Symphonic Chronicles Vol II

Anthony Wilson composer
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composer
Michael Roush composer
Margaret Brandman composer
Octavian Nemescu composer

Royal Scottish National Orchestra | Robert Ziegler conductor
Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava | Jiří Petrdlík conductor
Brno Contemporary Orchestra | Pavel Šnajdr conductor
Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Stanislav Vavřínek conductor

Release Date: January 5, 2024
Catalog #: NV6584
Format: Digital
21st Century

Hailed by critics as a “descriptive and evocative” collection of contemporary classical music, the SYMPHONIC CHRONICLES series returns with a brand new roster of celebrated composers from a wide variety of backgrounds and influences.

Anthony Wilson’s Númenor examines the sudden shifts in society that can bring us from peace to turmoil, while Octavian Nemescu’s The Inner Staircase courageously confronts forces of tyranny. In contrast, Stearns Wharf by Michael Roush follows the journey of two lovers in an impassioned pas de deux, while Margaret Brandman’s Gentle Summer Rain comments on the ethereal beauty found in juxtaposing aspects of nature.

With performances by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava, Brno Contemporary Orchestra, and Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, SYMPHONIC CHRONICLES VOL II offers listeners a variegated palette of new music.


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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Númenor Anthony Wilson Royal Scottish National Orchestra | Robert Ziegler, conductor 6:00
02 Call of the Himalayas Anthony Wilson Royal Scottish National Orchestra | Robert Ziegler, conductor 11:02
03 Swan Lake Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava | Jiří Petrdlík, conductor 3:13
04 Stearns Wharf Michael Roush Brno Contemporary Orchestra | Pavel Šnajdr, conductor 8:14
05 Gentle Summer Rain Margaret Brandman Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Stanislav Vavřínek, conductor 7:21
06 Scară Lăuntrică (Escalinner) Octavian Nemescu Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava | Jiří Petrdlík, conductor 16:37

Tracks 1-2
Recorded May 18, 2023 at the Scotland’s Studio, Glasgow in Scotland, United Kingdom
Session Producer Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Hedd Morfett-Jones
Assistant Engineer Sam McErlean
Editing Jan Košulič
Additional Editing & Mixing Lucas Paquette

Track 3
Recorded February 26, 2019 at Dům Kultury in Ostrava, Czech Republic
Session Producer Jan Košulič
Co-Producer Bob Lord
Session Engineer Aleš Dvořák
Assistant Engineer Maroš Hlatký
Sessions Manager Levi Brown
Sessions Assistant Emma Terrell
Editing & Mixing Lucas Paquette

Track 4
Recorded February 16, 2023 at The Orlí Street Theatre Studio in Brno, Czech Republic
Session Producer Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Jana Jelínková
Editing Jan Košulič
Additional Editing & Mixing Lucas Paquette
Additional Editing Melanie Montgomery

Track 5
Recorded April 21, 2023 at Reduta Hall in Olomouc, Czech Republic
Session Producer Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Aleš Dvořák
Assistant Engineer Jana Jelínková
Editing Jan Košulič
Additional Editing & Mixing Lucas Paquette

Track 6
Recorded Jun 13, 2023 at Vesmír Concert Hall in Ostrava, Czech Republic
Session Producer Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Adam Janků
Editing Jan Košulič
Additional Editing & Mixing Lucas Paquette

Mastering Melanie Montgomery

Executive Producer Bob Lord

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

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Production Manager Martina Watzková
Production Assistant Adam Lysák (Tracks 1-2, 4-6)

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Chelsea Kornago

Artist Information

Anthony Wilson

Anthony Wilson


Anthony Wilson (b. 1962) developed a strong interest in music from an early age. He spent many hours at the piano as a child,  experimenting with various combinations of sound. His parents’ record player also provided the wonderful experience of being able to enjoy both the world of classical music and popular music.  

