Figments Vol. 3

Contemporary Chamber Works

Jacob E. Goodman composer
Gary D. Belshaw composer
Andrew Lewinter composer
Thomas Mann Jr. composer
Elliott Miles McKinley composer
Eleanor Alberga composer

Release Date: May 27, 2022
Catalog #: NV6419
Format: Digital
21st Century
Chamber
Oboe
Piano Trio
Violin

On FIGMENTS VOL. 3 from Navona Records, the imaginations of composers Jacob E. Goodman, Gary D. Belshaw, Andrew Lewinter, Thomas Mann Jr, Elliott Miles McKinley, and Eleanor Alberga are brought to life in a dynamic breadth of emotional performances, from soothing to exhilarating and natural to mythical. A dynamic assortment of contemporary chamber music, fantasy and reality collide to bring forth exhilarating stories spanning scenes from Greek Mythology to those of spirited animals and surreal scenic portraits. Universal melodies and rhythms find their form, short sketches evoke seasonal qualities, and fantasies float into reality in this collection.

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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Variations for a Rainy Afternoon Jacob E. Goodman Kimberly Reighly, flute; Trio Casals | Alexandr Kislitsyn, violin; Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 11:23
02 Piccolo & Chalumeau Gary D. Belshaw Jessica Lizak, flute and piccolo; Sandra Mosteller, clarinet; Richard Fountain, piano 4:33
03 Trio for Oboe, Horn, and Piano: I. Allegro Moderato Andrew Lewinter John Dee, oboe; Bernhard David Scully, horn; Casey Robards, piano 8:31
04 Trio for Oboe, Horn, and Piano: II. Romanza Andrew Lewinter John Dee, oboe; Bernhard David Scully, horn; Casey Robards, piano 4:38
05 Trio for Oboe, Horn, and Piano: III. Theme and Variations Andrew Lewinter John Dee, oboe; Bernhard David Scully, horn; Casey Robards, piano 7:43
06 Dance of the Lizards Thomas Mann Jr. Juventas New Music Ensemble | Oliver Caplan, artistic director; Sho Kato, flute; Wolcott Humphrey, clarinet; Ryan Shannon, violin; Minjin Chung, cello 6:28
07 Three Autumn Sketches: I. Morning Frost Elliott Miles McKinley Slovak Radio Symphony Chamber Music Players | Kirk Trevor, conductor 4:06
08 Three Autumn Sketches: II. Night Rain Elliott Miles McKinley Slovak Radio Symphony Chamber Music Players | Kirk Trevor, conductor 7:00
09 Three Autumn Sketches: III. Evening Colors Elliott Miles McKinley Slovak Radio Symphony Chamber Music Players | Kirk Trevor, conductor 3:29
10 Shining Gate of Morpheus Eleanor Alberga Richard Watkins, horn; Ensemble Arcadiana | Thomas Bowes, violin; Oscar Perks, violin; Andres Kaljuste, viola; Hannah Sloane, cello 13:11

Variations for a Rainy Afternoon
Recorded October 31, 2021 at Morningstar Studios in Norristown PA
Session Producer Brad Michel
Session Engineer Glenn Barrat
Editing & Mixing Lucas Paquette

Piccolo and Chalumeau – A Scherzo
Recorded May 21, 2021 at Futura Productions in Roslindale MA
Session Producer, Editing & Mixing Brad Michel
Session Engineer John Weston

Trio for Oboe, Horn, and Piano
Recorded June 28-29, 2021 at Krannert Hall, University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana IL
Recording Session Engineer Richard Scholwin
Session Producer Carlos Carillo

Dance of the Lizards
Recorded Oct 28, 2021 at Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport MA
Session Producer, Editing & Mixing Brad Michel
Session Engineer Tom Stephenson

Three Autumn Sketches
Recorded July 2011 in Bratislava, Slovakia
Session Engineer Hubert Geschwantner
Session Producer Emil Nižnansky

Shining Gate of Morpheus
Recorded October 7-8, 2019 at Wyastone Concert Hall in Monmouth, United Kingdom
Recording Session Producer & Editing Stephen Frost
Session Engineer Simon Eadon

