Release Date: April 14, 2017
Catalog #: NV6091
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Orchestral
Orchestra

Winter’s Warmth

Contemporary Works For Orchestra

Andrew Schultz composer
John A. Carollo composer
R. Barry Ulrich composer
J.A. Kawarsky composer

One of the central tenets of Albert Camus’ philosophy is the indomitability of the human spirit, a subject on which he famously mused that “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” This quote encapsulates the theme of WINTER’S WARMTH, Navona’s latest orchestral compilation featuring works from John A. Carollo, J.A. Kawarsky, Andrew Schultz, and R. Barry Ulrich. These composers present conceptual pieces that all act as soundtracks to our resiliency during the toughest moments of the human experience.

Let Freedom Ring, the first of Carollo’s two contributions to the album, focuses specifically on the freedoms of the American experience, utilizing an aesthetic of performer interpretation to exemplify the inalienable rights of Americans. A triumphant instrumental mood conjures intense feelings of patriotism despite being set in a minor key.

The shifting phases of Kawarsky’s Episodes speaks to the need to overcome life’s unpredictable changes. Amidst the crawls and crescendos of the piece’s orchestral mood, the piano retains center stage through the piece, pointing to a steadfast confrontation of turbulent times. The piano and orchestra often engage in a call-and-response manner of conversation, with strings and piano working to develop the central theme introduced with clarinet as the piece concludes.

Carollo’s second piece, The Transfiguration of Giovanni Baudino, similarly focuses on these themes of change, with the composer describing his fascination with the process of transfiguration and the “transformations we experience as human beings living through life’s demands and delights, its turmoil and tribulations.” The composition is appropriately tumultuous, journeying through numerous, intense orchestral moods.

Schultz contributes the majestic Falling Man/Dancing Man, a piece inspired by two contrasting depictions of human reactions to war – a photo of a man leaping to his death from the burning World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and a snapshot of celebration in the streets after an allied victory in World War II. This creates a clear juxtaposition of themes throughout, given life by the composition’s lofty three movements which breathe in and out with orchestral swells. Throughout, an inspired organ performance provides the work’s trailblazing element.

The album’s name sake manifests in Ulrich’s Russian Winter, a short segment of a larger, string suite written in G minor. The title perfectly matches the imagery conjured by the cinematic nature of the composer’s writing; it’s easy to picture this piece playing in the background as grandiose shots of the cold Russian tundra loom in the distance.

Despite the numerous themes explored on WINTER’S WARMTH, there remains an underlying feeling of hope which points to the triumph of humanity within times of hardship. These four composers’ talents work towards a cohesive album rife with musical commentary on what it means to thrive within the human experience.

Listen

Hear the full album on YouTube

Stream/Buy

Choose your platform

Artist Information

Andrew Schultz

Composer

Australian composer Andrew Schultz studied at the Universities of Queensland and Pennsylvania and at King's College London and has received various awards, prizes and fellowships. His music, which covers a broad range of chamber, orchestral and vocal works, has been performed, recorded and broadcast widely by many leading groups and musicians internationally. He has held numerous commissions, including from the major Australian orchestras.

Learn More

John A. Carollo

Composer

John A. Carollo studied piano as a child and was a member of a Catholic Church choir which sang for the congregation during weekend services. In 1986, he began composing for the piano and graduated from San Diego State University with a Masters Degree in Psychology.

Learn More

R. Barry Ulrich

Composer

He attended Los Angeles City College in 1958 where he studied composItion with Leonard Stein. He graduated with a B.A. in music from Long Beach State College in 1963. While there, he studied with Leon Dallin and Robert Tyndall. He is also a charter member of the Kappa Omicron chapter of PHI MU ALPHA fraternity.

Learn More

J.A. Kawarsky

Composer

Dr. J.A. Kawarsky (b. 1959) is Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton in NJ. Dr. Kawarsky received his B.M. in composition from Iowa State University and his M.M. and D.M.A. from Northwestern University. At Northwestern he studied with John Paynter, Alan Stout, and Frederick Ockwell. In 1982, Dr. Kawarsky conducted the Opera Company of the Negev Region in Be’er Sheva in Israel. Before coming to Westminster in 1989, he taught at Fort Hays State University, the University of Wisconsin, and Moraine Valley Community College.

Learn More