Release Date: July 14, 2017
Catalog #: NV6111
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Solo Instrumental

The Sea Knows

Michael Kurek composer

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.

In today’s contemporary musical world, composers are often all too aware that a piece may be premiered and then performed again rarely, if ever.  These pieces seem likely to defy that cruel cycle.  Thoroughly “road-tested,” and listener-approved, the works making up THE SEA KNOWS have been performed before many audiences and seem likely to be enjoyed by many more to come.

The expansive opening Serenade for Violoncello and Harp is constituted by a single sweeping movement.  Melodic materials presented by the cello are built around the expansion of two central themes.  These themes, described by the composer as “simple,” are explored and transformed until they become anything but.  This melodic transformation, rendered here by Ovidiu Marinescu, exists atop a virtuosic harp tapestry of harmonic filigree admirably played by Rita Costanzi.

Also featuring cellist Ovidiu Marinescu, a PARMA labelmate, the album title track is a tour de force for cello soloist and string orchestra.  The work unfolds in sonata form and was written as a programmatic depiction of a poem of the same name written by the composer.  In both music and poem, vastness is a central theme, and the emotive lines played by the cello sometimes crash against the waves of the orchestra and sometimes allow the musical tides to pull them along.


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Artist Information

Michael Kurek


American composer Michael Kurek’s music is receiving increasing acclaim for its lush, neo-traditional, melodic, and narrative style, reminiscent of the early 20th century symphonists. It has garnered performances by numerous symphony orchestras and chamber groups throughout the United States and in 15 countries on five continents, in addition to online streams in over 100 countries on six continents. His works have been heard nationwide on NPR and other countries’ national radio broadcasts, and have also been profiled in national print media and music journals.

Rita Costanzi


Through her depth of expression as an internationally recognized harp soloist, actor, writer, and teacher, Rita Costanzi, in the words of Irish Author, Treasa O’Driscoll, “bears the mark of the true artist whose task it is to rise above the tumult of the times. A force of truth and love in herself and a musician of exceptional accomplishment, her playing never fails to touch the souls of listeners in deep and unexpected ways.”

Ovidiu Marinescu

Cellist, Composer

Ovidiu Marinescu, a native of Romania, is active as a cellist, conductor, composer, and educator. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Rachmaninov Hall, Holywell Room in Oxford, Oriental Art Center in Shanghai, and many other venues around the world. He has appeared as a soloist with the New York Chamber Symphony, the National Radio Orchestra of Romania, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Helena and Newark Symphonies, Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Philharmonic, Limeira Symphony in Brazil, Orquesta de Extremadura in Spain, and most orchestras in Romania.