A Grand Journey Vol 2

A Grand Journey Vol. 2

Works for Piano, Violin & Cello

Bruce Babcock composer
Richard E Brown composer
Elizabeth Vercoe composer
Andre’ E. Godsey composer
John Summers composer
Brian Field composer

Trio Casals
Alexandr Kislitsyn violin
Ovidiu Marinescu cello
Anna Kislitsyna piano

Release Date: August 11, 2023
Catalog #: NV6550
Format: Digital
21st Century
Piano Trio

With music echoing themes of persistence in the face of adversity, calls for reflection and attention on acts of injustice, and more, A GRAND JOURNEY VOL. 2 delivers resounding chamber music from a diverse range of contemporary composers. Performed by the critically-acclaimed Trio Casals, this Navona Records release offers a variety of sounds, from traditional classical forms to jazz-infused rhythms, mixed meters, and a deeply-moving piece for solo cello.


Hear the full album on YouTube

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Nevertheless: I. Allegro Bruce Babcock Trio Casals | Alexandr Kislitsyn, violin; Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 4:13
02 Nevertheless: II. Moderato Bruce Babcock Trio Casals | Alexandr Kislitsyn, violin; Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 4:39
03 Nevertheless: III. Presto Bruce Babcock Trio Casals | Alexandr Kislitsyn, violin; Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 3:22
04 Sonatina for Cello and Piano: I. Allegro Moderato Richard E Brown Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 3:09
05 Sonatina for Cello and Piano: II. Andante con moto Richard E Brown Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 3:15
06 Sonatina for Cello and Piano: III. Allegro Richard E Brown Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 2:23
07 Sonaria Elizabeth Vercoe Ovidiu Marinescu, cello 8:27
08 String Trio No. 1: Reflections Through the Windows Raindrops: I. Andante Andre’ E. Godsey Trio Casals | Alexandr Kislitsyn, violin; Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 1:29
09 String Trio No. 1: Reflections Through the Windows Raindrops: II. Moderato con moto Andre’ E. Godsey Trio Casals | Alexandr Kislitsyn, violin; Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 2:28
10 String Trio No. 1: Reflections Through the Windows Raindrops: III. Allegro Vivace Andre’ E. Godsey Trio Casals | Alexandr Kislitsyn, violin; Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 2:18
11 Converse for Solo Violin and Cello John Summers Alexandr Kislitsyn, violin; Ovidiu Marinescu, cello 7:03
12 Moderato for Solo Cello John Summers Ovidiu Marinescu, cello 9:05
13 ...and all that jazz... Brian Field Alexandr Kislitsyn, violin; Ovidiu Marinescu, cello 5:05

Recorded May 31, June 1-2, 2022, and February 15, 2023, at the Madeline Wing Adler Theater, West Chester University in West Chester PA
Session Producer & Engineer Brad Michel
Assistant Session Engineer Melanie Montgomery (tracks 1-3, 8-10)
Production Director Levi Brown (tracks 4-7, 11-13)
Editing, Mixing Melanie Montgomery (tracks 1-3, 7-10)
Editing Ethan Fields (tracks 4-6, 11-13)
Additional Editing & Mixing Melanie Montgomery (tracks 4-6, 11-13), Lucas Paquette (tracks 4-6)

Mastering Melanie Montgomery

Executive Producer Bob Lord

A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Chris Robinson, Danielle Sullivan

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Production Manager Martina Watzková

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

Artist Information

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.

Richard E Brown

Richard E Brown


Richard E. Brown, a native of New York State and has been active as a composer-arranger and music educator for many years. His training includes M.M. and D.M. degrees in composition from Florida State University, as well as a B.A. in music education from Central College, which named him a Distinguished Alumnus in 1983. His principal composition studies were with Carlisle Floyd, John Boda, and Charles Carter.

