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Release Date: June 12, 2020
Catalog #: NV6289
Format: Digital & Physical

Through Glass

Works From The Other Side Of The Mirror

Ovidiu Marinescu composer
Bruce Babcock composer
I’lana Cotton composer
Alla Elana Cohen composer
Curt Cacioppo composer
L Peter Deutsch composer

Navona Records presents some of the finest American voices of modern serious music on THROUGH GLASS, a brand-new compilation of recently-created works for piano – both solo and in chamber setups.

Ovidiu Marinescu's Rorrim for cello and piano makes the start. Loosely based on a motif by Johann Sebastian Bach, it could be called a concept piece: its title, "mirror" spelled backwards, is reflective of the mirrorings and variations of Bach's fragment therein. Bruce Babcock continues on a similar note with his riskily-titled Alternative Facts, a piece for solo piano characterized by a deceptively simple, mechanical main rhythm repeated in complex harmonies. As announced in the title, a deliberate systematic confusion prevails, and with astonishing accuracy.

I’lana Cotton's ambitious The Return for piano, violin, and cello bridges the gap between Ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu and French avant garde composer Olivier Messiaen – and that gap is smaller than one might think. At 13.5 minutes, the work impressively centers around a beautiful dark mode and the melodic variations it generates. Alla Cohen's Three Film Noir Pieces were intended to be heard along two movies, Cat People and The Curse of the Cat People, both films from the WWII-era. Cohen's solo piano works reflect the composer’s celebrated sophisticated style, and perfectly transport the eerie atmosphere of the films into music.

Curt Cacioppo's Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano derives its material entirely from solfège spellings of the names of the three players. The three-movement work cycles through a wide range of emotions, from whimsy to unhinged rage, and concludes with a quasi-tango with a political message. Peter Deutsch's fugue De Profundis Clamavi (roughly, "from the depths I have cried [to you, Lord]") is a calm reflection on the human longing that creates but also transcends religion. Inspired by Renaissance polyphony, this trio (set for conventional piano trio) calmly and conclusively rounds off THROUGH GLASS.


Hear the full album on YouTube

Performance Video

Ovidiu Marinescu - Rorrim No. 1. A Short Essay | Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Rorrim No. 1 (A Short Essay) Ovidiu Marinescu Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 5:32
02 Alternative Facts (Version for Piano) Bruce Babcock Gloria Cheng, piano 6:26
03 The Return I’lana Cotton Gramercy Trio | Sharan Leventhal, violin; Jonathan Miller, cello; Randall Hodgkinson, piano 13:28
04 3 Film Noir Pieces Alla Elana Cohen Lukáš Klánský. piano 6:53
05 Trio for Violin, Horn & Piano: I. Barcarolle Curt Cacioppo Francesco D’Orazio, violin; David Wetherill, horn; Curt Cacioppo, piano 4:31
06 Trio for Violin, Horn & Piano: II. Fantaisie Curt Cacioppo Francesco D’Orazio, violin; David Wetherill, horn; Curt Cacioppo, piano 6:23
07 Trio for Violin, Horn & Piano: III. Tango Curt Cacioppo Francesco D’Orazio, violin; David Wetherill, horn; Curt Cacioppo, piano 8:26
08 De Profundis Clamavi L Peter Deutsch Trio Casals | Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Sylvia Ahramjian, violin; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 5:14

Rorrim no. 1 A Short Essay
Recorded June 1, 2019 at Futura Productions in Roslindale MA
Session Producer Brad Michel
Session Engineer John Weston

Alternative Facts
Recorded July 19, 2019 at Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center Recording Studio, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music in Los Angeles CA
Session Producer Bruce Babcock
Session Engineer Rich Breen

The Return
Recorded March 14, 2019 at Futura Productions in Roslindale MA
Producer Brad Michel
Session Engineer John Weston
Assistant Engineer Jacob Steingart

Three Film Noir Pieces
Recorded June 18, 2019 Reduta Hall in Olomouc, Czech Republic
Session Producer Vít Mužík
Session Engineer, International Recording Sessions Manager Jan Košulič
Assistant Engineer Maroš Hlatký

Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano
Recorded April 14 - 15, 2019 in Marshall Auditorium, Roberts Hall at Haverford College in Haverford PA
Session Producer & Engineer Richard Price, Candlewood Digital
This recording was sponsored by Benn and Eva Sah, with additional support from Orenda Press, Haverford College, and anonymous donor contributions.

