Release Date: February 8, 2019
Catalog #: NV6212
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century

Souls In Transitions

Carl Vollrath composer

Summa Trio
Maiani Da Silva cello
Jennifer Bewerse violin
Karolina Rojahn piano

Beginning with just the spark to write three trios, composer Carl Vollrath created an intense yet reflective collection of works in SOULS IN TRANSITIONS. This Navona Records release moves through waves of contemplation on life, history, and the evolution of spirituality through the performances of violin, cello, and piano by acclaimed pianist Karolina Rojahn.

After a colleague of Vollrath’s at Troy University listened to the pieces, he told the composer that the first Trio reminded him of images he had seen of ancient Peruvian cave paintings. Indeed, the moments of intensity paired with thoughtfulness in the first movement conjure up a feeling of awe, much like one might have when viewing these paintings created by hands thousands of years gone. Repeating motives with subtle differences, sometimes presenting deep, resonant tones in the lower registers of the strings, other times presenting brisk pizzicato, slurred runs, and climbs to the height of each instrument’s voice, all form a sense of wonder and mystery.

Trios II and III act in much the same way. Trio II is inspired by the ancient Egyptian ritual of bringing food to tombs to give meals to the deceased on their journey to the afterlife, with the idea being that the dead are not really gone but rather are in another place. Trio III looks into the Buddhist faith, reflecting on its extensive history and considering how religion evolves just as man does.

Between Vollrath’s balance of intensity and contemplation in his writing, and the dynamic performances of virtuoso Rojahn and the Summa Trio, SOULS IN TRANSITIONS is a moving performance that demonstrates the power of musical motives and the piano trio.


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).

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.