Contemporary Works For Orchestra
Ahmed Alabaca composer
Sarah Wallin Huff composer
Noam Faingold composer
Raisa Orshansky composer
Craig Morris composer
Scott Brickman composer
Aldun G. Vassdal composer
Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava | Robert Kružík conductor, Jiří Petrdlík conductor
Navona Records’ exhilarating PRISMA VOL. 3 unveils the diverse faces of contemporary orchestral music. Featuring the works of seven composers, PRISMA VOL. 3 follows up the success of the first two PRISMA installments with symphonic music that is both innovative and deeply alluring.
The album opens with Ascension for Solo Clarinet and String Orchestra by Ahmed Alabaca, which pairs tender yet excitable clarinet lines with the cinematic grandeur of a string orchestra. Next comes Dark Glass Sinfonia by Sarah Wallin Huff, in which crumpled dissonances flower into exuberant tonality, capitalizing on the full dynamic range of the orchestra. The Defiant Poet by Noam Faingold follows, which lovingly commemorates the outspoken Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Then, Raisa Orshansky’s Spring Fantasy explores themes of birth and renewal in nature, as inspired by another Russian poet— Alexander Blok. Next, Songs of the Seasons by Craig Morris utilizes chromaticism to evoke colorful images from nature, with all its hope and uncertainty. The second-to-last piece on the album is Restoration by Scott Brickman, which he describes as a “symphony in one movement”; the music, with its flirting allusions to Eastern European folk songs, celebrates Brickman’s Latvian and Polish heritage. Lastly, in Prelude & Fugue for Orchestra, Audun G. Vassdal takes liberties with classical forms to create music that is at once playful and intensely evocative.
The symphony orchestra is a powerful instrument; writing orchestral music presents significant obstacles and tantalizing opportunities for even the most skilled composer. In PRISMA VOL. 3, seven masters of this challenging artform rethink what a symphony orchestra is capable of, and in so doing, present their audience with a unique and gratifying musical experience.