SYMPHONIC CANVASSymphony No.1 - The Travails of Persiles and Sigismunda
Bel Canto – A Symphonic Canvas (from the opera)
Jimmy López Bellido
FORT WORTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
MIGUEL HARTH-BEDOYA, conductor
World Premiere Recordings
"The works are dramatic, incorporating Latin American musical elements at times, and engage the emotions of the listener"
Pan Pipes [Winter 2020]
"The works on this album command the listener’s attention. Lopez shows fluency in orchestral writing, yet has a restrained approach to color. He is unconcerned with novelty, letting the quality of his writing speak for itself. The lyricism of the music is always pronounced, even in its most intense and violent moments...This composer is on the rise, and this release will only further his ascent."
American Record Guide [January/February 2020]
[ * * * * ] "So much to enjoy in these two broad orchestral works; both are wild flights of symphonic fancy, filled with colour and drama. The Fort Worth Symphony gleams."
BBC Music Magazine [November 2019]
"Both works show Lopez Bellido has clearly mastered the knack of building suspense and effectively ending it with climaxes of exceptional sonic power and brilliance."
Michael Schulman, The Whole Note [December 2019]
"[López Bellido has] a distinctive voice, and his suite from Bel canto is melodically memorable and quite moving at times. The heroine’s final aria is a lyrical coup de théâtre, and has me eager to hear the opera in its entirety. Miguel Harth-Bedoya elicits polished, committed playing from the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in both works, and the recorded sound is superb."
Andrew Farach-Colton, Gramophone [December 2019]
"The recording's two works suggest Mr. López is anything but a post-modernist but rather an artist naturally disposed to carrying on the timeless tradition of symphonic writing associated with great twentieth-century composers... Symphonic Canvas features music of inarguable integrity and impeccable craft, qualities resoundingly evident in these sterling performances by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra."
Textura.org [September 2019]
"the music works quite well as pure music, its blending and contrasting of drama and lyricism managed effectively by López Bellido and communicated skillfully by Harth-Bedoya and the Fort Worth ensemble. López Bellido’s firm command of the orchestra is evident throughout this CD, and much of the music here is exciting, with all of it being well-crafted."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [September 2019]
"Just when we might think the symphony is dead, a startling new recording has arrived to awaken us in a panoply of sound to know the musical art form is alive again in the 21st century."
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [September 2019]
"The dark and ruminative opening pages of the Symphony No.1...bring to mind the opening of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, as they project the same foreboding aura of misgiving... The slow second movement is where this composer's firm grasp of motivic development is clearly apparent and well focused... [Bel Canto] highlights this composer's dramatic and orchestration skills... The two works on this CD are...executed in a highly polished and gripping performance by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra with conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya."
Jean-Yves Duperron, Classical Music Sentinel [August 2019]
“one of the most interesting composers anywhere today”
Chicago Sun Times
“adventurous and winning”
PROGRAM NOTESIt takes a village. Nothing could be truer of this album, which constitutes a milestone on many fronts, not only because composers only get to write one first symphony and one first opera, but also because it practically requires the stars to be aligned just so to have two works of this scale come to life – all the way from their inception, commissioning and programming, to their being performed and recorded by such an outstanding group of musicians. This has been a labor of love, and everyone involved in this project – from our sponsors, orchestra musicians, conductor, recording engineer, designers, photographers, videographers, administrative team, production team and record label – knows this. It is not enough for music to be commissioned; it must be performed. It is not enough for it to be performed; for it to be alive it must make its way to the repertoire; but we can’t stop there. Music must be available at all times, and the only way to ensure this is by recording it and making it available on multiple platforms, so that anyone anywhere may have access to it. It is this unshakeable conviction that kept driving us forward at the times of greatest difficulty and doubt. We are now proud to present Symphonic Canvas, a testament to our faith in the power of music, especially new music, and its ability to establish a direct channel of communications to new generations thirsty for change, new challenges, and innovation. The Epiphany Foundation, which my husband Heleno and I established in 2016, has been the catalyst by which all the generous donations that made this ambitious album were made. I offer my sincere thanks to every single person involved in this project. No contribution was too small and no voice was unheard. And now, may the music speak for itself.
