BEAUTY IN AMERICANew Music for Flute and Orchestra
Robert Beaser, Steven Giammarino, Mark O' Connor, Gary Schocker
BEAUTY IN AMERICA ORCHESTRA
CARLA AULD, flute
ANA MARIA ROSADO, guitar
Eric Jacobsen, Conductor
"[Robert Beaser's] music...is accessible, listener-inviting, and often very beautiful and moving... Schocker’s classical-Impressionist piece is often enough interrupted by jazzy asides and little improvisational- sounding flute cadenzas to remind us that we’re not listening to... Butterworth’s Banks of Green Willow... Giammarino may be one of America ’s best-kept secrets, for other than this new release, I find nothing else of his recorded. Where are all of the works cited above? If [Giammarino's other works are] anything like Voyage to a New Land , they are worth hearing and really ought to be committed to disc... Guitarist Ana Maria Rosado...is a gifted guitarist... The star of this show, of course, is flutist Carla Auld. Her playing is beguiling. Smooth, balanced tone throughout the registers of her instrument, marvelous breath control, and pitch-perfect technical command distinguish all of her performances on this disc. The music, too, is of a style and vocabulary guaranteed to appeal to those who appreciate, as I do, contemporary music made for listening ease and pleasure. "
Jerry Dubins, Fanfare - May/June 2011
"With the music of Steven Giammarino, we enter not only another world premiere recording but a piece of music that is as creative as it is delightful. Written in a neoromantic style, Voyage to a New Land has so many features of interest in melodic construction, rhythm, orchestration, and sustaining one’s interest that listening to it truly is like entering a new land. Undulating strings contrast and blend with horns and winds in a veritable feast of color, and every turn of phrase is delightful, unexpected, or both. I could not wait to hear the second movement after the first, or the third after the second. The counterpoint near the end of the first movement reminds me of Mendelssohn, yet is handled in a way that Mendelssohn wouldn’t have thought of... the performers are consistently splendid. Carla Auld is a very fine flutist... a lyrical and sensitive player. Ana Maria Rosado...is a lively and sensitive accompanist... [the] blend and polish [of the Beauty in America Orchestra] speaks volumes for the conscien- tiousness of its approach. In addition, the sound quality is exactly the way I like it: both warm and crisp... a richly rewarding disc."
Lynn Rene Bayley, Fanfare - May/June 2011
On this journey, Carla begins with selections from Robert Beaser’s eight-song cycle Mountain Songs. The cycle is a celebration of the beautiful majesty of mountain ranges like the Appalachians, whose people are evoked through his arrangements of the traditional songs of the region. Passed down through the tradition of storytelling, each song in the cycle tells its own tale. Beaser brilliantly recasts these pieces, each with both authenticity and originality.
By its very title, Green Places - composed by flutist and pianist Gary Schocker - sends a national and international message by reminding the listener to take a fresh new look at our revered places of green. Imagery of rolling hills, gardens and country-sides are characterized in this classical, yet jazzy work.
Mark O’Connor’s The Fallen is the violinist-and-composer’s expression of compassion for the people who lost their lives during the Iraq war. As a concerned citizen and artist, O’Connor clearly depicts, in his music, the anguish of the brave soldiers of this war — heroes who offered their lives in combat for the honor and security of our country.
Commissioned by Carla Auld, Voyage to a New Land by Stephen Giammarino portrays the immigrant experience. The first movement, Maiden Voyage, describes the arrival in the United States when hopes and dreams of a new life dominate. In the middle movement, Providence, a longing for the familiar ultimately surfaces. These complex feelings are replaced in the third and final movement by themes representing productivity, imagination, pride in a new homeland and new-found freedom — all part of the essence of a newcomer’s American life.
