Release Date: May 24, 2019
Catalog #: NV6227
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Chamber
Solo Instrumental
Clarinet
Piano
Violin

In Tandem

Solos And Duos

Lee Actor composer
Peter Greve composer
Steven A. Kennedy composer
Sidney Bailin composer
Allen Brings composer

Introducing the album is Lee Actor’s Duo for Violin and Cello. The track, which won the Eva Thompson Phillips Award for Composition in 1979, is a short, textured, and powerful piece. In ABA form, the energy of the stringed instruments swings like a parabola from the height of sharp, angular rhythms down into deep and gentle expressions and builds up to a sharp, explosive climax.

Contrasting with this minimal violin-cello duo, Peter Greve’s Aria is slow and expansive. The composer pairs the trumpet and organ, mastering the interweaving of the brass instrument’s long slurring path around the subtle foundation laid by the keys.

The sonata Marian is a composition created by Steven Kennedy. Kennedy’s composition represents a polyptych of the Life of Jesus Christ, interpreted through the grace of the violin and piano. In four carefully composed pieces, Kennedy guides the listener through Christ’s beginnings (“Advent l’enfant”), alongside Christ as he walks to the cross (“Lento Doloroso”), the thunderous early stages of the movement of his tomb (“Resurrectio”), and finally the arrival of the Holy Spirit (“Jubilatio Spiritu”).

Sidney Bailin employs jazz influences in Blue Plea. Writing for clarinet, the tone of the piece is influenced by the 2nd movement of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet. Though the atmosphere of the piece often feels improvisational, the careful calculation of Bailin’s every note creates a story, one of sorrow and pleading, that introduces subjects and counter-subjects through his use of riffs.

The last track of the album, Allen Brings’ Duo for Flute and Piano, closes the album with three movements. Echoing some of the themes of J.S. Bach’s inventions, the flute and piano create a relationship that is at once contentious and allied. The composition creates a back-and-forth between the two instruments like a game of tag, influencing each others’ performances in both moments of softness and ferocity.

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Artist Information

Lee Actor

Composer

Composer and conductor Lee Actor (b. 1952) was one of five composers selected in November 2014 as an “Honored Artist of the American Prize”, the first time this prestigious award has been bestowed. He has won a number of awards for his compositions, most recently for Dance Rhapsody, winner of the Austin Civic Orchestra Composition Competition and second place winner of the 2011 American Prize in Orchestral Composition, Redwood Fanfare, a winner of the 2009 Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra Fanfare Competition, and Concerto for Horn and Orchestra, the First Prize Winner in the 2007 International Horn Society Composition Contest.

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Peter Greve

Composer

Peter Greve was born in 1931 in The Hague (Netherlands). He received musical training in The Hague from Jean Antonietti and Léon Orthel (piano), Theo Laanen (trumpet), Dr. Marcus van Crevel (music theory), and later from Willem Frederik Bon (Amsterdam), Myers Foggin (UK), and Terence Lovett (UK) in orchestral conducting. At that same time, he studied at the State University of Leiden (Netherlands), where he obtained M.Sc. (1957) and Ph.D. (1959) degrees in chemistry.

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Steven Kennedy

Composer

Steven Kennedy resides in New England where he freelances as a film music reviewer/commentator, bassoonist, conductor, and keyboardist. He is a member of the American Composer's Forum, the Dramatist's Guild, Leading Musicians, and BMI. He composes in a variety of genres with works for orchestra, band, chorus, and solo instruments.

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Sidney Bailin

Composer

Sidney Bailin started composing when he was 6. His first piece was in three-part counterpoint, a fact that he still cannot explain. Imitative counterpoint remains a defining characteristic of his music, perhaps because of his early exposure to species counterpoint, which he learned formally at the age of 10.

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Allen Brings

Composer

A native of New York City, Allen Brings received a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Queens College and a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University, where he was a Mosenthal Fellow and a student of Otto Luening, and a doctorate in theory and composition from Boston University, where he was a teaching fellow and a student of Gardner Read.

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Lucie Kaucká

Pianist

The pianist Lucie Kaucká was born on March 31, 1978 in Kraslice near Karlovy Vary, where she began studying music at the age of seven. She continued her piano studies at the Conservatory of Teplice and the Conservatory of Pardubice with Martin Hröel. After graduation from Pardubice she concentrated on the study of musicology at the Palacky University in Olomouc and finished successfully there in 2003.

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