“This composer delivers an impressive array of works that affirm the postmodern character of his approach by rejecting the dogmas of new music”

The WholeNote

Composer Jan Järvlepp creates a genuine European/American musical fusion by combining the excitement of rock and jazz rhythms with the large-scale classical structures found in orchestral and chamber music. The seriousness of his well-thought-out forms and the immediacy of contemporary rhythmic and melodic ideas make a potent brew that is appealing to both open-minded classical listeners and pop music listeners who are searching for something new. Sometimes the influence of world music makes itself felt in his compositions as it did in his Concerto 2000 for flute and symphony orchestra (Available from Navona Records: NV6291).

Järvlepp began playing pop guitar and cello as a teenager and learned bass guitar and harmonica during the same period. In university he majored in composition while developing his cello-playing skills. As his studies progressed, he realized that he was not on the same wavelength as his modernist composition teachers.

He returned to his native Ottawa in 1981 after completing his doctoral studies in composition and 20th century music at the University of California, San Diego. His composition teachers over the years were Luis de Pablo, Alcides Lanza, Will Ogdon and Roger Reynolds. Since returning to Canada, Järvlepp has been a member of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and has been active as a freelance cellist, composer, teacher and recording technician. Once outside the university environment, he began composing in the newer, postmodern style of neo-tonal music that would rarely be acceptable among academics.

Järvlepp has been delving deeper and deeper into the world of pop-influenced contemporary “classical” composition. He has completely turned his back on the avant garde modernism that he was rigorously trained in to concentrate on postmodern style. He has also taken an interest in Hispanic, Arab, and Nordic folk styles. The result has been a variety of accessible pieces of music that appeal to a surprisingly wide cross section of listeners. At times Järvlepp employs unusual combinations of instruments that have not previously been heard in the world of classical music. He has composed over 80 works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, orchestra and electronic instruments.

His orchestral music was first heard on the BIS CD-1052 The Garbage Concerto. The Singapore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lan Shui was joined by the Kroumata Percussion Ensemble. Then in 2020, Navona Records released Järvlepp’s orchestral album entitled Concerto 2000 featuring various performers.

Albums

High Voltage Chamber Music

Release Date: September 24, 2021
Catalog Number: NV6366
21st Century
Chamber
String Quartet
Wind Ensemble
Navona Records proudly presents HIGH VOLTAGE CHAMBER MUSIC, the latest album from composer Jan Järvlepp. Following close on the heels of CONCERTO 2000 and FLIGHTS OF FANCY, Järvlepp carries forward the momentum with this newest release. Featured on the album is String Quartet No. 1, the composer’s first full-length string quartet—an important milestone for any composer.
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Flights of Fancy

Release Date: November 13, 2020
Catalog Number: NV6323
20th Century
21st Century
Chamber
Flute
Guitar
Saxophone
Fusing European and American musical traditions, the album pairs the excitement of rock and jazz rhythms with classical orchestral and chamber music forms.
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Concerto 2000 and Other Works

Release Date: June 26, 2020
Catalog Number: NV6291
21st Century
Concertos
Flute
Orchestra
Jan Järvlepp's first Navona release, CONCERTO 2000, presents a tonal concerto, scored for orchestra – one might think Wagner or Mahler when listening. Except that Wagner and Mahler might not quite have agreed with the directness of his tonal language: for Järvlepp's work unabashedly aspires to appeal on a popular level.
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Dimensions Vol. 2

Release Date: October 11, 2019
Catalog Number: NV6251
21st Century
Orchestral
Guitar
Orchestra
Voice
Beginning as a single spark of inspiration, the orchestral work blossoms into something transcendentally grand and organically rich. DIMENSIONS VOL 2, the second in Navona Records’ series for orchestra, presents five organically inspired compositions, with music that is as multidimensional and richly textured as the subject matter is multifaceted. Traverse through each unique work and witness what vast results can be drawn from the creative mind.
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Windswept

Release Date: August 9, 2019
Catalog Number: NV6245
21st Century
Chamber
Wind Ensemble
Throughout Navona Records’ WINDSWEPT, the wind quintet makes up the characters of collective stories written by five unique composers. In each piece, the Boston-based Arcadian Winds project a storytelling experience that is joyful, moving, and meaningful to hear.
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Patterns

Release Date: August 9, 2019
Catalog Number: NV6243
21st Century
Chamber
Solo Instrumental
Cello
Guitar
Percussion
PATTERNS, a multi-composer compilation of contemporary chamber music, accentuates the richness, intricacy, and minimal sound that can be found in works written for small ensembles. Included on the album are works by seven composers, each offering a distinct interpretation of what defines the genre.
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Prisma Vol. 2

Release Date: May 24, 2019
Catalog Number: NV6232
21st Century
Orchestral
Flute
Guitar
Orchestra
Navona Records proudly presents PRISMA VOL. 2, an epic journey into the world of the large ensemble with five of today’s top contemporary composers. This collection demonstrates the diversity of the orchestral and concerto composition, both in instrumentation and emotion.
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Legends and Light

Release Date: October 12, 2018
Catalog Number: NV6187
21st Century
Orchestral
Large Ensemble
PARMA Recordings presents LEGENDS & LIGHT, a compilation album featuring works by composers Hans Bakker, Jan Järvlepp, Clive Muncaster, and Shirley Mier. Each has a different, unique story to tell, and the narratives are brought to life by the orchestra and string ensemble.
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Tomorrow’s Air

Release Date: September 8, 2017
Catalog Number: NV6108
21st Century
Orchestral
Large Ensemble
Orchestra
Navona Records is proud to present TOMORROW’S AIR, a collection of contemporary music for large ensemble, written by composers in a variety of styles and genres. Listeners will recognize several names as PARMA regulars, including Daniel Perttu, Hans Bakker, and Paul Osterfield.
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