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Robert Beaser has emerged as one of the most accomplished creative musicians of his generation. Since 1982, when The New York Times wrote he possessed a “lyrical gift comparable to that of the late Samuel Barber”, his music has won international acclaim for its balance between dramatic sweep and architectural clarity. He is often cited as an important figure among the “NewTonalists”—composers who are adopting new tonal grammar to their own uses—and through a wide range of media has established his own language as a synthesis of Western tradition and American vernacular. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Beaser studied literature, political philosophy and music at Yale College, graduating summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in 1976. He went on to earn his Master of Music, MMA and DMA degrees from the Yale School of Music. His principal composition teachers have included Jacob Druckman, Earle Brown, Toru Takemitsu and Goffredo Petrassi. Since 1993, he has been a Professor and Chairman of the Composition Department at Juilliard. Beaser’s compositions have earned him awards and honors.
Gary Schocker is a world-renowned flutist as well as an award-winning composer with more than 100 compositions in publication, primarily with Theodore Presser. He has published more pieces for the flute than any other living composer. His engagements have included performances with The New York Philharmonic under Michael Tilson Thomas, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the West German Sinfonia and an extended tour with I Solisti Italiani as well as solo recitals in New York, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, Washington and elsewhere. Mr. Schocker has collaborated with many artists on stage, including Pinkas Zukerman, Earl Wild, Jessye Norman, Julius Baker, James Levine, James Galway, Bruno Canino, Oscar Shumsky, Eduardo Fernandez, Jean-Philippe Collard and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He concertizes in duo with guitarist Jason Vieaux. Among the artists who have played his compositions, James Galway gave the American premiere of Green Places with the New Jersey Symphony. Schocker’s earlier association with that orchestra came when he replaced, for several concerts, an ailing Jean-Pierre Rampal on two hours’ notice. Winner of the 1985 Young Concert Artists Auditions, Schocker is also First Prize winner of the National Flute Association, the New York Flute Club and the East-West Artists Competitions. Internationally, he has toured and taught in Japan, Colombia, Panama, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Germany, France and Italy. He lives in New York City and Easton, Pennsylvania.
Mark O’Connor began his creative journey at the feet of the creator of the modern era of American fiddling, Benny Thomasson, and the French jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli. Now, at age 47, he has melded these influences into a new American classical music, and is perpetuating his vision of an American School of string playing. His first recording for Sony Classical, Appalachia Waltz, gained O’Connor worldwide recognition as a leading proponent of a new American musical idiom. The follow-up release, Appalachian Journey, received a Grammy Award in February, 2001. Now, O’Connor’s musical works are being embraced by a variety of artists, and his Fiddle Concerto has become the most-performed modern violin concerto today. Yo-Yo Ma has recorded the solo cello version of Appalachia Waltz and frequently performs it in recital. Renée Fleming has performed and recorded the vocal song arrangements he composed for her. The Eroica Trio regularly performs his Poets and Prophets Piano Trio No.1, which they commissioned in 2003. Sharon Isbin has recorded his duet for violin and guitar; the Twyla Tharp Dance Company and New York City Ballet are currently choreographing to Mr. O’Connor’s music; and the Baltimore Symphony has recently recorded his new Americana Symphony. Mr. O’Connor regularly presents residencies at many schools of music throughout the United States. He is also the founder and president of the internationally recognized Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp in Tennessee, Mark O’Connor String Camp in New York City, and the Mark O’Connor String Institute at UCLA. Mr. O’Connor resides in New York.
Stephen Giammarino has composed many works for piano, flute, organ, choir, orchestra and various chamber ensembles. His works include overtures, variation suites for orchestra, sonatas, concertinas, a concert mass and numerous sacred works for both vocal and instrumental ensembles. His works have been premiered by the Queens Community Orchestra, The Centre Symphony Orchestra in New York City, The Pompton Festival Orchestra, and many solo and chamber performers throughout the New York Metropolitan Area. Mr. Giammarino attended the Mannes School of Music where he majored in composition, studying with composer Peter Belino. Mr. Giammarino is currently the Organist and Director of Music at St. Clements Episcopal Church in Hawthorne, New Jersey. He is also the Music Director of the Pompton Festival Orchestra.
The House Carpenter
He’s Gone Away
THE FALLEN [World Premiere Recording]
VOYAGE TO A NEW LAND [World Premiere Recording]
The Pioneering Spirit