Legends and Light Vol. 3

Works for Orchestra

Ben Marino composer
Fergus Johnston composer
Joungmin Lee composer
Raffaele Marcellino composer
Josef Suk composer

Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava
Maroš Potokár, Jiří Petrdlík, Stanislav Vavřínek conductors

Release Date: March 24, 2023
Catalog #: NV6515
Format: Digital
21st Century

Navona Records is proud to present LEGENDS AND LIGHT VOL. 3, an ambitious collection of new works for large ensemble performed by the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava. Several modern composers assemble on this album to deliver new expressions in classical music, highlighting stark contrasts of darkness and light and the other-worldy experiences that charge our artistic spirit. Inspired by art, mystical experiences, and the wonders of our universe, this edition of the LEGENDS AND LIGHT series casts a serene spotlight on the compositional innovation and orchestral ferocity of today’s composers and performers, an exhilarating showcase of the current and exciting state of classical music.


Hear the full album on YouTube

An Inside Look

Ben Marino – Tenebron | Fergus Johnston – Binn an tSíorsholais

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Tenebron Ben Marino Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava | Maroš Potokár, conductor 5:06
02 Binn an tSíorsholais (The Peak of Eternal Light) Fergus Johnston Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava | Jiří Petrdlík, conductor 13:10
03 Sanctuary Tree Joungmin Lee Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava | Jiří Petrdlík, conductor 11:30
04 L’arte Di Volare (The Art of Flying): I. Decollo (Take-Off) Raffaele Marcellino Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava | Stanislav Vavřínek, conductor 4:46
05 L’arte Di Volare (The Art of Flying): II. Aliante (Gliding) Raffaele Marcellino Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava | Stanislav Vavřínek, conductor 3:40
06 L’arte Di Volare (The Art of Flying): III. La Formazione (The Formation) Raffaele Marcellino Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava | Stanislav Vavřínek, conductor 4:10
07 L’arte Di Volare (The Art of Flying): IV. Gran Volta (The Loop-the-Loop) Raffaele Marcellino Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava | Stanislav Vavřínek, conductor 5:17
08 L’arte Di Volare (The Art of Flying): V. Atteraggio (Landing) Raffaele Marcellino Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava | Stanislav Vavřínek, conductor 3:15
09 Serenade, Op. 6: I. Andante con moto Josef Suk Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava | Jiří Petrdlík, conductor 5:44

Recorded August 29, 2022 at Czech Radio Ostrava Studio 1 in Ostrava, Czech Republic
Producer Jan Košulič
Engineer Aleš Dvořák
Assistant Engineer Jan Balcar
Editing & Mixing Lucas Paquette

Binn an tSíorsholais
Recorded February 3, 2022 at Dům Kultury města Ostravy (The Ostrava House of Culture) in Ostrava, Czech Republic
Producer, Editing & Mixing Jan Košulič
Engineer Aleš Dvořák
Assistant Engineer Pavel Paluřík
Additional Editing & Mixing Lucas Paquette

Sanctuary Tree
Recorded February 12, 2020 at Dům Kultury města Ostravy (The Ostrava House of Culture) in Ostrava, Czech Republic
Producer, Editing & Mixing Jan Košulič
Engineer Aleš Dvořák
Assistant Engineer Jana Jelínková
Additional Editing & Mixing Lucas Paquette

L’arte Di Volare
Recorded August 31 and September 1, 2022 at Czech Radio Ostrava Studio 1 in Ostrava, Czech Republic
Producer Jan Košulič
Engineer Aleš Dvořák
Assistant Engineers Adam Janků, Marek Hoblík, Aleš Dluhý
Editing & Mixing Lucas Paquette

Serenade, Op. 6
Recorded February 26, 2019 at Dům Kultury města Ostravy (The Ostrava House of Culture) in Ostrava, Czech Republic
Producer Jan Košulič
Co-producer Bob Lord
Engineer Aleš Dvořák
Assistant Engineer Maroš Hlatký
Recording Sessions Assistant Emma Terrell
Editing & Mixing Shaun Michaud