Michael Roush

Michael Roush


As a writer, producer, and director, Michael Roush has had a lengthy career in the development  of creative content for independent film and theater production. During his years in Colorado at Cherry Creek High School (a Grammy® Signature School), Roush was active in Performing Arts as a performer in Musical Theatre and Drama, as well as Choral, drawing upon a heavy Fine Arts course load which also included theory, composition, and music appreciation.

Margaret Brandman

Margaret Brandman


In a career of over 50 years, award-winning composer, pianist, and recording artist Margaret Brandman has followed her passion to create appealing music with strong melodic content, sensitive harmonies, and rhythmic ingenuity. Her output includes works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, choir, solo voice, and solo instruments, composed across a wide range of genres from Contemporary Classical to Jazz and Latin-American. 

Octavian Nemescu


Octavian Nemescu (1940-2020) was born in Pascani (Romania). He studied composition with Mihail Jora at the Conservatory of Music in Bucharest, obtained the Ph.D. in Musicology in 1978, at the Conservatory in Cluj, under the guidance of Sigismund Toduta. The title of his doctoral thesis was: “The Semantic Capacities Of Music,” published as a book, at Editura Muzicala Publishing House, Bucharest, 1983. He was an assistant and then lecturer at Brasov University (School of Music) between 1970-1978.

Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Royal Scottish National Orchestra


Formed in 1891 as the Scottish Orchestra, the company became the Scottish National Orchestra in 1950, and was awarded Royal Patronage in 1977. Throughout its history, the Orchestra has played an integral part in Scotland’s musical life, including performing at the opening ceremony of the Scottish Parliament building in 2004. Many renowned conductors have contributed to its success, including George Szell, Sir John Barbirolli, Walter Susskind, Sir Alexander Gibson, Neeme Järvi, Walter Weller, Alexander Lazarev and Stéphane Denève.

Robert Ziegler

Robert Ziegler


In a versatile career, Robert Ziegler conducts music from Albinoni to Zappa and collaborates with artists across the musical spectrum. He trained as a pianist with Jakob Gimpel and John Ringgold and studied conducting with Franco Ferrara. A former prize winner in the G. Fitelberg Conducting Competition, Ziegler has directed orchestras including London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Dublin’s RTE Concert and Symphony Orchestras, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

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.

Brno Contemporary Orchestra

Brno Contemporary Orchestra


The Brno Contemporary Orchestra (BCO) was founded in 2011 with the aim of performing the world’s contemporary music and selected 20th-century works in Czechia and Czech music throughout the world. The ensemble includes top-level professional musicians employed in the leading Czech orchestras. It draws on a large pool of permanent collaborators who perform in various lineups according to the needs of each project.

Pavel Šnajdr


Pavel Šnajdr is a Czech conductor and composer. He is a graduate of the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (JAMU), Brno in composition (which he studied with Alois Piňos) and conducting (with Emil Skoták). Beyond working with symphony orchestras, he has been engaged by music theatres including the J.K. Tyl Theatre in Pilsen, the Prague State Opera and the Moravian Theatre in Olomouc, and currently conducts opera at the National Theatre in Brno.

Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra


The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the foremost and oldest symphony orchestras in the Czech Republic. It is based in the historical capital of Moravia, the city of Olomouc, and has been a leader of music activities in the region for the past 70 years. Its artistic development was directly influenced by distinguished figures from the Czech and international music scene.

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.


Númenor is a large island featured in the fictional writings of J.R. Tolkien. After an extended period of prosperity, the inhabitants of this island begin to question the existence of the God that they have worshiped for centuries. What follows, is a period of incredible turmoil, which ultimately leads to the destruction of the island.

The story of Númenor describes how devastating it can be for people when they lose their faith, especially a faith that has served them so well for an extended period of time. When writing this piece, I was particularly interested in describing how quickly a society can change from being a harmonious and peaceful one, to one of immense turmoil and destruction.

The piece opens with a dramatic theme which describes a “call to war.” It then retrospectively takes a look back at the peaceful times that preceded the devastating turmoil which is about to occur. At the end of the piece, the turmoil returns with even more drama, leading to the total destruction of the island. Throughout this piece, the material transitions rapidly between the dramatic and the peaceful on several occasions, highlighting how quickly the inner workings of a society can change — for the better or worse.

