schoenberg exuded a strong influence on his compositional technique and style. Although two works on this CD, "Quarter-After-Four" and "Rhapsody for Nine Instruments" are perhaps not the best examples of the music from this particular period of Turner’s opus, the influences of counterpoint and Schoenberg are nevertheless evident.
There has been, however, one element in Turner’s works that has prevailed throughout all his musical development periods: his fascination with history and historical events. So it is not surprising to find on this album the Berceuse for the Mary Rose, commissioned by the woodwind quintet Cinq Beaufort, whose clarinetist Maarten Hudig was the organizer of this recording project.
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Kerry Turner, a native of San Antonio, Texas, has been writing music since he was ten years old. At the age of 11, he won the San Antonio Music Society Composition Competition and six years later was awarded Baylor University’s first prize at its composition contest with a large scholarship to that institution. Composition however was not Kerry’s passion at this time. He was also an accomplished horn player and chose to concentrate his studies there instead. He transferred to the Manhattan School of Music in New York in 1980 where he began his intensive horn studies. After completing graduation, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study with the world-renowned horn soloist, Hermann Baumann, who was teaching at the Stuttgart College of Performing Arts in Germany.
In 1985, Kerry Turner joined the American Horn Quartet. It was then that he decided to once again put pen to paper and compose for this ensemble. The horn quartet repertoire at that time was rather small and unchallenging to modern players. With this in mind, Kerry composed his Quartet Nr. 1, which subsequently won first prize in the International Horn Society’s composition contest. Other big hits for horn quartet followed, such as the thrilling tone-poem, The Casbah of Tetouan, his second quartet subtitled “Americana” and then the Quartet Nr. 3, which once again was awarded a prize in the International Horn Society composition contest in 1996. Mr. Turner began by this time to receive commissions to compose for the horn in different chamber ensemble combinations. His dramatic Six Lives of Jack McBride (horn, violin, piano and tenor) was a commission by Mr. Charles Putnam and the IHS Meir Rimon Foundation. Following that, the Freden International Music Festival in Germany commissioned him to compose a brass quintet (Ricochet), which has since become one of Mr. Turner’s most successful works. He has also been commissioned by the U.S. Air Force “Heritage of America” band (Postcards from Lucca), the Alexander Horn Ensemble Japan (Ghosts of Dublin), the Brass Ensemble of the Symphony Orchestra of Lyon (The Heros), and many more established ensembles.
Mr. Turner has been a guest lecturer in composition at several notable institutions of music, such as the Royal Academy of Oslo, the Academy of Fine Arts in Hong Kong, the Nero House of Music in Osaka, Japan, West Virginia State University and the Winterthur Hochschule für Musik in Switzerland.
His works have been heard in major concert halls and colleges of music around the globe and have been recorded extensively not only by the American Horn Quartet, but by reputable soloists and chamber musicians worldwide. The music of Kerry Turner, which contains elements of folk music from the British Isles, and an inherent Mexican influence combined with his own western American style, has been performed by chamber ensembles from the New York Philharmonic, The Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic.
Berceuse for the Mary Rose for Woodwind Quintet
Quarter-After-Four for violin, horn and piano
Sonata for Horn and Strings
Quartet No.3 for Horn Quartet
Rhapsody for Nine Instruments (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello and double bass)