Elizabeth Vercoe


Elizabeth Vercoe has been hailed by the Washington Post as "one of the most inventive composers working in America today." Active as a composer in the United States and abroad, she has been a fellow at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Italy, the St. Petersburg Spring Music Festival in Russia, The Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris, and the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. Her music has been performed by the Memphis Chamber Symphony, the Women's Philharmonic, the Boston Musica Viva, Alea III, the Great Noise Ensemble, and counter) induction.

Andre’ E. Godsey, Sr.


Dr. Andre’ E. Godsey, Sr., Ph.D. has found his voice in the contemporary classical music venue. Over the last 15 years, he reveals an ability to inspire and entertain audiences nationally and internationally. At Lake Clifton Senior High school in Baltimore MD, he was awarded the Musician of the Year for 1979. In more recent times, several musical events include the world premiere of Symphony Number One in C# Minor: Themes for Soren Kierkegaard, “Movement One,” at the Sao Paulo Contemporary Classical Music Festival, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2019.

John Summers


John Summers began his professional composing career in 1973, writing music for schools for a touring theater company, where he produced every type of production, from educational musicals for young kids to setting curriculum poetry (Shakespeare, Eliot, etc) to music. This continued until 1977, and in the process, he visited every small and large town in the Eastern states of Australia.

Brian Field


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.

Trio Casals


Since making a highly-praised 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. The ensemble released several commercial albums with PARMA Recordings and Navona Records to critical acclaim with Ovidiu Marinescu and past members including Anna Kislitysyna, Alexandr Kislitsyn, and Sylvia Ahramjian, from the beloved MOTO series to A GRAND JOURNEY and more. Marinescu remains in the current ensemble line up, with Mădălina-Claudia Dănilă and Timothy Schwarz joining in 2024.

Ovidiu Marinescu

Cellist, Composer

Ovidiu Marinescu is internationally recognized as a cellist, composer, conductor, and educator. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, Merkin Hall (New York), the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Holywell Room in Oxford, Oriental Art Center in Shanghai, and has appeared as soloist with the London Symphony, New York Chamber Symphony, the National Radio Orchestra of Romania, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Helena, Great Falls, Portsmouth, and Newark Symphonies, Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Philharmonic, Limeira Symphony in Brazil, Orquesta de Extremadura in Spain, and most of the professional orchestras in his native Romania. The album LONDON CELLO CONNECTION features Marinescu and London Symphony Orchestra in eight newly commissioned cello concertos by North American composers.

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.


Nevertheless was composed specifically for Trio Casals. This piece marks my third collaboration with Anna Kislitsyna, my second with Ovidiu, and my first with Alexandr Kislitsyn.

Why did I choose Nevertheless to be the title?

Senator Elizabeth Warren, in 2017, as she was reading the words of Coretta Scott King on the Senate floor, was interrupted, and then ultimately forced to stop by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. He later remarked, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Countless women, regardless of their politics or place, felt that silencing, viscerally. “Nevertheless, she persisted” became an instant meme, connected to many women including Harriet Tubman, Malala Yousafzai, Beyonce, Emmeline Pankhurst, Gabby Giffords, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Princess Leia.

This piece is dedicated to the women who have shown great perseverance and carried on despite a global pandemic, a violent political insurrection, a war in Ukraine, and multiple mass shootings, not to mention attacks on women’s healthcare and voting rights.

The music itself, in three movements, is unsettling, insistent, driven, and dissonant, with patches of repose in the second movement. The first and third movements are largely ostinato-based — a musical term referring to figure that is repeated multiple times, derived from the Latin ”obstinare,” to persist. Unusual meters (5/8, 7/8, 3+2+3/8) and frequent meter changes add an unsettling dynamic to the proceedings. Nevertheless

— Bruce Babcock

As the title indicates, Sonatina for Cello and Piano closely follows classical sonata form on a somewhat smaller scale. Tonality and tonal relationships are basic to sonata form, and in this sonatina, the tonal relationships within and between the movements are mostly, but not all, based on thirds.