De Profundis Clamavi
Recorded November 4, 2018 at Rose Recital Hall in Philadelphia PA
Session Producer Brad Michel
Session Engineer Eugene Lew

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Morgan Santos, Sam Renshaw, Chris Robinson

VP, Audio Production Jeff LeRoy
Recording Sessions Director Levi Brown
Recording Sessions Assistant Emma Terrell

International Recording Sessions Manager Jan Košulič

Audio Director, Editing & Mixing (tracks 3 and 4) Lucas Paquette

Editing & Mixing (track 1) Brad Michel

Editing & Mixing (track 8), Mastering Shaun Michaud

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Patrick Niland, Sara Warner

Artist Information

Ovidiu Marinescu

Cellist, Composer

Ovidiu Marinescu, a native of Romania, is active as a cellist, conductor, composer, and educator. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Rachmaninov Hall, Holywell Room in Oxford, Oriental Art Center in Shanghai, and many other venues around the world. He has appeared as a soloist with the New York Chamber Symphony, the National Radio Orchestra of Romania, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Helena and Newark Symphonies, Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Philharmonic, Limeira Symphony in Brazil, Orquesta de Extremadura in Spain, and most orchestras in Romania.

Bruce Babcock


Applauded by Aaron Copland, inspired by Desmond Tutu, and mentored by Hugo Friedhofer and Earle Hagen, Bruce Babcock has spent his working life composing music for the musicians of Los Angeles. Successful in both film and television, and the concert hall, he is known for vibrant, sonorous, expressive pieces that immerse audience and performers alike in an inclusive and exuberant celebration of the musical art.

I’lana Cotton


I'lana Cotton is a composer, improviser, and pianist who has created works for a broad range of genres, from solo piano and small chamber groups to large choral and instrumental ensembles. Her concert music has been performed in the United States, the UK, Europe, and China.

Alla Elana Cohen


Alla Elana Cohen is a distinguished composer, pianist, music theorist, and teacher who came to the United States in 1989 from Russia. Graduating from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory with the highest honors of distinction, Cohen lives in Boston and is a professor at Berklee College of Music.

Curt Cacioppo


Curt Cacioppo's compositions synthesize and reflect multiple dimensions of his musical and humanistic experience. Like his mentor Leon Kirchner, and other composer/performers such as Frederic Rzewski and George Walker, he is a formidable pianist, fully grounded in the traditional solo, ensemble, and concerto literature, and avidly involved with new repertoire.

L Peter Deutsch


L Peter Deutsch is a native of Massachusetts, now living in Sonoma County CA, and British Columbia, Canada. He writes primarily for small instrumental or a capella vocal ensembles, spanning styles from devotional to romantic to jazzy, and from Renaissance to early 20th century. Works to date include four choral commissions; releases through PARMA Recordings include music for chorus, string quartet, woodwind and brass quintets, piano trio (featuring work with Trio Casals), and full orchestra.

Anna Kislitsyna


Pianist and harpsichordist Anna Kislitsyna made her solo debut at age 10 with the Omsk Symphony Orchestra. She remains in high demand as a soloist, collaborative pianist, and educator. Recent season highlights include five new album productions with PARMA Recordings and two release concerts in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, performing Haydn and Shostakovich Piano Concertos with Helena Symphony and Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, and returning to the Omsk Philharmonic as a soloist to give the inaugural performance on the new harpsichord.

Anna Kislitsyna

Anna Kislitsyna


Pianist and harpsichordist Anna Kislitsyna received her bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees in Piano Performance from Novosibirsk Conservatory. She was on the piano faculty at the Novosibirsk Conservatory and Novosibirsk Special Music School-College before moving to the United States in 2012. Kislitsyna completed her second master’s degree at West Chester University of Pennsylvania and her D.M.A. at Temple University.

Kislitsyna has concertized throughout Russia, Europe, and the United States as a recitalist, concerto soloist, and chamber musician. She appeared in such halls as Carnegie Hall, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Rachmaninov Hall of Moscow Conservatory, Alfred Cortot Hall of Paris Conservatory, Novosibirsk Philharmonic Hall, and numerous concert stages in Russia, Finland, Italy, France, Ukraine, the United States, and more.

