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Michael NYMAN (b. 1944)
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
Libretto by Oliver Sacks, Christopher Rawlence
and Michael Morris
Matthew Treviño, Dr. P (Bass)
Rebecca Sjöwall, Mrs. P (Soprano)
Ryan MacPherson, Neurologist (Tenor)
Nashville Opera • John Hoomes, Stage Director
Dean Williamson, Music Director
Michael Nyman’s one-act chamber opera The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat takes as its subject Dr P, a man suffering from visual agnosia, or ‘mental blindness’, and is adapted from the neurological study in the book of the same name by Oliver Sacks. For Nyman, Dr P ‘requires music as a lifeline, cue, clue, cure’, living as he does in a world lacking visual meaning. It is through his musical gifts that Dr P reclaims meaning from chaos, Nyman’s tautly conceived masterpiece providing a perfect medium through which the moving drama can be explored.
Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840–1893)
Piano Concerto No. 2
Eldar Nebolsin, Piano • New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Tchaikovsky has long maintained his position as among the most popular of all composers, his unequalled gift for melody and colourful orchestration given added depth through a rich Russian soulfulness. The Second Piano Concerto has always lived under the shadow of the famous First but, played here in the composer’s original version, is full of life-enhancing character and emotion. Both this and the Concert Fantasia also contain beautiful chamber-music sections allowing unique interaction between soloist and orchestra.
Enrique GRANADOS (1867–1916)
Orchestral Works, Vol. 3
Liliana – Lyric Poem† (arr. Casals)
Suite oriental† • Elisenda*
Dani Espasa, Piano* • Barcelona Symphony Orchestra
In the last of this three volume series devoted to Granados’s orchestral music, two very different compositional strands are explored. The early Suite oriental reveals his sense of vivid orchestral colour and melodic imagination, couched in the exotic language of the time. Written in a more pared-down style, the one-act ‘lyric poem’ Liliana, a collaboration with the writer Apel·les Mestres, is a four-movement suite in which Granados conjures up a vivid, mythical world. Elisenda is another impressionistic score, both emotive and ethereal, here performed in its arrangement for piano and chamber orchestra.
Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852–1924)
Song to the Soul • The Resurrection2
Elizabeth Cragg, Soprano1
Catherine Hopper, Mezzo-Soprano1
Robert Murray, Tenor1,2 • David Soar, Bass1
The Bach Choir • Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Choral music was central to Charles Villiers Stanford’s life as a composer. Balancing solemnity with rapturous affirmation, The Resurrection was his first major choral work, written while he was studying under Carl Reinecke in Leipzig and anticipating Mahler’s use of Klopstock’s eponymous poem in his ‘Resurrection’ Symphony. The dramatic, at times almost operatic and Wagnerian Stabat Mater is a cantata with two purely orchestral movements suggestive of a largescale symphony, while Song to the Soul contains some of Stanford’s most exhilarating utterances, though it was never performed in his lifetime.
Aaron COPLAND (1900–1990)
Appalachian Spring (Complete Ballet)
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
Detroit Symphony Orchestra • Leonard Slatkin
Aaron Copland wrote his rarely-heard ballet Hear Ye! Hear Ye! for Ruth Page, the dancer and choreographer who was to become the Grande Dame of American ballet. Its scenario is a murder in a nightclub and the ensuing trial in a Chicago courtroom. Copland infused the score with the spirit of his jazz-influenced pieces, controversially distorting part of the National Anthem, and infiltrating music from some of his earlier works. In complete contrast, Appalachian Spring is his most famous work, a true American masterpiece founded on transfigured dance tunes and song melodies. This is volume two of the Complete Ballet series. Volume One is on 8.559758.
Michael DAUGHERTY (b. 1954)
Tales of Hemingway1
Once Upon a Castle2
Zuill Bailey, Cello1 • Paul Jacobs, Organ2
Nashville Symphony Orchestra • Giancarlo Guerrero
GRAMMY® Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty creates colorful musical portraits in this recording, featuring larger-than-life personalities drawn from 20th-century American culture. Tales of Hemingway is a dramatic cello concerto, evoking the turbulent life, adventures, and literature of author Ernest Hemingway. American Gothic is a dynamic concerto for orchestra, reflecting on the creative world of Iowa artist Grant Wood. Once Upon a Castle is a virtuosic sinfonia concertante for organ and orchestra, inspired by the rich history of the Hearst Castle, built high upon the California Pacific coast by billionaire Randolph Hearst, the subject of Orson Welles’ film Citizen Kane. Under the baton of Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero, the GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony is joined by Zuill Bailey, one of the leading cellists of his generation, and GRAMMY® Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs.
Vincent d’INDY (1851–1931)
Symphony No. 2
Souvenirs • Istar • Fervaal
Royal Scottish National Orchestra • Jean-Luc Tingaud
Vincent d’Indy is one of the most important yet neglected figures in French musical history. Though he was celebrated as a teacher, his eclectic yet inventive orchestral music has taken longer to secure him fame. The Symphony No. 2 in B flat major has a powerful architectural design within which tensions between tradition and innovation are played out, and through which the composer draws on folk motifs and his religious faith alike. The powerful, grief-laden symphonic poem Souvenirs was dedicated to the memory of his late wife whilst Istar is a majestic series of variations. The Prelude to Fervaal, his first opera, reveals atmospheric Wagnerian writing.
Igor STRAVINSKY (1882–1971)
The Soldier’s Tale – Suite1
Octet2 • Les Noces3
Tianwa Yang, Violin1 • Rebecca Nash, Soprano3
Robynne Redmon, Mezzo-Soprano3
Robert Breault, Tenor3 • Denis Sedov, Bass3
André-Michel Schub, Lydia Artymiw, Josu de Solaun, Anna Petrova, Pianos3 • Virginia Symphony Chorus2
Robert Shoup, Chorusmaster3
Les Noces Percussion Ensemble3
Virginia Arts Festival Chamber Players1, 2 • JoAnn Falletta
The three works on this recording were composed at a crucial juncture in Stravinsky’s musical life. The Soldier’s Tale, a small-scale theatrical work for instrumental septet, narrator and two speakers completed in 1918 [Naxos 8.573537]. It is performed here in the suite premièred in 1920. The Octet marked a new element in Stravinsky’s writing, inaugurating a turn to neoclassicism, whilst Les noces (The Wedding) is a ballet cantata impelled by dramatic motor rhythms, and once again saturated in his Russian background. Scored for pitched and unpitched percussion, vocal soloists, and mixed chorus, it is a pivotal work in Stravinsky’s development.