HEAVY PEDAL is an all-organ disc featuring the compositions of Tadd Russo, Curt Cacioppo, Ron Nagorcka, Wilhelm Middleschulte, and Michael Summers performed by organists Michael Kraft, Robert Gallagher, David Scott Hamnes, Brink Bush, and Karel Martinek. As the title implies, the pieces on this disc are on the heavier side of classical music, reaching climaxes with real stopping power. The music presented in these modern organ works ranges from brilliant toccatas to traditional rhythms of Arnhem Land in Australia’s far north and adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Sleeper to melodic lines from Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
What must it feel like to play an instrument that is one of seven known to exist in the world and is two hundred years old? Pianists Shuko Watanabe and Timothy Gaylard know this feeling, performing compositions written by Muzio Clementi (1752-1832) on a Clementi grand fortepiano on the Navona Records release, CLEMENTI GRAND.
The Clementi grand featured on this album was a gift by Dr. Lawrence Smith and his wife Ganelle to the Department of Music at Washington & Lee University in Lexington VA, and celebrates the bicentennial of its production this year. Some of Clementi’s most well-known pieces as well as some lesserknown works are presented, including four preludes from Musical Character Pieces, two of his didactic sonatinas, the famous Sonata in B-flat that Clementi played in Vienna at a contest with Mozart in 1781, two symphonicsounding four-handed duets, and a rondo for keyboard and flute, featuring flutist Byron W. Petty. Watanabe and Gaylard honor this Clementi grand fortepiano with energy and enthusiasm.
Through keen observations of nature, imaginative nocturnal scenes, and apt studies in form, Rachel Lee Guthrie crafts a series of works for solo piano in romantic and baroque styles, letting her impressionistic in uences shine through with meditative beauty. From the emotional Serenade to the dynamic Lullaby to the lively Waltz, Guthrie proves herself capable of expressing a wide range of feeling and pianistic style. On EXPLORING THE HEART, a collection of 10 of Guthrie’s works for solo piano, her qualities as a composer shine andreceive ample support from pianists Karolina Rojahn and Dmitry Tavanets.
10 concerts, 7 venues, 3 days. The inaugural PARMA Music Festival in 2013 featured more than 100 composers and performers in works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo instruments, and jazz groups, as well as improvised collaborations between indie rockers and classical instrumentalists. This release collects some of the finest performances from the Festival, as recorded by the PARMA Recordings production team. Ensembles include the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, the PARMA Orchestra, cellist Ovidiu Marinescu, the Portsmouth Music & Arts Jazz Ensemble, and many more in works by Alberto Ginastera, Martin Schlumpf, Sergio Cervetti, Robert A. Baker, Jim Rhinehart, Adam O’Dell, Mei-Fang Lin, Jessica Rudman, Kirsten Volness, and Constantin Dimitrescu.
PARMA Music Festival LLC is a non-profit organization dedicated to breaking barriers and bridging genres, bringing together regional and international artists and audiences spanning the genres of classical, jazz, rock, world music, and more in unusual and unexpected settings. The second annual Festival will take place in Portsmouth NH on August 13-16, 2014.
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Navona Records is a PARMA Recordings company