AUGUSTA READ THOMAS (b.1964): Incantation for Solo Violin (Stefan Hersh), Passion Prayers for Cello, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Piano, Harp and Percussion (Scott Kluksdahl [cello], Network for New Music; Jan Krzywicki), Spirit Musings (Violin Concerto No. 1) (Marc Rovetti [violin], Student Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center; Laura Jackson), Jubilee for Orchestra (Juilliard Orchestra; Xian Zhang), Cantos for Slava for Viola and Piano (Leah Gestler [viola], Christopher Janwong McKiggan (piano), Rumi Settings for Violin and Cello (Stefan Hersh [violin], Julian Hersh [cello]), Dancing Galaxy for Wind Ensemble (SMU Student Wind Ensemble; Jack Delaney).
Catalogue Number: 08R079
Reference: NI 6263
Description: This CD is anchored by three substantial works, the three-movement Violin Concerto, the effervescent (this is actually the performance direction of the second movement) orchestral suite, Jubilee, and the tumultuous Dancing Galaxy. The titles and character of these pieces sum up much of the composer's personal style; life-affirming energy, the excited revelry in instrumental virtuosity in the service of big concepts. The concerto matches a florid solo line with bright, bell-like sonorities in the ensemble, and this emphasis on lively, exciting timbres is also characteristic of Jubilee, which contrasts three energetic movements with a lovely muted elegy 'for a departed friend'. Jazzy and propulsive rhythms propel the fast movements onward with exhilarating energy. The chamber works display the composer's gift for melodic thinking in long paragraphs, again with meticulous and original attention paid to timbral sonorities.