Release Date: May 13, 2016
Catalog #: NV6039
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century

Three Pastels For Piano & Orchestra

Carl Vollrath composer

Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Petr Vronský conductor
Karolina Rojahn piano

On his Navona Records release THREE PASTELS FOR PIANO & ORCHESTRA, composer Carl Vollrath presents his three piano concerti, written between 2012 and 2015. Representing some of his most recent work, these concerti are connected to each other thematically, and in a way portray a different hue of the same color.

Vollrath prefers to regard these works as “pastels” since he approaches them with a functional intention, evoking imagery or scenery in an abstract way, allowing the listener to create their own interpretation. While written in a neo-impressionistic lexicon, these “pastels” are influenced significantly by Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Bartók’s piano concerti, Eastern classical scales and folk music, and jazz piano. Performed by pianist Karolina Rojahn and the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Petr Vronský, the piano and various orchestral sections develop unique characteristics, supporting, contrasting, and complimenting each other. The piano’s lyrical personality weaves itself throughout the works’ movements, from sensual and controlled sections to frantic and spontaneous moments, employing jazz elements, chromaticism, and rhythmic emphasis to develop its narrative. Although these works have passages of dramatic flourish, Vollrath’s sense of lightheartedness remains a building block, placing ironic and witty phrases throughout to deliver a captivating, dynamic, and moving experience.


Hear the full album on YouTube

Artist Information

Carl Vollrath


Born in New York City to German parents, Carl Vollrath attended Newton High School. He received a B.A. from Stetson University, an M.A. from Columbia University, and an Ed.D. from Florida State University. Vollrath studied composition with Ernst von Dohnanyi Carlisle Floyd, and John Boda. He served with the West Point Military Band at West Point NY from 1953 to 1956 and was a music consultant in Miami FL from 1956 to 1958. He joined the Troy University (AL) faculty in 1965.Major works include six symphonies for band, an opera – The Quest – and a large collection of chamber music, all published by Tap Music ( MMC Recordings has released three albums of Vollrath’s works, including a two-disc album of clarinet works recorded by Richard Stoltzman entitled Jack’s Fat Cat (2008).

Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra


The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the foremost and oldest symphony orchestras in the Czech Republic. It is based in the historical capital of Moravia, the city of Olomouc, and has been a leader of music activities in the region for the past 70 years. Its artistic development was directly influenced by distinguished figures from the Czech and international music scene.

Karolina Rojahn


Karolina Rojahn is a Los Angeles based pianist who has dedicated the last decade of her career to premiering and recording contemporary music repertoire. She has premiered over a hundred new works and collaborated with various classical music labels, most notably Naxos, having released over 43 recordings of chamber and solo piano music, including 5 piano concertos written specifically for her.

Petr Vronský


After successes in several important international competitions for conductors — including the competition in Besancon France in 1971 and the Karajan Competition in Berlin in 1973 — his career began at the opera company in Pilsen. From 1974 to 1978, he was Chief of Opera of the State Theater in Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic. In 1978, he was appointed Chief Conductor of the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he held until 1991. Vronsky was later appointed Chief Conductor of the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava in 2002.