Kislitsyna is a winner of many competitions including: Chopin International Piano Competition, Connecticut; Liszt International Competition, Los Angeles, CA; Lautard-Chevtchenko International Piano Competition, France; International Chamber Ensembles Competition in Finland; and various International Piano Competitions in Russia and Europe.  In 2014 Kislitsyna received the award from The Jacobs Music Steinway Company for outstanding pianistic achievements.

She has performed with such orchestras as Novosibirsk Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Omsk Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Omsk Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, Yaroslavl Academic Symphonic Orchestra, and Temple University Symphony Orchestra. Kislitsyna worked with such conductors as Yuri Nikolaevsky, Andreas Delfs, Evgeny Shestakov, Dmitry Vasilyev, Vladimir Prasolov, Evgeny Samoilov, Alexander Pariman, Mark Abramov, Andrei Radchenko, Valery Ryvkin, Andre Raphel, and Evgeny Bushkov.

Highly successful as a teacher, she has been invited to give master classes and judge international piano competitions. Her students performed with various symphony orchestras, including Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, Kiev Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Symphony Orchestras, Novosibirsk Symphony Orchestra, and others. Her students are winners of numerous international piano competitions in Italy, Austria, China, Korea, Poland, Ukraine, the United States, and Russia.

Gloria Cheng

Gloria Cheng


“Cheng, a pianist who consistently fuses deep emotionality with exacting precision…” San Francisco Classical Voice

“Pianist Gloria Cheng is one of the most adventurous interpreters of contemporary music around, and in a spectacular recital…consisting almost entirely of works written in the 21st century—she showed just how surprising, eclectic and emotionally engaging the contemporary piano repertoire can be.”   The Washington Post

“Gloria Cheng, who was one of Boulez’s favorite pianists, brought brutal elegance to Toshio Hosokawa’s ‘Haiku for Pierre Boulez.’” Los Angeles Times

GRAMMY and Emmy Award-winning pianist GLORIA CHENG has long been devoted to a process of creative collaboration, having worked extensively with such internationally-renowned composers as John Adams, Terry Riley, Thomas Adès, and the late Steven Stucky. Cheng has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta and Pierre Boulez, and on its acclaimed Green Umbrella series with Esa-Pekka Salonen and Oliver Knussen. She has been a recitalist at the Ojai Music Festival (where she first appeared in 1984 with Pierre Boulez), the Chicago Humanities Festival, William Kapell Festival, and Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. Cheng inspired and premiered such notable compositions as Esa-Pekka Salonen's Dichotomie (of which she is the dedicatee), John Adams’ Hallelujah Junction for two pianos (written for her and Grant Gershon), and Steven Stucky’s Piano Sonata. Partnering with composers in duo-recitals, she premiered Thomas Adès’s two-piano Concert Paraphrase on Powder Her Face and Terry Riley’s Cheng Tiger Growl Roar. Cheng received a GRAMMY Award for her 2008 recording, Piano Music of Salonen, Stucky, and Lutosławski, and a second GRAMMY nomination in 2013. On screen, Cheng’s film, MONTAGE: Great Film Composers and the Piano—documenting the recording of works composed for her by Bruce Broughton, Don Davis, Alexandre Desplat, Michael Giacchino, Randy Newman, and John Williams—aired on PBS SoCal and captured the 2018 Los Angeles Area Emmy Award for Independent Programming. Her most recent album, Garlands for Steven Stucky, is a star-studded tribute to the late composer by 32 of his friends and former students. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Stanford University, Cheng studied in Paris on a Woolley Scholarship and earned graduate degrees in performance from UCLA and the University of Southern California, where her teachers included Aube Tzerko and John Perry. Cheng now is on the faculty at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music where she has created courses and programs designed to unite performers, composers, and scholars.

Francesco D’Orazio

Francesco D’Orazio


In 2010, the Italian National Music Critics Association awarded Francesco D’Orazio the Premio Abbiati as “Best Soloist” of the year. He has recorded for Decca, Hyperion, Neos, Opus 111/Naive, Stradivarius, and Amadeus.

