Release Date: February 12, 2016

Catalog #: NV6029




MISERY  Michael J. Evans

Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Petr Vronský, conductor

Jan Hudeček, bassoon



Recorded march 3 & 7, 2015 at Reduta Hall, in Olomouc, Czech Republic.




Michael J. Evans




Fusing together the areas of visual art, music, literature, and history, composer Michael J. Evans presents his multimedia project, MISERY, on Navona Records. Taking inspiration, text, and imagery from Russian author Anton Chekhov’s (1860-1904) tale of the same name, the composer’s work can serve multiple functions:  an anti-concerto for bassoon, the soundtrack for an illustrated graphic novel or silent film, the music for a stage work (dance, pantomime, shadow, or puppet theater), or any combination of the aforementioned.


The music illustrates the story of a despondent Russian sleigh-driver named Iona Potapov, embodied by the bassoon. Antithetical to that which the soloist would typically play in a romantic concerto, generally representing a heroic figure, the soloist here represents a character who fades into the background, creating an anti-concerto. The music is closely connected to the text, depicting the forlorn protagonist’s unsuccessful attempts to tell his story to each of his fares. Although he is surrounded by people, Potapov is completely alone. When the bassoon cadenza is finally reached, he can freely express his grief, no longer bound by words alone, or the social conventions limiting his expression of pain. The piece culminates in an emotional climax and catharsis.




Evans has developed MISERY to be used in a number of educational and multimedia settings, including as an instructional tool for teachers when introducing classical music and/or Russian literature to students


This release includes both the orchestral recording of Misery as well as an animated silent film of Chekhov’s narrative with Evans’ work as the music


Audiophile Audition has described Evans’ music as “relaxing and beautiful sounds in a ‘light classical’ vein [that] would also make great film music”


Evans is an active composer of orchestral, chamber, and solo instrumental works. His musical language is post-modern, mixing elements of various styles and time periods into a cohesive work


Evans’ previous releases on Navona Records include CIPHER (2014), EIDOLA (2011), and BLOOM (2009)




Navona Records offers listeners a fresh taste of today's leading innovators in orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and experimental music as well as prime pieces of classic repertoire. Our music is meticulously performed by the finest musicians and handpicked to ensure the most rewarding listening experience.

223 Lafayette Road

North Hampton NH 03862



press (at)

603.758.1718 x 161