Like ocean currents, rising, falling, and sometimes uncovering what was previously hidden, the Croatian Chamber Orchestra exposes five composers’ stories, and the emotions surrounding these stories, through dynamic and compelling performances. In BENEATH THE TIDE, each work travels through currents of feelings, from melancholy and loss, to nostalgia, to the warmth that comes with human love and connection. The Croatian Chamber Orchestra brings these works to the surface with power, tenderness, and sensitivity to each composer’s intentions.
CLARINET CONCERTO, OP.186
In this work the soloist is accompanied by the non-string instruments of the orchestra. The clarinet presents its somber lines and utterings against a backdrop of almost bleak harmony. When sections and passages are fast, accompanimental rhythms can be automaton-like in their repetitiveness. — MC
In Passages for violin soloist and string orchestra
In Passages is a contemplation of lyrical tenderness and reflection on the passages of emotion – the ebb and flow of feelings that continually emerge and recede throughout life. The music is an interplay between the soloist and the orchestra, rather than the traditional role of the soloist being in the forefront. The soloist emerges from the orchestral strings in much the way that intense feelings surface from the unconscious, giving voice to emotional currents, and then receding back into the chorus of the subliminal. – RW
Guitar Concerto No. 1 (Remembrance of Hometown)
This piece is a single movement guitar concerto. It was written at the time when the composer moved to a foreign country and missed her hometown. The motif came from the Hengchun folksong “Nostalgia,” which is a tune that originated from the southern countryside of Taiwan and has been used with many different lyrics. The concerto begins with a guitar solo overture, playing a melancholic melody to express homesickness. The structure is based on an overture-rondo-coda form. The music changes back and forth from sections of melodic mourning to sections of atonal suppressed screaming, which reflects the ambivalence of nostalgic thoughts and the mindset of helplessness as a traveller. — SH
I composed Lullaby for violin and orchestra in 2002, to celebrate the birth of Enrico Liva, the son of my friends Victor Liva and Jennifer Shaw. Later, I revised the score in 2018. In keeping with the nature of a lullaby, I chose a lyrical and harmonically lush environment with violin solo, the instrument played not only by Victor but also by many generations of the Liva family. Within the orchestral accompaniment, short solos are heard from the flute, horn, and violoncello, instruments played by other musicians who are part of our circle of friends. Although Lullaby is a considerable departure from my usual compositional interests, it is my hope that it achieves what I set out to accomplish, namely, to embrace the beauty of the newborn child gently and with wonder. — BR
CONCERTO FOR PIANO
The Concerto for Piano and Orchestra was written in 1974 when I was 21 years old and a senior at the Dana School of Music, Youngstown State University. It was premiered at Powers Auditorium in Youngstown OH on May 15, 1975, by the Dana Symphony Orchestra with William Solcum conducting and Dolores Fitzer on piano. This concerto was the first large-scale work composed by a student to be programmed on the Dana Concert Series.
When I went to graduate school to study composition, the faculty wasn’t interested in this concerto because it was “too conventional.” This was at the height of the avant-garde experimental period and they thought this was too traditional, so I put the score away. It sat on a shelf for 41 years until 2016, when I sent it to the conductor of the Las Vegas Philharmonic who was very interested in programming it. His enthusiasm renewed my interest in the piece. I then revised it and added some orchestration to the original composition in 2016-17 and presented it to PARMA Recordings, who were interested in recording it. I received a generous grant from Dr. Carole Rae who made this wonderful recording possible.
I am very fortunate that the concerto was recorded by the renown Croatian Chamber Orchestra under the brilliant direction of Miran Vaupotić and the incredible performance of award-winning pianist Charlene Farrugia. They along with the PARMA engineering team have brought this concerto back to life with this masterful recording. This recording is a dream come true that I thought would never happen. — BM
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