Michael Kurek’s PARMA Recordings debut, THE SEA KNOWS, is a charming collection of works written with an emphasis on that which is beautiful and emotive. Composing in a tonal idiom reminiscent of the great melodists of the early 20th century, Kurek creates music that tugs at the heartstrings without ever pandering, that is rich in emotive content without feeling sugary. The works on THE SEA KNOWS plumb the depths of musical sensitivity and will appeal to anyone who listens to music seeking intimacy and an emotionally-grounded experience.
This triple re-release contains a collection of works for small ensembles comprised of a diverse selection of instruments. Along with two albums from Allen Brings, this reissue includes a compilation titled CONTRA-PUNCTUS (1994).
From natural scenes of beauty to mystical dreamscapes and vivid characters of villainy, a dynamic assortment of music awaits in SANDMAN’S CASTLE from composer Vincent Ho. A compendium of uniquely-orchestrated and masterfully executed solo and duo works are brought to life from a roster of renowned performers: Vicky Chow, Susanne Ruberg-Gordon, Ben Reimer, Beth Root Sandvoss, and Evelyn Glennie, who serves as a listener’s guide on a mystical journey into the world of dreams in the albums titular track. Between explorations of uncharted territories with tam-tam and music boxes and thoughtful juxtapositions of the drumset with mainstays in classical music, Ho pulls out all of the stops with the renowned featured performers, and his dexterous compositional tool-kit throughout.
A renowned cellist in his own time, Carlo Alfredo Piatti (1822-1901) is known for composing his 12 Caprices, a set recognized for its technical difficulty and complexity, and widely used as developmental exercises for cellists. On his debut Navona Records release, PIATTI: 12 CAPRICES FOR SOLO CELLO, Venezuelan/American cellist Carmine Miranda interprets Piatti's virtuosic solo cello pieces, masterfully showing them as works that withstand treatment as significant concert repertoire.
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.
Here at Navona, we believe that despite varied influences, styles, and techniques, contemporary works by a variety of carefully selected composers can unite to represent the classical landscape as a whole. On MOTO PERPETUO, a collection of moving works for cello by March, Bartholomew, Beeler, Sherrill, Gottschalk, and Ascioti, the music is bound by the instruments simultaneous steadfastness and adaptability and the composers' shared ability to seize and control the instruments expressive timbre and range.
Praised for his "bold and expressive" playing (Gramophone Magazine), cellist Ovidiu Marinescu and Navona Records present MOTO CONTINUO, a collection of six contemporary solo cello and piano trio works - from the intense, dark, and expressive to the calm, light, and austere - performed by Marinescu and his colleagues from Trio Casals, violinist Sylvia Ahramjian and pianist Anna Kislitsyna.
In MOTO CELESTE, the fifth installment in Navona Records’ MOTO series, the internationally-acclaimed Trio Casals takes on eight new works by eight preeminent composers. It is an electrifying collection, full of drama and adventure. The compositions borrow from an eclectic array of musical traditions, including rhumba and flamenco music. MOTO CELESTE is forged into a cohesive work by the trio’s sensitive and highly-organic performances.
FINE MUSIC, VOL. II is the second compilation of the Navona Records Fine Music digital series. This installment features the works of Marinescu, Barber, Evans, Elizondo, Zaimont, Nagorcka, Hofmeyr, Wilenski, Stölzel, Bakker and Sackman. This collection both highlights some of Navona's choicest tracks and offers a preview of things to come.
CYCLES OF THE MOON, the new release from composer Ayala Asherov, is a colorful and poignant cross-section of works from various cycles of the composer's life. As a native of Israel, Ms. Asherov's music is largely informed by Hebrew chamber music. The music is tonal and intended to be accessible, says Asherov, "I didn't want to write what I thought a listener would not want to hear. My guiding light-or should I say melody-is something one can hold on to while exercising the imagination."
The regions of Austria and Hungary have a rich history of music, art, and culture, where composers such as Beethoven, Artur Schnabel, and Emanuel Moór, among many others, developed their craft and influenced the traditions of European art music. On his debut release on Navona Records, CELLO MUSIC FROM AUSTRIA-HUNGARY, cellist Sam Magill presents works by Beethoven, Schnabel, and Moór that not only expand the cello repertoire and illustrate the cellist’s virtuosity, technical aplomb, conviction, and expressiveness, but enrich our understanding of these composers, their music, and their heritage.
Lyricism and melody are often vainly sought in contemporary composition. American composer Richard Crosby goes against the grain on BY THE WATERS OF MEMORY, a selection of compositions so aesthetically sublime, yet so profound, one wonders if this is still music, or someone mesmerizingly peeling back the layers on existence itself.
BY THE WATERS OF MEMORY features two scintillating chamber duos with piano – one a viola, the other a cello sonata – as well as a charming tetralogy of Latin dances for piano and oboe. But perhaps the greatest revelation arrives in the form of trenchantly beautiful solo piano pieces, which bear all the hallmarks of unadulterated classical-romantic genius. If Schubert had been an American, he would have sounded like this.
Navona Records proudly presents BREAKING THE SILENCE from legendary Australian composer George Palmer. The works featured on this new album draw inspiration from centuries-old poetry as well as the composer’s own life experience; Breaking the Silence unpacks a 17th-century pastoral haiku depicting a lone frog’s leap into a still pond, while Not Going Quietly is a touching tribute to a concert pianist whose life was cut short by a brain tumor.
Gavin Borchert of Seattle Weekly applauds Peter Vukmirovic Stevens' AUGUST RUINS (2013), saying, "[Cellist] Paige Stockley plays it stunningly; I would relish the chance to hear her do it live." The opportunity to hear a live performance of Stockley playing Stevens' compelling solo cello work is now available as a digital release through Navona Records, AUGUST RUINS LIVE.
Peter Vukmirovic Stevens is a composer whose music is informed and guided by deep connections with visual media, literature, travel, and works by composers past and present. AUGUST RUINS, an album of Stevens' works for solo cello, gives these influences life through the cello's unequivocal range and timbre, allowing for a raw, isolated expression of emotion, history, and visual beauty unencumbered by accompaniment.
Navona Records presents ANTHELION, showcasing favorite works from composer Adrienne Elisha (1958-2017). The works that comprise the album are technically demanding and rich in philosophical significance. Anthelion, for one, is a sonic contemplation of a natural phenomenon in which the sun’s light is projected across the sky, reflecting itself on the opposite horizon. The two-movement work, scored for flute, clarinet, violin, violoncello, percussion, and piano, expresses moments of “sonic abstraction” and continuous reverberation by way of unique instrumental timbres. In TranscenDance, on the other hand, Elisha makes a humanistic statement about the Syrian civil war, borrowing joyful melodies from Arab music and reimagining them in an orchestral setting. In this way, the music of ANTHELION is at once abstract and deeply contextual, challenging yet ultimately transcendent.
ABHANDEN, Chicago based cellist Chris Wild's debut album on Navona Records, features six compositions for solo cello and small ensemble that stretch across multiple decades and concepts of style. Focusing on the unification of the diverse aesthetics of contemporary music, ABHANDEN seeks to demonstrate the shared ends of expression these six pieces exhibit.