— Anthony Wilson

The people who feel drawn to the majestic mountains of the Himalayas often talk about a calling that lures them to their incredible adventures. The rest of us look on in awe — though many people have their own symbolic Everest, a huge challenge which they strive to rise to.

I wanted to write a piece of music that described the process of rising to such a challenge. When writing music about such things, it helps me to have a visual image which represents the intangibles that I am looking to describe. For this piece, the Himalayas provided me with the visual image that I was looking for.

People can experience a calling to become the best version of themselves. When this happens, a person will feel compelled to produce the best results that they are capable of within their chosen field.

In order that you can rise to a significant challenge such as this, you have to be able to see what your goal is first. In other words, you need to have a clear vision as to what it is that you are seeking to achieve.

I describe the vision of such a goal on two occasions in this piece. The first vision occurs once the goal has been identified, but not yet completed. It is majestic, but somewhat intimidating, as this is the first time that the enormity of the task ahead is fully revealed. It is like going for a walk to the base of a huge mountain, and then looking up to suddenly see it towering above you up close for the first time. It is beautiful and magnificent, but the thought of climbing it is daunting to say the least, perhaps even terrifying.

But if you have a calling, then you must rise to the challenge.

The music used to describe the second vision of the summit or goal is exactly the same as the music used for the first vision. It is the only material in the whole piece that is repeated exactly. I rely on context to describe the different emotions associated with each vision.

The first vision occurs looking at the challenge ahead, so it is majestic but daunting. The second vision occurs once the challenge has been completed, so it is majestic and powerful. Now that the summit has been reached, all of the rewards that come with completing a significant achievement can be enjoyed.

— Anthony Wilson

Over 150 years old, Stearns Wharf is an iconic landmark and a wonderful vantage point to look back upon the captivating landscapes of Santa Barbara and Montecito, as well as the peaceful harbor nearby where fishing boats glide in a sort of lazy water dance.

One can only imagine the wharf’s colorful history. Such a perfect setting for a story, I thought, as I was having lunch on the pier with a good friend and gifted costume designer I’d just worked with on a recent ballet. The principal ballerina on that show had been particularly breathtaking, bearing an uncanny resemblance to any number of paintings by Edgar Degas.

With that in mind, Stearns Wharf, a piece for Chamber Orchestra, became a ballet story of a young girl playing in the sand near the pier, summoning a magical and romantic fantasy back in time of an eternal love between a young woman and her lover, a fisherman.

Each instrument portrays what we might see: a piccolo as a flying seagull high over tranquil waters, a harp as gentle waves lap upon the sand, the sunlight sparkling like diamonds on the surf. A glockenspiel summons each moment of magic as the young woman, an enchanting and ethereal presence, dances at the beach.

A gentle melody of piano, cello, flute, and English horn signals the arrival of the fisherman, and a glimpse of their love for each other in a lyrical and abbreviated pas de deux. A steady cadence of percussion and trombone alerts him of his need to set to sea again. But before he does, he leaves the young woman his scarf, assuring her he’ll be back.

Distant clouds, and building music foretell an ominous and unforgiving storm, the piano punctuating ever-greater rolling waves and an unthinkable possibility he may be lost. A mournful cello echoes as the young woman, crestfallen, waits at shore’s edge.

Finally, and against impossible odds, the fisherman returns home to her, and he and the young woman are soon enveloped in each other’s arms, afforded an impassioned pas de deux.

As they fade from the little girl’s fantasy, she shivers at day’s end with the setting sun. An old woman, the little girl’s grandmother, steps closer to keep her warm, wrapping her with…

The scarf. Her grandmother was the young woman. As the two move swiftly across the wharf to catch up with her grandfather, the fisherman, the three of them walk hand-in-hand towards the wharf’s edge at sunset as the music reprises the pas de deux.

