Release Date: April 8, 2016
Catalog #: NV6038
Format: Digital & Physical
20th Century
String Quartet

Blurred Boundaries

Apollo Chamber Players

Apollo Chamber Players’ present their latest Navona release BLURRED BOUNDARIES, featuring commissions from veteran composers Libby Larsen and Marty Regan, as well as from the winner of Apollo’s inaugural International Commissioning Contest, Erberk Eryılmaz. These three commissions mark the beginning of 20×2020, Apollo’s initiative to commission 20 new folk music-inspired works by the end of the decade. Each of these composers explores culturally-specific musical traditions and presents folk material in ways that are engaging, unique, and revelatory.

Larsen’s Sorrow Song and Jubilee revisits Antonin Dvořák’s love of African-American sorrow songs (or spirituals), composed as an homage to the creative partnership of African-American composer Henry T. Burleigh and Dvořák. Regan’s sweeping Splash of Indigo examines the intersections of Japanese folksong and French Impressionist music. Eryılmaz’s whirlwind Thracian Airs of Besime Sultan, dedicated to his late grandmother, finds its inspiration in the music of the Roma people and the Thracian region of the Balkans. Accompanying these three modern explorations of folksong are premiere recordings of Florence Beatrice Price’s Five Folksongs in Counterpoint, Hajime Komatsu’s Four Japanese Folksongs, and arrangements of Henry T. Burleigh’s Plantation Melodies, Old and New. These are ideal companion pieces, highlighting not only the commissioned composers’ skills in forging different pathways between cultures, but also Apollo’s aim to provide fresh context and a contemporary perspective on more traditional repertoire. Of special note, Price’s Five Folksongs in Counterpoint, a forgotten work by a seminal African-American composer, existed only in manuscript form prior to this recording’s release.


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"The music contained in this exceptional CD is the clear demonstration of how much folkloric and popular melodies have inspired classical music"


Artist Information

Apollo Chamber Players


Houston TX based Apollo Chamber Players “performs with rhythmic flair and virtuosity” (The Strad) and has “found fruitful territory” (Houston Chronicle) through innovative, globally-inspired programming and multicultural new music commissions. Winner of Chamber Music America’s prestigious Residency Partnership award, the quartet has performed for sold-out audiences at Carnegie Hall, and it holds the distinction of being the first American chamber ensemble to record and perform in Cuba since 1960. Apollo is featured frequently on American Public Media’s nationally-syndicated program Performance Today.

Libby Larsen


Libby Larsen (b. 24 December 1950, Wilmington, Delaware) is one of America’s most performed living composers. She has created a catalogue of over 400 works spanning virtually every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and over twelve operas. Grammy Award winning and widely recorded, including over fifty CD’s of her work, she is constantly sought after for commissions and premieres by major artists, ensembles, and orchestras around the world, and has established a permanent place for her works in the concert repertory.

Marty Regan


A composer of over 80 works for traditional Japanese instruments, Marty Regan is a Professor and Head of the Department of Performance Studies at Texas A&M University. Widely regarded as the authoritative source on the subject, his translation of Minoru Miki’s Composing for Japanese Instruments was published by the University of Rochester Press in 2008. His music has been broadcast on American Public Media’s Performance Today and NHK’s Hōgaku no hito toki/A Moment for Traditional Japanese Music. His chamber opera, titled The Memory Stone, was commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera as part of the HGOco's Songs of Houston: East + West initiative and was premiered in 2013 at the Asia Society Texas Center.