Award-winning composer Jimmy López Bellido has created works performed by such renowned ensembles as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. He currently serves as Composer-in-Residence with the Houston Symphony Orchestra through the 2019-2020 season. Internationally, his music has been performed by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestras of Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Argentina, among many others. Further engagements include performances at Carnegie Hall; Germany’s Darmstadt and Donaueschingen music festivals; Nordic Music Days; the Aspen, Tanglewood and Grant Park music festivals; and the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. López Bellido’s work Fiesta! has received more than 90 performances worldwide by several major orchestras, including those of Seattle, Colorado, Gothenburg, Leipzig, The Hague, Siberia and New Zealand, among others, making it one of today’s most performed contemporary orchestral works. Bel Canto, a full-length opera commissioned by the Lyric Opera of Chicago as part of the Renée Fleming initiative and based on the best-selling novel of the same name, premiered in December 2015 to widespread critical acclaim and was broadcast throughout the United States as part of PBS’ Great Performances series. In collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz, López Bellido composed Dreamers, a 45-minute oratorio for Ana María Martínez and the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen, who gave the world premiere performance. A native of Lima, Peru, he studied at the city’s National Conservatory of Music with Enrique Iturriaga, and subsequently at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki where he earned a Master of Music degree, studying with Veli-Matti Puumala and Eero Hämeenniemi. López Bellido completed his Doctorate in Music at the University of California-Berkeley with Edmund Campion. [ www.jimmylopez.com ]
Celebrating 30 years on the podium, Miguel Harth-Bedoya is currently Chief Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and is in his 19th season as Music Director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. A Grammy-nominated and Emmy Award-winning artist, he is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Caminos del Inka, a non-profit organization that performs and promotes the music of the Americas. Harth-Bedoya has conducted top North American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Montreal Symphony Orchestra. In Europe, he has led the London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de Lyon, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. Engagements in Australasia have included the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra and Malaysian Symphony Orchestra. Harth-Bedoya led two world premiere performances at the Santa Fe Opera: Jennifer Higdon’s acclaimed Cold Mountain and Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar. Other opera productions include La bohème at English National Opera and Rossini’s Barber of Seville with the Canadian National Opera. Harth-Bedoya’s discography features recordings on the Harmonia Mundi, Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, Sony and FWSO Live labels. Also a passionate environmental advocate, he co-founded Cowboy Compost, a business geared to achieve food waste reduction [ www.cowboycompost.com ]. He is a champion of living composers and has a passion for commissioning, performing and recording new works. Harth-Bedoya received his Bachelor of music from the Curtis Institute of Music and his Masters of Music from The Juilliard School. [ www.miguelharth-bedoya.com ]
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra is deeply committed to uniting its community through performance, education and outreach, reaching an audience of more than 200,000 annually. Since its beginnings in 1912, the FWSO has been an essential thread in the city’s cultural fabric and the very foundation of Fort Worth’s performing arts. Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya has led the orchestra into the 21st century and to new levels of excellence. Under his leadership, the FWSO has performed at Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras. Throughout his tenure, the FWSO has released 13 recordings, several of which feature world premieres, garnering international acclaim. Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the FWSO have embraced creative collaborations through residencies, partnerships and commissions. As the principal resident company of the acoustically superb Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall, the Orchestra performs a full season of concerts featuring internationally-acclaimed guest artists and works by great composers of the past and present. The Orchestra performs and partners with the Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Opera, The Cliburn, and Performing Arts Fort Worth. Each summer at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, the FWSO presents Concerts In The Garden, a series of family-friendly concerts that has become a beloved city-wide tradition. The FWSO keeps exceptional musical experiences at the heart of its community. After all—life is better with music!
PROGRAMJIMMY LÓPEZ BELLIDO (b.1978)
SYMPHONY NO.1 – THE TRAVAILS OF PERSILES AND SIGISMUNDA (2016)
I. Libro Primero
II. Libro Segundo
III. Libro Tercero
IV. Libro Cuarto
BEL CANTO – A SYMPHONIC CANVAS (2016)
I. Perú, Real and Unreal
II. La Garúa
III. The End of Utopia