Release Date: October 11, 2019
Catalog #: NV6251
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Orchestral
Guitar
Orchestra
Voice

Dimensions Vol. 2

Works For Orchestra

Erich Stem composer
Bill Whitley composer
Brian T. Field composer
Mark Francis composer
Jan Järvlepp composer

Beginning as a single spark of inspiration, the orchestral work blossoms into something transcendentally grand and organically rich. DIMENSIONS VOL 2, the second in Navona Records’ series for orchestra, presents five organically inspired compositions, with music that is as multidimensional and richly textured as the subject matter is multifaceted. Traverse through each unique work and witness what vast results can be drawn from the creative mind.

Erich Stem’s orchestral rhapsody Portland is indescribably vivid; even if you’ve never been to Portland, you’ll certainly feel like you’ll have. One hears the bustle of a big city, scurrying people, novelty at every corner; but also surrounded by mountains, forests, and gushing streams of white water. Bonzai Down, composed by Bill Whitley, takes the listener on a precarious mountain bike journey. The piece is a musical depiction of the steep Bonzai Trail in Oregon. Written in the rondo form, Whitley contrasts stretches of tranquil serenity in the deep, coniferous forest with the heart-stopping thrill, tempo, and panache of the main theme.

Brian Field’s A Letter from Camp illustrates the emotional turmoil of war and its far-reaching consequences. Walt Whitman’s eponymous poem, here set to music for soprano and orchestra, dramatically brings the Civil War-era poem into the 21st Century by highlighting the universality of human suffering beyond the battle field, to the farms and families of those engaged in armed conflict. Concerto No. 2 by Mark Francis bears the subtitle In somnis veritas, “in dreams there is truth”; and there is plenty of dreaminess and true musicianship to be found in this concerto for guitar and orchestra. Mark, himself an accomplished guitarist, uses his virtuosic instrumental skill and rich musical imagination to create a concerto fit to join Rodrigo’s classic Concierto de Aranjuez as a repertoire staple.

Jan Järvlepp’s Street Music is a lighthearted piece for percussion and brass, evocative of a walk on a hot, sunny day off with nothing but cheerful thoughts in mind. Its sense of levity fittingly rounds off the album–an album which not only caters to a diverse range of personal tastes, but which might also be able to expand them.

Listen

Hear the full album on YouTube

Artist Information

Erich Stem

Composer

Erich Stem’s music has been described as “sophisticated and intriguing” (The Washington Post), “unique and beautiful” (Boston Theatre Review), and as having a “fluent and chaotic exchange that breaks minimalism apart” (A Closer Listen). It pulls from a variety of sources, including American jazz, Japanese shakuhachi music, and Stem’s interest in improvisation. His music has been performed live around the globe in places such as New York City, Boston, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Miami, England, the Netherlands, and Romania, and can be heard on albums by critically acclaimed groups such as counter)induction, Aurelia Saxophone Quartet, SOLI Chamber Ensemble, and the Cadillac Moon Ensemble. His commissions include music for recognized artists such as saxophonist Johan van der Linden and flutist Lindsey Goodman.

Bill Whitley

Composer

Elements of Gregorian chant, Indian raga music, gamelan, rock, and progressive rock are frequently present in Bill Whitley’s work. Western composers who continue to influence his work include Brian Eno, John Cage, Laurie Anderson, Meredith Monk, Tetsu Inoue, Giacinto Scelsi, Morton Feldman, Lou Harrison, Pauline Oliveros, and Paul Dresher.

Brian Field

Composer

Brian Field’s music is an eclectic fusion of lyricism and driving rhythm that brings together elements of post-romanticism, minimalism, and jazz. Field has received a host of awards, including the RMN Classical recording prize, the Benenti Foundation recording prize, Briar Cliff Choral Music Competition (first prize), the Victor Herbert ASCAP Young Composers’ Contest (first prize), among many others.

Mark Francis

Composer

Mark Francis’ musical career has varied from teaching, composing, performing, and journalism to orchestral administration. He has studied composition with Walter Hartley and James Eversole and guitar with Joanne Castellani, Clare Callahan, and Joseph Fratianni.

Jan Järvlepp

Composer

Composer Jan Järvlepp creates a genuine European/American musical fusion by combining the excitement of rock and jazz rhythms with the large-scale classical structures found in orchestral and chamber music. The seriousness of his well-thought-out forms and the immediacy of contemporary rhythmic and melodic ideas make a potent brew that is appealing to both open-minded classical listeners and pop music listeners who are searching for something new.

Explore more albums in this series