1. Chen Yi: AMBIGUOUS TRACES––Chen Yi’s Woodwind Quintet #3 (Suite From China West) performed by Pan Pacific Ensemble on the album. Albany Records [Troy 1903] released on September 1, 2022. Purchase here: https://tinyurl.com/4sdfhd7d
DIGITAL MIST––Chen Yi’s From Old Peking Folklore, Fisherman’s Song, Romance and Dance for violin and piano performed by Patrick Yim and Kiu Tung Poon, featured on the album. Released on Naxos [8.559903], July 1, 2022. Purchase here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/295236822403
FIVE MINUTES FOR EARTH––Dark Mountains for harp solo performed by Yolanda Kondonassis as a part of her FIVE MINUTES for Earth Project, released on April 1, 2022 (Earth Day month) on Azica [ACD 71349] (Naxos distribution). Purchase here: https://tinyurl.com/5cab3xbn
SEVEN WAYS TO SAY FAREWELL (Olga Dubossarskaya Kaler and Kathryn Brown)––Chen Yi’s Memory for violin solo performed by Olga Dubossarskaya Kaler in her CD Seven Ways to Say Farewell, released on July 15, 2022, Centaur Records [CRC 3942]. Purchase here: https://tinyurl.com/5xcaasav
2. Stefania de Kenessey: IN HER WORDS––This album is a breakthrough for me: it is all electronic, and it is all dance music. In recent years, I have turned increasingly to electronic music composition as a rich source of experimentation, of new sonorities – and of total control. Or something like that. The result is an eclectic combination of vernacular and classical influences: I refer, in equal parts, to the Bulgarian and Hungarian folk songs of my childhood; to the historically hallowed Western genres of my education; and to the American popular music of my adulthood. Above all, I search for glimmers of joy and beauty, even in situations (like our current predicament) that are often desperate and ugly.
This recording showcases four results of a four-year collaboration with choreographer Ariel Grossman, the founder and director of the all-female Ariel Rivka Dance company. Our work together has been steady, fruitful and happy. Ariel constantly asks me to traverse slightly unfamiliar terrain, and the results are eye-opening and refreshing.
The four pieces are diverse in sound, outlook, orientation. But they are unified in theme: they all confront the difficulties faced by women everywhere, of all backgrounds, of all stations in life – themes that live close to my heart. Released April 8, 2022.
3. Wendy Griffiths: VIEWS FROM THE KEYBOARD––Veteran pianist Elizabeth Rodgers performs several collections of piano works, including the ever-popular “Seven Places in America.” Released June 1, 2022. Stream it: https://tinyurl.com/458vpxz7
4. Debra Kaye: INVITING WORLDS, VOL. 2––With the string orchestra piece Rising Up, I hope to evoke the emotional and spiritual experience of picking yourself up from the darkest place to a feeling of joy. I wrote this 11-minute, one-movement work in 2020. Given the pandemic and the uncertainties of the upcoming U.S. election, composing Rising Up gave me an outlet for engaging the tensions of the time and asserting a feeling of hope.
With a nod to Bach, I embedded the word “vote” into the musical structure at cadence points throughout the piece. How is this done? Repeat the 7-letter musical alphabet across our 26-letter alphabet, “V”=“A”, “O”=“A”, “T”=“F”, and then there’s “E.” Fortuitously, these tones happen to work well together. Released August 12, 2022. Purchase here: https://tinyurl.com/4d5y2krf
5. Jane Leslie: STARLIGHT REFLECTION––Starlight Reflection (arr. for piano and orchestra) is a Single release, performed by pianist Anna Sutyagina, collaborating with arranger Jeffrey Torres. This is an arrangement of my piano solo that I had recorded in 2015. The music is soft and reflective, and was inspired by the night sky. Released May 6, 2022. Purchase here: https://tinyurl.com/cfj3mpnb.
