HAMPSON SISLER: THE COSMIC DIVIDEOrchestral Music
Orchestrated by Arkady Leytush
ARKADY LEYTUSH, conductor
NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OF UKRAINE
Valery Michailuk, Organ
Rev. Douglas Grandgeorge, Narrator
REVIEWSFEATURE ARTICLE IN THE ORGAN - SPRING 2015 [ISSUE NO. 371]
"There is much beauty and peace [in the Rondo]. Valery Michailuk is the excellent soloist...Grandgeorge delivers the text [of The Cosmic Divide] with ecclesiastical authority. [The Russian Song possesses] great delicacy, both in the arrangement and in the performance, together with a sense of restrained power...It is a great credit to MSR Classics that the recording itself copes in such an exemplary fashion with Sisler's demands."
Fanfare - July / August 2008
"...what results from the team-up [of Sisler and Leytush] is quite beautiful music and, in the case of the Four Impromptus a possible addition to the standard repertoire. It's a terrific piece of music based on hymn tunes and chorale themes. It has melodies Howard Hanson would die for. You should buy this just for this one work. The Cosmic Divide is a very listenable work...This man should be much better known than he is."
American Record Guide - March / April 2007
PROGRAM NOTESAmerican composer and organist Hampson Sisler has more than 100 works to his credit, including pieces for organ, chorus, concert band, chamber orchestra and symphony orchestra. Sisler, who at the age of seventeen was the youngest person ever to be awarded the American Guild of Organists' coveted Fellowship status, has received commissions for new works by Sam Wong of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra, Marlon Daniel of the Ensemble du Monde Chamber Orchestra in New York, Volodymyr Sirenko of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, and Ardaky Leytush, among others. Sisler’s works have been performed all over the world, including successful engagements in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Porto, Portugal; in Russia in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev and Odessa; and in Prague in Czechoslovakia. His choral cantata in three movements: Songs of the Sages, based on the Biblical and Apocryphal Books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Wisdom of Solomon, was premiered in New Jersey and in New York City to critical acclaim. A forthcoming work for large orchestra by Sisler, Nature’s Terrorists, depicts "terrorism in the animal, insect, fish, and botanical worlds." As an organ recitalist, Hampson Sisler has given performances in and around New York City, including engagements at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Beginning in 1945, Sisler served as Music Director at more than a dozen churches in the New York area, including the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church , Brooklyn and the Metropolitan-Duane United Methodist Church in Manhattan where he held the position for more than 16 years. He is currently Music Director of the Central Presbyterian Church in New York, where he leads a mixed choir and plays a four manual Moller pipe organ. Sisler is the former official organist of the Doctors’ Orchestral Society of New York. The majority of Hampson Sisler’s works are published by Laurendale Associates, Van Nuys, California, and World Library Publications, Schiller Park, Ilinois.
* * *
One of Russia’s most gifted conductors, Arkady Leytush has directed orchestras worldwide to great acclaim. A conductor in the "Grand Russian Tradition", Leytush leads dynamic performances that have made him an audience favorite. His artistry is known throughout the former Soviet Union, but it was not until 1994 that he gained recognition in the United States when on a week’s notice he made a stunning debut with the Detroit Symphony, replacing Yuri Temirkanov. Since 1980, Arkady Leytush has conducted such orchestras as the New Jersey Symphony, Ballet Theatre of Russia, New World Symphony, Detroit Symphony, New York Chamber Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Orquestra Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, Orquestra Nacional do Porto, Moscow Philharmonic and St. Petersburg Philharmonic. He is currently the Principal Guest Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Music Director of the Interface Committee of Remembrance and Music Director of the Nathan Rakhlin International Festival in the Ukraine. Arkady Leytush has created numerous transcriptions and orchestrations of music by great composers, including Albéniz, J.S. Bach, Borodin, Buxtehude, Chopin, Cui, Czerny, Glazunov, Liadov, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov and Shostakovich. Maestro Leytush received his training at the Glinka State Conservatory in choral conducting and at the Mussorgsky State Conservatory in orchestral conducting. He studied with Kirill Kondrashin and Gennady Rozhdestvensky, among many others, and is currently Professor of Conducting at Long Island Conservatory.
* * *
Rev. Douglas Grandgeorge, Pastor and Head of Staff at the Central Presbyterian Church in New York City, is well known for his skills as a speaker and narrator. Raised in Somonauk, Illinois, he received a degree in philosophy from Yale University, and studied theology at Yale, Andover Newton, General Seminary, New York Theological Seminary, and Mansfield College, Oxford.
PROGRAMHAMPSON SISLER (b.1932)
RONDO SYMPHONIQUE, FUGUE AND EPILOGUE
THE COSMIC DIVIDE
Inspired by passages from The Book of Revelation - Introduction & Fugue: "Sun, Moon and Crown of Twelve Stars" (Rev. 12:1); Fantasia: "Heads & Horns of the Dragon" (Rev. 12:3); Toccata: "The Archangel, the Prince" (Rev. 12:7-8); Passacaglia: "The Seven Blasphemies" (Rev. 13:1); Sonata Form: "Deceiving Wonders" (Rev. 13:11, 13-14); Rondo with Variations: "Hymn To the Lamb" (Rev. 14:1 & 3)
SERGEI RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
SISLER: TRANS-CULTURAL BONDING
Music for Orchestra and Chorus ARKADY LEYTUSH
SISLER: MILESTONES; SONNETS
Orchestral Suite & Song Cycle [2-CD]
HAMPSON SISLER: SONGS OF THE SAGES
Choral & Orchestral and Music
HAMPSON SISLER: CLASSICS, ECLECTIC