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Danielle Lewis, Laura Ramsey, Chris Robinson

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Production Director Levi Brown
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Production Assistant Martina Watzková
Mastering Brad Michel

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

Artist Information

Jacob E. Goodman

Composer

Jacob E. Goodman (November 15, 1933 – October 10, 2021), founder of the New York Composers Circle in 2002, was Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the City College of New York. He studied musical composition with, among others, Ezra Laderman and David Del Tredici. His works have been performed in Delaware, Nebraska, Toronto, Buenos Aires, and Tokyo, and various venues in both New York City and the Bay Area of California. Recent compositions include a set of variations for piano trio; three song cycles; a set of variations for orchestra on a Beethoven theme; a quintet for flute, piano, and strings; a set of intermezzi for piano; a prelude for saxophone and piano; two sets of variations for piano; a duo for cello and piano; a string quartet; and three bagatelles for piano; as well as the score for the documentary film Meet Me at the Canoe, produced for the American Museum of Natural History by his daughter Naomi Goodman-Broom.

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Gary D. Belshaw

Composer

The music of Gary D. Belshaw (ASCAP) has been performed throughout the United States and abroad, including England, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, and Spain. Most notably, Belshaw’s Victory Day Overture for concert band received its world premiere in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. His Oofdah Fanfare premiered in the Imperial Concert Venue of the Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria.

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Andrew Lewinter

Composer

As a young person, Andrew Lewinter divided his attention between composition and the French horn, studying composition at Juilliard in the pre-college division, and horn with William Ver Meulen, Dale Clevenger, and David Jolley. He attended Northwestern University School of Music, but left after his sophomore year to pursue a career as an orchestral horn player, playing with the Florida Orchestra in Tampa, Florida (1986-88) and Principal Horn with both the Florida Philharmonic (1988-2001) and the Santa Fe Opera (1994-97). He won the top prize at the Prague Spring International Solo Competition in 1992.

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Thomas Mann Jr.

Composer

Thomas Mann graduated with a B.A. in Music at Texas State University with a focus on piano and composition and completed his Master of Music in Composition in December, 2018. Mann is currently Director of Orchestras and Classical Guitar Ensembles as well as the Fine Arts Department Chair at W. Charles Akins High School in the Austin Independent School District of Texas. Mann is a board member of The National Association of Composers, USA-Texas Chapter as well as an active member of several other organizations and associations. He plays Piano, Hammond Organ, Rhodes, Guitar, and Bass in several genres and with various artists around Texas. Along with teaching and live performances, he does studio work, arranging and composing for pop, jazz, and modern works.

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Elliott Miles McKinley

Composer

Elliott Miles McKinley’s music has been performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Commissions include those from the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Music Society, the SOLI Chamber Music Ensemble, Transient Canvas, Hub New Music, the Semiosis String Quartet, the Estrella Consort, the Janàček Trio, and the Martinů String Quartet. His orchestral works have been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, and the Czech Radio Symphony, and his music has been featured on international festivals including the Ernest Bloch Music Festival, the SPARK Electroacoustic Music Festival, Society of Music Inc and College Music Society Conferences, the North American Saxophone Alliance National Conference, and the Contemporary Music Festival at Bowling Green State University.

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Eleanor Alberga

Composer

Born 1949 in Kingston, Jamaica, Alberga decided at the age of five to be a concert pianist. Five years later she was composing works for the piano. In 1968 she won the biennial Royal Schools of Music Scholarship for the West Indies, which she took up in 1970 at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying piano and singing. But a budding career as a solo pianist — she was one of three finalists in the International Piano Concerto Competition in Dudley, UK in 1974 — was further augmented by composition with her arrival at The London Contemporary Dance Theatre in 1978. Under the inspirational leadership of its Artistic Director, Robert Cohan, she became one of the very few pianists with the deepest understanding of modern dance and her company class improvisations became the stuff of legend.