D'Orazio has performed at such major concert venues as the Berliner Philharmonie, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Royal Albert Hall in London and the Festivals Cervantino in Mexico, Istanbul, MiTo, Montpellier, Potsdam, Ravenna, Ravello, Salzburg, Strasbourg, Stresa, Tanglewood, and Venice Biennale. He has premiered violin and orchestra works by Terry Riley, Michael Nyman, Ivan Fedele, Brett Dean, Michele dall'Ongaro, Fabio Vacchi, Marcello Panni, Lorenzo Ferrero, Gilberto Bosco, Raffaele Bellafronte, Marco Betta, Fabian Panisello, and Valerio Sannicandro. D'Orazio has concertized with the London Symphony, Teatro alla Scala Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Mexico City Philharmonic, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Orchestre National Il de France, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Berliner Symphoniker, the RAI National Symphony Orchestra, the Nagoya Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Saarländischer Rundfunk, the Accademia Bizantina conducted by Lorin Maazel, Luciano Berio, Hubert Soudant, Ingo Metzmacher, Sakari Oramo, Daniel Kawka, Aaron Jay Kernis, Ottavio Dantone, Arturo Tamayo, and Hansjorg Schellenberger.

David Wetherill

David Wetherill


David Wetherill, long-time first-horn player with the Philadelphia Orchestra, began his professional career as Principal Horn with the renowned opera house Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy, playing the greatest operas with the finest singers and conductors in the world.

In 1976, Pierre Boulez asked Wetherill to come to Paris to work with  the Ensemble InterContemporain, as a founding member of that cutting-edge chamber orchestra. During this period, he performed dozens of premieres by the leading contemporary composers of the day, including Berio, Stockhausen, Xenakis, Boulez, and Messiaen. At the invitation of Maestro Eugene Ormandy, Wetherill returned to Philadelphia, where he played for nearly 30 years.

Now retired from full time playing, his focus is on conducting and teaching. Wetherill was a Fellow at the Conductors Institute at Bard College, and he was the Associate Conductor of the Lower Merion Symphony for ten years. He conducts The Orchestra Society of Philadelphia on a regular basis. Recently Wetherill introduced Delaware Valley concert-goers to the Symphony No. 1 in E minor (“Gaelic”) by Amy Beach, the first symphonic work ever composed by an American woman, and the first American symphony to embrace folk melodies in its thematic material. Wetherill graduated from the Curtis Institute, where he studied with Mason Jones.

The Gramercy Trio

The Gramercy Trio


The Gramercy Trio, (Sharan Leventhal, violin; Jonathan Miller, cello; Randall Hodgkinson, piano) tours the country presenting concerts and residencies, with programs that include standard repertoire and new works. They have commissioned and premiered trios by composers such as Gunther Schuller, Scott Wheeler, Lee Hyla, Grawemeyer-award winning British composer Simon Bainbridge, tango artist Sonia Possetti, and acclaimed jazz pianist and composer, Fred Hersch.

The New York Times has called their performances “distinctive and memorable… beautifully wrought and sensitively balanced” (Allan Kozinn), giving “the refreshing impression that everything they were doing was fun and worth hearing” (Anne Midgette). Jeremy Eichler of The Boston Globe called their project ‘Where Sound and Motion Meet’ “an ingenious program… The Gramercy’s performances throughout the night had the kind of kinesthetic energy and zest that hinted at the positive feedback loop between music and dance… the animating idea of a delightful evening.”

Recipient of a 2011 Chamber Music America Commissioning Grant, the trio has also been awarded grants from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music Recording and the American Composers Forum and can be heard on the Newport Classic, Naxos and Parma recording labels.


After hearing pianist Anna Kislitsyna play Bach Prelude BWV 855 as arranged by Alexander Siloti, I was drawn to the piece, both in its original form and the arrangement. While Bach wrote the quasi-perpetual sixteenth note motion in the left hand Siloti brought it to the right hand. I went a step further, somewhat freely inverting the text, on top of which I composed a cello cantilena of a distant, melancholic, perhaps angular character, with a burst of passion in the middle and a short cadenza. One of my goals was to avoid another a Prelude of some kind or an “Ave Maria” (as Gounod wrote on top of Bach’s Prelude in C Major). The working title of this piece was Mirror, which eventually became Rorrim (Mirror spelled backwards). “A Short Essay” hints at Samuel Barber’s Essays for Orchestra.

I had the opportunity to premiere the piece with pianist Carl Cranmer in Philips Autograph Library on April 25, 2019 for the Tom Smith Cello Scholarship Benefit Concert. The piece was recorded on June 1, 2019 in Boston with Anna Kislitsyna at Futura Productions for PARMA Recordings, with John Weston as engineer, and Brad Michel producer.

