FROM SHADOW TO LIGHTMusic for Winds From Poland
Tadeusz Baird, Janina Garścia, Witold Lutosławski, Antoni Szałowski, Władysław Walentynowicz, Wawrzyniec żuławski
Bethany Gonella, flute
Anastasiya Nyzkodu, clarinet
Stuart Sutter, oboe
Marta Troicki, bassoon
"the stylistic unity, and generally high quality, of these works suggests a continuity in the nation’s musical culture... Performances are spirited and vibrant, with good balance between the players, but also with the independence of line that woodwind chamber music thrives on... A fascinating release."
Gavin Dixon, Fanfare [July/August 2020]
"The Sonora Winds offer pleasant timbres, secure technique, and good balance and blend; and the group dives headfirst into the difficult scores with a hearty collective sound that comes across as bigger than the number of personnel on stage... Much of the music seems to favor quirky and crunchy dissonance over scenic and resonant consonance; but the ensemble allows each composer to speak and lets the listener decide. Modernists will appreciate the bizarre Lutoslawski Trio; neo-classicists will find the Szalowski Trio a delightful gem of its age; and traditionalists will fall in love with the beautiful Zulawski Aria con Variazioni."
Hanudel, American Record Guide [May/June 2020]
"The members of Sonora Winds do a top-flight job with all the music on the CD, and hearing them explore this largely unfamiliar repertoire is a major pleasure of the recording... people who are themselves wind players will find a great deal of interest in this rediscovery of mostly undiscovered 20th-century Polish music."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [February 2020]
“The CD includes a lively, engaging piece from each of the composers... Their music comes alive through the skillful, talented soulful playing… As a tribute to both the composers and the musicians, the state of the art MSR recording brings the clear, resonate sounds of theinstruments to the ears of the listener as if the works were being performed live. Through their recording, the musicians have created a well-deserved audience for these composers of merit who might otherwise have lapsed into societal neglect and forgetfulness as part of the current day emphasis on living now and disregarding the past."
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [January 2020]
"Six 20th Century Polish Composers contribute well-crafted and often inspired wind music as the talented and disciplined Sonora Winds step forward for the album From Darkness to Light... We are treated to some fine Lutoslawski and five compositions by lesser known but worthy 20th Century Polish voices... Perhaps the Lutoslawski is a tad more Modern than the rest, and it is excellent listening, but throughout there is no drop off in quality. There is in fact a thoughtful articulateness in a highly engaging Neo-Classical mode for the whole of the music. And kudos to the Sonora Winds for a uniformly detailed and expressive sonance from first to last. It should be a boon to all who follow Polish Modernists and wind chamber music. The music has a down-to-earth accessibility that should have general appeal as well. Nicely done! Sonora is a definite phenomena and the repertoire is a most pleasant surprise"
Gapplegate Review [January 2020]
"Taken as a whole, all the selections are upbeat in their respective rhetorical stances. This is hardly a surprise since, for the most part, chamber music for winds maintains a sunny disposition. In addition there is enough stylistic variety for one to distinguish one unfamiliar composer from another. As a result the album makes for appealing listening"
Stephen W. Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio [January 2020]
PROGRAM NOTESSONORA WINDS was formed in 2016 with the goal of bringing accessible, lesser-known music to audiences through transformative performance experiences. As part of that mission, the members of Sonora – of diverse musical backgrounds and passionate about music-making – offer this album of colorful works for flute, clarinet, oboe and bassoon by six 20th-century Polish composers.
Bethany Gonella is a flutist, piccolo player and baroque flutist, based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Gonella performs frequently with the Minnesota Orchestra and Minnesota Opera Orchestra, and also in the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, La Crosse Symphony Orchestra and Winona Symphony Orchestra. In 2016, she received a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council to acquire a baroque traverso flute, pursue further study of baroque performance practice and give two recitals on the instrument. Gonella teaches both privately and as adjunct flute professor at the University of St. Thomas; she previously taught for five years at Winona State University. Gonella holds degrees in flute performance from University of Minnesota, Northwestern University and the University of Southern California.
Clarinetist Anastasiya Nyzkodub is a sought after orchestral performer, and has performed with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra, La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Minnesota Fringe Opera, among others. Nyzkodub has also performed Russian solo and chamber repertoire in collaboration with Denis Evstuhin and Helen Chung, and has played and toured with New Music Ensemble. In 2015, she received First Prize at the Thursday Musical Young Artist Competition and was a semi-finalist in William Byrd Young Artist Competition in 2017. At that time, in addition to performing, Nyzkodub worked as a teaching assistant for the Music Theory and Ear-Training Department at the University of Minnesota. She earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts and Master’s degrees at the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor’s degree at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Nyzkodub principal teachers include Alex Fiterstein, Scott Anderson, Arthur Cambell and her father, Segei Nizkodub.
Stuart Sutter currently plays second oboe and English horn with the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra in Minnesota, and is a regular player with several orchestras in the Midwest, including the Quad City Symphony in Iowa. Sutter was featured as a soloist with the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire orchestra, playing the Mozart Oboe Concerto. An avid baroque music performer, Sutter took part in touring performances of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in the United States and Germany as part of collaboration between the Hochschule für Musik Detmold and the University of Minnesota. A native of Appleton, Wisconsin, he began studying the oboe at the Lawrence Academy of Music, going on to earn a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and a Master’s degree in oboe performance from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. His primary teachers were Leslie Outland Michelic, Christa Garvey, Carrie Vecchione and John Snow.
Bassoonist Marta Troicki has performed with New York Choral Society Orchestra and Five: a Woodwind Quintet. Troicki has performed at numerous notable venues, including Carnegie Hall, and in many settings, including chamber and orchestral. While based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she was Principal Bassoon with the Pittsburgh Live Chamber Orchestra, and has been featured as a chamber and concerto soloist with the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra and Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed in venues in Europe and the Middle East. Troicki has studied the bassoon in both the United States and Europe, earning a Bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University and a Master’s degree from the Purchase Conservatory of Music in New York, and an Artist Diploma Degree from the F. Chopin Conservatory of Music in Warsaw, Poland. She is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in bassoon performance at the University of Minnesota School of Music where she is a Berneking Fellow.
PROGRAMWITOLD LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994)
TRIO for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon (1945)
I. Allegro moderato
II. Poco adagio
III. Allegro giocoso (Rondo)
ANTONI SZAŁOWSKI (1907-1973)
TRIO for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon (1937)
WAWRZYNIEC ŻUŁAWSKI (1916-1957)
ARIA CON VARIAZIONI for Flute, Clarinet and Bassoon (1950)
WŁADYSŁAW WALENTYNOWICZ (1902-1999)
TRIO FOR REEDS (Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon) (1952)
I. All in Harmony (Wspólnie, zgodnie)
II. In Waltz Time (Wrytmie walca)
III. Conversation (Rozmowa)
IV. Merry March (Zabawny marsz)
TADEUSZ BAIRD (1928-1981)
DIVERTIMENTO for Flute, Clarinet, Oboe and Bassoon (1956)
III. Quasi Valse
JANINA GARŚCIA (1920-2004)
TEMA CON VARIAZIONI for Flute, Clarinet and Bassoon (1967)
Recorded in September 2018 at LCCR, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Producer: Jefferson Campbell and Marta Troicki. Recording, editing and mastering: Reid Kruger.