Rhapsody No. 1   Vaibhav Mohanty

Rhapsody No. 1 for alto saxophone and piano is a journey through harmonic and rhythmic elements created from the fusion of Western classical, jazz, and traditional Indian music. Each section of the piece presents distinct textural and coloristic features that evolve along with the melodic material. The main theme appears in many forms, including rapid and virtuosic passages as well as expressive, tranquil ones. The ebb and flow of intensity and energy generated by these passages acts as a guiding force throughout the course of the music.


Rhapsody No. 1 was written for saxophonist Jake Tilton in 2017 to be premiered during Harvard University’s 25th annual ARTS FIRST Festival. The piece is published by RadnofskyCouperEDITIONS in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Refugees   Robert Anton Strobel

Refugees reflects the broad pallet of experiences from people that had to leave their homes to go to another place under duress. Being a refugee can involve hunger, poverty, and other ills. Sometimes people are forced to leave, and other times, violence or persecution makes leaving necessary. The psychological impact of such experiences must be devastating. Overall, society should be aware of the enmity that all too often ends up in the cross-hairs of innocent people. The listener can imagine whatever they’d like, but I imagined a circumstance taking place after World War II. Many had to flee after this due to the iron curtain or revised national borders. For this music, I decided to be influenced by classical keyboard sonatas, but with a more modern viewpoint. In a sonata-like form, parts of the thematic areas are reversed when they return, even though the accompaniment stays similar both times. A twelve-tone cantus firmus also pervades this work. Originally, Refugees was part of a larger piano sonata, but after some feedback, I decided to split it up into separate entities. I'm don't regret it, because as a stand-alone work it has more meaning, unity, and mileage than as part of a set of pieces.


L’etere del Tempo   Keith Kramer

L'etere del Tempo (The Ether of Time), is based on the second order all-combinatorial hexachord 6-7 [012678], which is the same set demonstrated by Messiaen’s fifth mode of limited transposition. This set is featured in two distinct row forms that shape the melodic and harmonic basis of the work. The title of the piece reflects the concept of the expansion of time (temporal dilation), as exemplified by the use of silence. An additional feature is the use of oboe multiphonics that are integrated into the piece, accentuating the fundamental pitches of melodic constructs with the use of overtones. The piece was composed for oboist Charles Huang and pianist Susan Cheng who premièred the composition and appear on this recording. It was a pleasure to work with them and I am very appreciative for their dedication and superlative musicianship that they brought to all of their performances of the work.


Rejuvenated (Variations on a Youthful Theme)   Matthew J. Jaskot

Rejuvenated (Variations on a Youthful Theme) (2016) is a theme and variation form based on a simple pentatonic melody.  Typically, in this form, the theme is presented first and is followed by a series of variations.  In this work however, the theme emerges in the middle of the piece and is surrounded by 7 variations, in which a driving pulse is omnipresent and propels the music forward.  The pulse is often grouped irregularly, in five or seven, which is reflective of the perfect fourth (5 half steps) and perfect fifth (7 half steps) based sonorities that are prevalent in the piece.  Each variation is relatively short and linked together to provide a continuous narrative.  In contrast, the theme is presented freely as if time has been stopped.  The structure is as follows:


Variation 1: With Persistent Pulse

Variation 2:  Syncopated and Jazzy

Variation 3:  Fleeting, Fading Away

Variation 4:  Dense, Like a Music Box

Theme:         Freely, Reflective

Variation 5:  With Driving Energy

Variation 6:  Bright and Playful

Variation 7:  With Relentless Energy


Tsigili’i: Black-Capped Chickadee   Jonathan Graybill

This is the first piece in my ongoing series The Ancient Language of Birds. Each work in the series pairs a single avian species from North America with a solo instrument. In several stories in Cherokee culture, the Chickadee was associated as a messenger of truth and knowledge. It was thought that hearing the bird outside one’s home was an indication that a long absent person was returning home, or to warn of danger ahead if heard on the trail. You might take a moment to reflect on these thoughts the next time you are walking in the woods and you hear a Chickadee nearby. Tsigili’i is one possible spelling for the Cherokee word for chickadee. The Cherokee people would most likely have heard poecile carolinensis. The works in the series  explore the stories, mythology, and original names of Native American origin surrounding these birds as a basis for each work. The electronic parts are created from the unaltered songs and calls heard at the beginning of each work. This project is also about source and foundation, as ways to connect with time, history, and the materials that connect all living beings to each other.


When all else fails (take your time)    Jacob Thiede

When all else fails (take your time) is part of a series of music for instrument and computer that involve the exploration of sine tones and rhythmic rides. Commissioned by Matt Hightower for the 2017 South Central Tuba Euphonium Conference at University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley.


Dreams Interrupted   Mark W. Phillips


Wide Awake!

Sweet Dreams


Whole Lotta Wakin' Goin' On



The commission for a premiere in Memphis, Tennessee, offered me a good excuse to search for inspiration in the city's rich musical and cultural heritage, which includes W. C. Handy and the vibrant Beale Street blues tradition, the seminal Sun studio recordings, Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, and much more. Before long, I was drowning in a sea of "inspiration," but getting nowhere on the actual composition -- until I visited the city a few months before the premiere. Too early each morning, a loud alarm went off in the hotel room adjacent to mine and kept up its obnoxious, rhythmic bleating for a solid hour or more. Somewhere in the haze of extreme sleep deprivation and frequently interrupted dreams, I found the narrative for my personal and idiosyncratic tribute to Memphis and to the memory of Dr. King.


The composition has five programmatically titled movements performed without pause: Wide Awake!, Sweet Dreams, Sleepwalking, Whole Lotta Wakin' Goin' On, and Lullaby. For contributions to the accompanying soundtrack, I am indebted to Mark Snyder and Scott Hinds for Memphis source recordings and to Sylvester Young, Jack Wright, Esther Rose Wilen, Richard Syracuse, and members of the commissioning group, including conductor Kamran Ince, who represent a remarkable diversity of ethnic and cultural backgrounds.



Navona Records offers listeners a fresh taste of today's leading innovators in orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and experimental music as well as prime pieces of classic repertoire. Our music is meticulously performed by the finest musicians and handpicked to ensure the most rewarding listening experience.

223 Lafayette Road

North Hampton NH 03862



press (at)

603.758.1718 x 151