‘Like many Americans, my family came to the US from distant lands. Migrations is a Naxos world premiere orchestral recording inspired by three artistic journeys – painter Jacob Lawrence’s vivid depiction of African-American migration from South to North; Portuguese poet Eugénio de Andrade’s journeys across the ocean and the soul; and Hungarian composer Béla Bartók’s emigration to my hometown of New York City – and by my collaborators Wynton Marsalis and Luciana Souza. These works spring to life with vigor and tenderness in the deft hands of David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony.’
– Derek Bermel
Derek BERMEL (b. 1967)
Migration Series 1 • Mar de Setembro 2
A Shout, a Whisper, and a Trace
Luciana Souza, Vocals 2 • Ted Nash, Saxophones 1
Derek Bermel, Clarinet 1 • Juilliard Jazz Orchestra 1
Albany Symphony • David Alan Miller
Migrations provides a generous view of Derek Bermel’s superb craftsmanship and eclectic style, in which classical forms, world music, jazz, blues and American folk music create a mix that reaches directly into the body and the heart. Commissioned by Wynton Marsalis, Migration Series has its roots in African American music, its impeccable counterpoint and biting rhythms expressed through orchestration that sounds like a city coming to life. Mar de Setembro was inspired by Luciana Souza’s bell-toned voice and the intense feelings of Portuguese saudade, while A Shout, a Whisper, and a Trace honors Bartók’s last years in New York, referring to the Concerto for Orchestra as well as to jazz and Balkan music.
Listen to an extract from Mar de Setembro:
Listen to Derek Bermel in conversation
with Raymond Bisha about this release
About the Artists
Composer and clarinettist Derek Bermel
is artistic director of the American Composers Orchestra, director of Copland House’s ‘Cultivate’, and curator of the Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music at Bowdoin Music Festival. He has performed as a clarinettist worldwide and has collaborated with an eclectic array of artists; he has also received commissions from renowned ensembles and artists, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Eighth Blackbird, and violinist Midori.
David Alan Miller
has established a reputation as one of the leading American conductors of his generation. Music director of the Albany Symphony since 1992, Miller has proven himself a creative and compelling orchestra builder. Through exploration of unusual repertoire, educational programming, community outreach and recording initiatives, he has reaffirmed the Albany Symphony’s reputation as one of the nation’s leading champions of American symphonic music.
is a leading jazz singer and interpreter. Her work as a performer transcends the traditional boundaries of musical styles, with roots in jazz, a sophisticated lineage in world music, and an enlightened approach to new music. Souza has released numerous acclaimed recordings since 2002, including her six GRAMMY Award-nominated records Brazilian Duos
, North and South
, Duos II
, Duos III
, and The Book of Chet
enjoys a career as a performer, conductor, composer, arranger and educator. He is a co-founder of the Jazz Composers Collective. One of Nash’s most important associations is with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, with whom he has played for over 20 years. His Portrait in Seven Shades
, commissioned and recorded by the orchestra, earned Nash his first GRAMMY Award nomination for best arranger.
The Albany Symphony
is dedicated to performing, commissioning and recording the works of established and emerging American composers. Founded in 1930, the orchestra serves a diverse regional audience covering more than seven counties of New York and parts of three states. Its annual programming includes a nine-concert ‘Classics Series’ with performances throughout New York’s Capital Region, each featuring a recent or world premiere composition by a living composer.
The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra
, the premier large ensemble for Juilliard Jazz, was founded when the programme began in 2001 and performs a wide spectrum of American jazz music, including works by contemporary composers. The orchestra has performed with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and Albany Symphony, and in 2019 it was the featured large ensemble at the Jazz Education Network Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada.
Selection of highly acclaimed recordings by David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony
‘Glennie draws magical sounds from the artillery at her hands and feet, and the Albany Symphony are superb collaborators.’
‘The soloists excellently explore these new works convincingly and the Albany orchestra is in top form as well.
– Cinemusical ★★★★
‘Miller, the Albany Symphony and Weiss
do a magnificent job … [Trevigne’s] performance shows a level of commitment to the composer’s intentions that only the best singers of contemporary music
‘The Albany Symphony Orchestra plays with a real kick, and David Alan Miller creates a snappy and wholly invigorating
– Classical Net