— Michael Roush

Gentle Summer Rain is a mesmerizing orchestral composition by acclaimed composer Margaret Brandman that captures the ethereal beauty and shimmering colors of gentle summer rain.

In the winter of 2022, the composer’s home country Australia was in the third consecutive year of a La Niña weather event, with constant rain and wide-spread flooding in many parts of the country.

As outdoor activity was restricted during the cold and wet winter days, the composer stayed dry and warm indoors, close to her piano, where she improvised the various themes that are woven into this beautifully mellifluous piece. During the composition process she creatively visualised warmer Australian weather, when cool and refreshing gentle rains of summer would be welcomed.

With her signature style blending melodic richness, emotive harmonies, and subtle rhythms, Brandman paints a vivid musical portrait that transports listeners to an imaginary landscape where aspects of the natural world — flowing rivers, wind, thunder, sunshine, and gentle rain — are brought to life.

The work is composed in four sections with a return to the original material in the fifth and final section. The introductory melody, shared between the harp and the woodwinds, introduces an engaging motif that percolates through the work, unifying each of the sections. Throughout the work, the music transitions between gentle sections with delicate melodies and shimmering textures, and more dramatic moments of climax created by the interweaving of themes and judicious use of dynamics.

The opening section, in the warm key of G, is in a quintuple time signature. Flowing harp arpeggiations underpin the gentle melody assigned to the woodwinds, followed by occasional moments suggest strengthening wind and rain showers.

The music then transitions to a more dramatic theme, in a quadruple time-signature, which begins in the darker key of G minor and modulates to the dominant key of D minor. The impression of a passing storm is created by the polyphonic texture and denser orchestration.

As the storm passes, a calmer mood, created by the “listen to the summer rain” motif, is engendered. The thematic material in this section is developed through the sharing of motifs between the instruments in a conversational manner.

At measure 46 the fourth section begins. The key change to E Major is heralded by the harp playing the connecting opening motif. The cellos present the underlying ostinato figure with the filigree created by rapid figures in the flute suggesting misty rain. At measure 52 this section is developed with another more expansive melody superimposed over the original underpinning motif.

At measure 58 the French horns have the “long distance” melody, creating the impression of looking over vast distances of forests in the Blue Mountains of Australia where the composer once lived. The composition builds to a climax with the interweaving and layering of themes.
The recapitulation occurs at measure 79, with a return to the original thematic material, played softly, with varied instrumentation from the opening section. In the final two measures, the piece comes full circle with a recurrence of the original motif, played by the harp, answered by the final two chords delicately played by the flutes, oboes, and strings.

Through the delicate interplay of melodies, deft use of orchestral colors and clarity of form, Brandman paints an exhilarating image in sound of the ever-present wonder of the natural world with her exquisite musical representation of Gentle Summer Rain.

— Marilyn Schock, Presenter at Fine Music 102.5 FM, Sydney, Australia

The work was commissioned by the Brasov County History Museum on the occasion of the “Brasov Gala 2017, two years too early.”

The piece was written for string orchestra (12 V1, 8 V2, 6 Violas, 4 Cellos, 2 Double Basses) plus two percussionists.

10 sound fragments of different sizes, some of them in the process of birth, growth, and maturation, appear in the hypostases of confrontation, courageous opposition to other acoustic presences, which embody tyranny, oppression, and evil.

Several of these opponents are eventually hit and die. Between these confrontations rises gradually, sound by sound, with long durations, in pianissimo and in unison (the whole orchestra), an ascending staircase consisting of eight sounds (from low C to C in the upper octave). It symbolizes a sound monument erected and dedicated to those who had the courage to oppose, in this specific case, the communist dictatorship (of Ceausescu) in Brasov and, in general, all totalitarian, violent, intolerant regimes and systems, regardless of the ideology or religious beliefs system in whose name they cultivated or cultivate oppression.

Some of the sound fragments, of violent confrontation, are amplified by electronic glissandos on this recording.

— Octavian Nemescu

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