— Ovidiu Marinescu, May 28, 2019

"I loved the piece when I first heard it, and I love the piece with the fabulous video. Just perfect, all around." Alex Shapiro, composer, Symphonic & Concert writer member on the Board of Directors of ASCAP

"Great Piece! Great Performance! Riveting video! Congratulations! Really special!" Mike Lang, jazz pianist and composer and legendary Hollywood session musician

"Very nice combo or off-kilter rhythms and imaginative poly tonality." Todd Mason, Juilliard grad, Los Angeles-based composer

"Stunning performance of a gripping piece."Paul Gibson, Los Angeles-based composer

"Seriously, inventive, inspiring composition, and Gloria played the hell out of it." Bruce Miller, veteran Hollywood composer & arranger

Alternative Facts was composed as a reaction to the 2016 presidential campaign, election, and subsequent inauguration of our current president. Ever since he announced his candidacy we have, as a nation, endured a profound attack on reality, not to mention democracy, diplomacy, civility, and honesty. We now know first-hand the experience of passing "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There," Lewis Carroll's 1871 novel. We are also living in George Orwell's "1984" and the 1944 MGM film "Gaslight." This is now our exhausting "alternative facts" daily life.

Composed for my long-time friend and colleague, the brilliant Emmy and GRAMMY-winning pianist Gloria Cheng, Alternative Facts was recorded at the Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center Recording Studio, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music by multiple GRAMMY-winning engineer Rich Breen.

This short single-movement piece reflects the times we are living in. It is discombobulating, annoying, often loud, repetitive, confounding, crazy-making, tiresome, frenetic, all of the above. Fast (MM=280), with frequent meter changes, both serial and tonal elements, and alternating loud and quiet sections, the piece is a tour-de-force for the piano and requires a virtuoso pianist. Thankfully, we had one in Gloria Cheng. For more on Gloria Cheng. For more on Rich Breen.

— Bruce Babcock

The title for The Return comes from the Tao Te Ching #25, by Lao Tzu, which says that the Tao is called great and that it flows far away, and then returns. This passage gives me an image of the universe and its energy in a ceaseless cycle of expansion and contraction. This work is a single movement, with four sections titled:

The Out-Going
Homage á Messiaen
The In-Going begins
The Out-Going begins

It is written in a beautiful dark mode (m2, m3, M3, P5, m6, m7).

— I'lana Cotton

These pieces were written in connection with the concerts, which were organized at New England Conservatory (NEC) by my friend, great musician Ran Blake, the Chair of Contemporary Improvisation Department of NEC. At these concerts there was an actual movie demonstrated on the screen at Jordan Hall of NEC, and each of the participants of the concert — professors and students — received from Ran a fragment of the movie, to which he or she had to play the music at the concert during the demonstration of the movie. Three Film Noir Pieces were written in connection with the movies Cat People and The Curse of the Cat People, demonstrated at one of such concerts at NEC. In these pieces I sought to convey the crazy, sick, oppressive, and sinister atmosphere of both movies.

— Alla Cohen

The material of this new Horn Trio derives entirely from alphabetic/solfège spellings of the names of the three players. Each person initially states his own theme, and from there the themes trade back and forth, transpose, permutate, transfigure, form chords and progressions. The counterpoint is sometimes delicate, sometimes militant. The last movement is not the only example of lopsided tango (in triple meter) produced by the composer. With reference to an episode in Argentina a decade earlier, it ultimately denounces political leadership that does violence to art.

— Curt Cacioppo

This 7-voice fugue draws its strength from the wide range and varying sonorities of the piano trio. The two strings each carry two voices (in different registers), and the piano carries four. The fugue subject is a 12-note (not 12-tone!) melody with the text underlay “De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine” (“from the depths I have cried to you, Lord”), a statement of a universal experience of suffering that transcends its origins in Christian religion. The style is similar to Renaissance polyphony, which inspires much of my music, but with more modern freedom of key and mode.

— L Peter Deutsch


Rorrim No. 1 (excerpt)

Ovidiu Marinescu

Alternative Facts (excerpt)

Bruce Babcock

The Return

I’lana Cotton

Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano (excerpt)

Curt Cacioppo

De Profundis Clamavi (excerpt)

L Peter Deutsch