Mastering Melanie Montgomery

Executive Producer Bob Lord

A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Danielle Sullivan

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

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming, Morgan Hauber
Publicity Brett Iannucci, Aidan Curran

Artist Information

Ben Marino


Ben Marino (b. February 18, 1982) is a composer, producer, and pianist. Born and raised in Valencia CA, his education in music started early at the piano learning the Suzuki method. His private piano studies continued throughout high school where he was influenced by the solo piano compositions of Bela Bartok and Frederic Chopin. After graduating William S. Hart High School in Newhall CA in 2000, he was accepted to study Piano Performance and Music Composition at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA (2001-2002).

Fergus Johnston


Fergus Johnston (b. 1959) is an Irish-born composer. He graduated from Trinity College Dublin with an Honors degree in Music in 1982. In 1999 he completed a Master's degree in Music and Media Technology at TCD (1999), and in 2011 he received a Ph.D. from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. As a result of his contribution to Irish culture, he was elected to membership of Aosdána, Ireland's state-supported artistic academy, in 1992, and was a board member of the National Concert Hall, Dublin from 1996 until 2001.

Joungmin Lee


Joungmin Lee is a composer, choral conductor, and digital music artist focusing on acoustic and electroacoustic music with interdisciplinary approaches. Lee's music is an experimentalist endeavor in pursuit of innovative sound both in the instrumental and digital worlds. He attempts to make this happen with several means, including spectral techniques, computer music, or any combination of these trends.

Raffaele Marcellino


Marcellino's sound embraces Western art music tradition with eclectic influences from other musical traditions such as jazz and non-western music and folk traditions. Since graduation, Marcellino has built an international profile as a composer in various genres of chamber music, orchestral music, opera, musical theater, and radio works. He has been awarded various prizes and commissions, including an Australia Council Fellowship and the Lowin Prize for his work Canticle for Brisbane Cathedrals Festival.

Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava


The Janáček Philharmonic is a world-class symphony orchestra based in Ostrava, Czech Republic and an emerging figure on the international performance scene. With over 100 top-level musicians, the orchestra aims to introduce unique, quality repertoire while showcasing their own recognizable sound.

Jiří Petrdlík


Jiří Petrdlík (b. 1977) is appreciated as one of the most respectable conductors of his generation. He studied piano, trombone, and conducting — 1995–2000 at Prague Conservatory, and 2000–2005 at Academy of Performing Arts Prague — with Hynek Farkač, Miroslav Košler, Miriam Němcová, Radomil Eliška, and Tomáš Koutník, and took part in the masterclasses of the New York Philharmonic Principal Conductor Kurt Masur and the BBC Philharmonic Principal Conductor Jiří Bělohlávek. Petrdlík also successfully took part in several competitions, including the Donatella Flick Conductor Competition in London.

Stanislav Vavřínek


Stanislav Vavřínek is one of the most prominent Czech conductors and has been Chief Conductor of the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice since 2018. Having graduated from the Conservatory in Brno where he studied flute and conducting, he continued his education at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Subsequently, he also took master classes with Roberto Benzi in Switzerland, culminating with a concert in which he conducted the Biel Philharmonic Orchestra.


Tenebron was inspired by the painting style Tenebrism, most specifically Giovanni Baglione’s Scared and Profane Love (1602-1603) that uses the compositional technique “chiaroscuro.” In this style, violent contrasts of light and dark create a bold sense of volume with a spotlight effect on the object and darkness becoming a dominant feature in the background. Using this imagery as an influence, this work was composed to pay homage to the great Science Fiction film composers of the late 20th to early 21st centuries and their lineage to the giants of modern orchestral composition. To enhance tonal and timbre divergence, the composition displays dramatic illumination between lighter and darker thematic movements in an attempt to maximize the color palette of the orchestra.

(Note for the protection of your equipment: the very quiet beginning is followed by an extremely loud orchestral tutti.)