The first movement, “Allegro moderato,” is a fairly strict sonata-allegro in D minor. The “Andante con moto” second movement is a lyrical chaconne in F major, the relative major of the home key and a minor third above it. The finale, “Allegro,” is an abridged sonata-rondo in the home key of D minor.

— Richard E Brown

Sonaria is a demanding, dramatic work for solo cello written in memory of the composer’s father, an amateur cellist.

Since the music was written as commentary on an imagined dance/mime, the listener is invited to “screen” those private visual images sometimes evoked by music instead of hastily suppressing them and trying to “pay attention.” The mood of the piece is at times tongue-in-cheek but for the most part is entirely serious.

The style of Sonaria is largely lyrical with wide-ranging lines, low pizzicatos serving as punctuation marks, tremolos, soft glassy sounds created by bowing close to the bridge, and the trills, double-stops, and harmonics that help to broaden the cello’s vocabulary. Written in several sections, the lyrical opening gives way to a more staccato section that ends with low, left-hand pizzicatos. Next comes a more mysterious section with trills and tremolos and then a lighter, busier section with a steady beat. The last pages include several very slow sections — “sul ponticello” and either high on the instrument or in harmonics, creating a sense of distance either in space or time. At the end, the recurring open C-string, the lowest note on the instrument, appears once again both as a sustained pedal point and finally as three concluding left-hand pizzicatos.

Performance venues for the piece have included the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, the Fifth Biennial of San Juan in Puerto Rico, the Lochotinsky Pavilion in Plzen, Czechoslavakia, and the Arnaud Lefebvre Gallery in Paris. Sonaria received an award in the Felipe Gutierrez Espinosa International Competition in 1980.

— Elizabeth Vercoe

Reflections through the Windows Raindrops is a heartbreaking aria from Dr. Andre’ E. Godsey, Sr.’s opera suite, soon to be released, and sung by the attending physician, Dr. Erika Sutton. The ambulance personnel takes Leonard Collington (Lenny) after being shot by a rogue, racist white police officer who accused him of stealing items from a downtown store to the hospital and his family travels with him. When they get to the hospital, Dr. Erika Sutton (Lyric-Soprano), after a herculean struggle to save his life, loses the operating room battle and declares him dead. Sutton tries to comfort his mother, Linda Collington, and her family by singing the aria, Reflections through the Windows Raindrops. Sutton, also shattered emotionally, sings to encourage herself as a thunderstorm is occurring outside the window in the hospital in the background.

In the aria, Sutton sings in the first section, “Andante,” “Here I stare, not even time to cry. In my chair to ask the reason why, contemplation seen through the raindrops” and bellows her lament to Linda and her family as they also cry together. Trio Casals, the violin, and cello share this theme of words through their meditative playing and thoughtful articulation. In the second section, “Moderato con Moto” reveals an almost shortened requiem-like singing in the soprano voice where Sutton sings, “Life left us here all alone, with no hope heart of stone dreams all gone left to moan…” In the Trio Casals performance, the violin plays the main theme whereas the cello offers a haunting counter-melody. Later the piano continues the original theme in this section, but the cello answers with hope for everyone as Sutton in the aria ends the section by singing, “Never mind the raindrops ‘cause the Lord will make a way…”

The final section is marked, “Allegro Vivace,” and it is Sutton’s goal to quickly touch the heart of the Collington family by reminding them that the Lord is still in control and there is a reason for the tragedy of their son’s death. The quick, pizzicato is a constant reminder of sadness, but the swift end of the aria is Sutton’s goal to not let them wallow in sorrow. Even in this heartbreak, Sutton declares, “Some good will come of this!” Reflections through the Windows Raindrops seeks to offer hope to the hearing audience through the personal tragedies that may come.

— Andre Godsey

…and all that jazz…, a jazz-inspired work for violin and cello duet, is built on driving jazz-influenced rhythms and rapid shifts in dynamics with a tight interlocking of passagework between the two instrumentalists.

— Brian Field