Elliott Miles Mckinley composer
The New York Festival Brass Quintet
The Estrella Consort
Erik Rohde conductor
Andrew Martin percussion solo
Clare Longendyke, Emi Kagawa piano
Award-winning composer Elliott McKinley’s music has been performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. On THREE SCENES, he presents three powerful pieces of modern chamber music of the caliber that has earned him global recognition.
THREE SCENES opens with Six Movements for Brass Quintet performed by the New York Festival Brass Quintet, who have been lauded as performing “chamber music at its highest levels.” The six movements of the somber composition transition from the slightly ominous feel of the introduction, “Glass Towers,” to the mournful mood of first of the song’s three episodes, “Dirge.” An interlude, “Fanfare,” brings an up-tempo flourish to the piece, which concludes with the stately “Elegy for Dad.”
Aria, a piece written for saxophone quartet and fixed-media, is performed by the Estrella Consort, a quartet that is committed to the performance of exciting new works. Here, the refined, lovely interplay of the soprano, alto, tenor and bass saxophones works to produce a rich, vibrant ambiance that is thoroughly compelling.
The final selection on THREE SCENES is a chamber concerto, Four Grooves, which won the Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival’s MusicNow competition. Here, the Estrella Consort’s brilliant performance is enhanced by that of several percussion instruments. As its title implies, Four Grooves is comprised of four movements, each with its own distinct texture. The melodic full tone of “Marimba Madness” segues into the pulsating, rhythmic “An African Dream,” which in turn segues to “Heavy Metals,” a light-hearted, spirited movement that absolutely belies its title. The piece concludes with the driving propulsion of “A Different Drummer.”
The three compositions on THREE SCENES, McKinley’s third release with Navona Records, offer an intriguing glimpse into the nuanced and intriguing talents of this powerful composer.