There is a place, they say, on the Moon where the sun always shines. Binn an tSíorsholais (Gaeilge/Irish: pronounced “Bin on Cheerhullish” in English, it means “The Peak of Eternal Light”) was inspired by the astronomical fact that, because of the lack of tilt in the lunar axis of rotation, there is a peak at one of the lunar poles which is never in darkness, except during eclipses when the Earth comes between the Moon and the Sun in what would be a lunar eclipse on Earth (but a solar eclipse on the Moon).

I saw a solar eclipse in August 1999, in Tutrakan, Bulgaria. We were granted 2 minutes and 20 seconds or so of totality. The experience is extraordinary, and cannot be described, but it is etched indelibly onto the memory. I spent a lot of time thinking about that, and then took a step beyond that — what if it was a lunar eclipse, where the earth comes between the moon and the sun? We just see a reddening of the moon, but on the moon, you would have a solar eclipse, for the same reason — the earth blotting out the sun. I played this film in my head, and imagined the soundtrack I’d like to hear, and then the ideas started to flow.

In Binn an tSíorsholais, there are moments of absolute stasis, followed by bursts of activity which are meant to grab the listener’s attention. These bursts always have some sort of process behind them — it’s not just random chaos — and the listener’s job is to examine the detail and extricate from this information the direction the music is taking — the meaning of the music, in effect.

The music is in six easily discernible sections – an introduction to an explosive first section, followed by a transition to two sparkling antiphonal sections of differing characters. The return of the opening leads to the expansive final section. I like the simplicity of articulation in late Renaissance and early Baroque forms; instrumental pieces by composers such as Dowland and Castello always interested me, with their sections of self-contained gestures that connect and contrast.

The orchestra is divided into three bands: two complementary wind, string, and percussion bands on the left and right, and a brass and timpani band in the center with the harp. The piece uses this spatialisation of the players and the division of the orchestra to create antiphonal and spatial effects reminiscent of (necessarily imagined) optical phenomena. It was commissioned by Raidió Teilifís Éireann in 2004 for the 2005 RTÉ Living Music Festival, and it was performed by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra on February 19, 2005 at the Helix, Dublin.

— Fergus Johnston

Johnston and Artsada Ltd acknowledge the financial support of the Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon in making this recording possible.

I composed Sanctuary Tree. It was my attempt at giving an expression to a series of extreme tension, agony, sadness, and despair — above all, and it was about the time when I came to know about my vulnerability before God. One day I saw a strange tree — a short and bleached one with a big trunk bare of bark. New shoots were still sprouted from the top of the three. The tree was shrouded in the depths of a large meadow and still oozed sacredness. It could have been another wilting tree, but, in my eyes, it was different. I believed the sacredness of the tree could make the bewilderment vanish. My emotions, tensions, emptiness, and fears are embodied in Sanctuary Tree and, most of all, in my hope that a new shoot can sprout from a dying tree.

— Joungmin Lee

This work is inspired by the migration of Southern Italians during the 20th century. This concept is close to my heart as my family was part of this global migration that took some of us to Australia and other family members to America and Argentina. The other inspiration for L’arte di volare is the magical-realist animated film Porco Rosso by Hayao Miyazaki from the renowned Studio Ghibli.

L’arte di volare evokes the artistry of flight, the magical experience of flight for people defying gravity and the Italian “flight” across the world. The movements take their names from the act of flying: take-off, gliding, loop-the-loop, formation, and landing. This musical portrait captures the essence of flight in music with the intention that the listener is transported in imagination. The different movements expand and contract, driven by their musical textures that are analogous to flight, and shape the overall arch of the piece. I invite the listener to be attentive to these nuances. In the same way, a textured surface can invoke movement through depth perception, so too in L’arte di volare through musical textures, shifting focus from high to low, from small details to larger gestures and detailed rhythmic interplays to broad expanses of sound.

— Raffaele Marcellino

Explore more albums in this series