6. Catherine Neville: HOLD YOUR CENTER––This album explores themes of exploration and experimentation, chronicling the journey of a composer. Released May 1, 2022. Stream it on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/muwvuzv2
7. Niloufar Nourbakhsh: LA FEMME (A JOURNEY OF FEMALE COMPOSERS)––The Window (Mezzo-soprano: Flaka Goranci). Music by Niloufar Nourbakhsh, text by Forugh Farrokhzad. Poem from Sin: Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad, edited and translated by Sholeh Wolpé (University of Arkansas Press). Released November 7, 2022. © 2022 NAXOS Deutschland. Purchase here: https://tinyurl.com/54enatcw
8. Nina Siniakova: FROZEN REFLECTIONS features compositions written for various sets of instruments, including works for violin and harpsichord, three cellos and double bass, and a woodwind quintet alternate with compositions for solo piano performed by Nina Siniakova herself. Stylistically solid, yet diverse in its musical elements, Siniakova’s works present carefully thought-through, elegant, sophisticated music that inspires profound thoughts and desires to explore.
“I think of this album as a set of novels,” says composer Nina Siniakova. “Each of the novels is a unique take on beauty, since beauty is probably the quality I value in life the most. Beauty of the moment, of memory, of sadness, love or an emotion is what we want to keep.” Released October 10, 2022. Purchase here: https://tinyurl.com/3ttewnz7
THREE WISHES––Around the world in ninety days? Not necessarily! THREE WISHES is a jazz suite for flute and piano, that allows a listener to visit Paris, New York, and Buenos Aires in just twelve minutes! The suite gained wide popularity thanks to its refreshing, jazzy language combined with catchy tunes and memorable rhythmical patterns. This suite is a perfect piece to perform for any audience. Released January 20, 2022. Stream/Purchase here: https://tinyurl.com/mpjcrub6
9. Hilary Tann: 2020 VISIONS––On Ear and Ear for piano and cello is based on Gerhard Manley Hopkins’ poem “The Sea and the Skylark.” The two instruments contrast the flow of the tides with the freedom of the bird. I’d like the listener to feel free to imagine a walk along the Welsh cliffs with the sea and the skylark being present. On Ear and Ear is a visual landscape. Released August 26, 2022. Purchase here: https://tinyurl.com/2bh8dzjz
BETWEEN EARTH AND SEA––From The Song of Amergin was composed for Lontano at the 1995 Criccieth Festival in North Wales. It is in five sections, played without a break. Three lines from Robert Graves’ restoration of the text from an ancient Celtic calendar-alphabet, the “Song of Amergin,” directly inspired the piece: “I am the wind: on a deep lake, I am a tear: the sun lets fall, I am a hawk: above the cliff.” The three inner sections are shaped by the lines of the poem (the harp is featured in wind/lake, the viola in tear/sun, and the flute in hawk/cliff) and the piece begins and ends with an evocation of “I am.” Released November 18, 2022. Purchase here: www.tycerddshop.com
UNBROKEN THREADS––First Light was conceived to take part in a three-concert cycle of the complete Beethoven violin and piano sonatas. For the “Beethoven in Wales” project I chose Beethoven’s last sonata as my “muse”. It was enjoyable for me to have this “dialog with Beethoven” as I paralleled the form, textures, and pacing of his Op. 96. Released September 5, 2022. Purchase here: www.tycerddshop.com
10. Rain Worthington: PASSAGES THROUGH TIME––A collection of orchestral and chamber works that explore the mystery of instrumental music’s ability to communicate the primal universality of human experiences. Released March 11, 2022. Purchase here: https://tinyurl.com/yc7zcbtk
THINGS IN PAIRS––Recorded by violinist Audrey Wright, with pianist Yundu Wang, these works span five centuries, contrasting the classical Joseph Bologne with modern minimalist Arvo Pärt, Baroque virtuoso Biber with the contemporary Rain Worthington, all under the watchful eye of Viennese Classical Beethoven. Released February 11, 2022. Purchase here: https://tinyurl.com/37ebcnmu
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