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Trio Casals

Ensemble

Since making a highly acclaimed debut at the 1996 edition of the Pablo Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, Trio Casals has delighted audiences with spectacular virtuosity, engaging enthusiasm, and exquisite musical elegance. During the 2020-21 season, Trio Casals recorded their sixth and seventh albums for Parma Recordings with new violinist Alexandr Kislitsyn, who continues the great tradition established by Sylvia Ahramjian. MOTO ETERNO was released to critical acclaim in the spring of 2021 and will be premiered in concert in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. The Trio’s A GRAND JOURNEY was released September 2021 on Navona Records.

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Notes

Figments-Vol-3_Notes-1

Juventas New Music Ensemble at Shalin Liu

Variations for a Rainy Afternoon is a sincere ballad that bursts with emotion and the imagery of a calm and soothing rain, which the late composer says was “begun and sketched out on a rainy afternoon some twenty years ago.” Joined by flutist Kimberly Reighly, Trio Casals brings Goodman’s imaginative work to life in this recording, transforming a delicately crafted composition into a fitting soundtrack to a rainy day.

Once upon a time, in a living room not so far away, a cat named Piccolo and a dog named Chalumeau frolicked and romped the day away, challenging each other on the carpet, and dashing across the piano, bringing joy to their owners and friends.

– Gary D. Belshaw

Lewinter’s Trio for Oboe, Horn, and Piano is in three movements. The first interval of the main theme of the first movement, a descending augmented fifth, is the kernel from which the rest of the piece grows. The second movement, a Romanza, starts with a descending minor sixth. The last movement is a theme and variations, with five contrasting variations. The theme also starts on a descending minor sixth, but on the third degree and in minor. The next to last variation is a fugue on a theme that’s an inversion of the opening intervals of the movement. By the end of the work, the opening descending augmented fifth is transformed into an ascending major sixth.

– Andrew Lewinter

Dance of the Lizards is a playful exploration of the rhythms and melodies made by the mating geckos and other nocturnal creatures heard late at night outside my bedroom window. When evenings were fraught with complicated thoughts and stressful entanglements of schedules and other human designs, these playful conversations in the night air purified my thoughts to things more simple in purpose. But even the lizard’s singing and chirping is a complicated dance of form and design, and like everything in the natural universe, it is structured and harmonious if you truly care to listen. When we look at the macro view of the universe we tend to see an unimaginably large and nearly incomprehensible orchestral design that can confuse and even make us feel alone, but when we zoom into the micro workings we find the simple songs of the simple things around us are what truly make up this cosmic musical score: a nightly dance of lizards otherwise hidden in the complicated busy world engulfing us.

– Thomas Mann Jr.

Autumn Sketches, scored for a chamber octet of flute, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, violin, viola, cello, and piano, was composed in the early fall of 2008 as a retirement gift for composer and friend, the late David Stock. It was premiered by the Duquesne University New Music Ensemble in December 2008. These three short sketches abstractly evoke the season of autumn.

– Elliott Miles McKinley

I have always been drawn to Greek mythology and the world of fantasy that it embodies. This work came from the idea of Morpheus, the god best known to govern sleep and dreams. It is said that false dreams enter through gates of ivory and true dreams through gates of shining horns. In Greek, the word for ‘ivory’ is like the word for ‘deceive’ and the word for horn is similar to that for ‘fulfill’; thus, the use of the horn as a musical instrument is significant.

Homer describes this through Penelope’s words in The Odyssey: “Two gates there are for unsubstantiated dreams, one made of horn and one of ivory. The dreams that pass through the carved ivory delude and bring us tales that turn to naught; those that come forth through the polished horn accomplish real things, whenever seen.”

The piece is in one movement. A short introduction to the peaceful world of sleep is followed by a fanfare as we enter dreams which take us through several musical tableaux describing prophetic dreams. Strange things happen in dreams and somehow, along with doors opening into scenes such as “Ancestors speak,” “The Beloved,” and “Three descend,” there is a visit from Puck, an unrelated character who gets into the mix and stirs things up with his antics.

– Eleanor Alberga

Scores

Trio for Oboe, Horn, and Piano

Andrew Lewinter

View Score

Dance of the Lizards (excerpt)

Thomas Mann Jr.

View Score

Three Autumn Sketches (excerpt)

Elliott Miles McKinley

View Score

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