Release Date: December 1, 2017
Catalog #: NV6132
Format: Digital
21st Century

The Mitten

Mona Lyn Reese composer
Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Petr Vronsky conductor

Based on the Ukrainian folktale of the same name, THE MITTEN presents a world built using simple narration as its foundation and a complex composition creating the surrounding universe. Composer Mona Lyn Reese needs only to speak a few short sentences from a children’s tale in each track, and then lets the performers in the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra carry the details of the story deep into the imagination.

THE MITTEN is the tale of a child who loses a mitten in the woods. Various animals find the garment and seek refuge inside of it, each animal growing larger and more absurd than the last. When composing the piece, Reese assigned each animal a unique instrument; the clarinet scurries like a mouse, the violin soars like the owl, the tuba bumbles like the boar, and so on.

The composition starts off coy, curious with innocent trots of the clarinet as the boy loses his mitten and leaves the forest. When the animals continue to squeeze into the garment for shelter, the orchestral tips balance and crescendos into chaos. The weight of each instrument piles on top of one other inflating into an anxious, busy sound until the orchestra explodes into an exciting climax.

THE MITTEN contains three different versions with an English narration, Spanish narration, and an instrumental version. Though the compositions don’t change, listening to each one feels like a brand-new journey, ensuring that the Reese’s work can be just as timeless as the folktale.


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Artist Information

Mona Lyn Reese


Mona Lyn Reese concentrates on opera, orchestra, and choral music. Her work is melodic and accessible with an emphasis on driving or complex rhythms, movement, and contrasting textures. Her music communicates and expresses emotions traditionally or experimentally without allowing a prevailing fashion to dictate style, form, or harmony.

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.

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.