TURNING TO THE CENTER
In 2008, PARMA Recordings acquired Capstone Records, the highly respected New York-based classical label founded by composer Richard Brooks in 1986, with the intent of shepherding the company and its music into the digital era. This product, originally released on Capstone and now presented by PARMA's Ravello or Navona Records imprints, is one of a series of re-releases from the catalog called THE CAPSTONE COLLECTION. For more music in this series, please visit www.ravellorecords.com.
First released in 2002 on Capstone Records, Phillip Schroeder’s TURNING TO THE CENTER is a subdued, atmospheric tour de force of songs written primarily for an ensemble of baritone voice, clarinet, and keyboards. Featuring texts by Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, and Rumi, the three song cycles on this release offer atmospheric and varied writing for the expected baritone, clarinet, and keyboards with occasional forays into the unexpected sound worlds of synthesizer and added percussion.
Throughout this release, Schroeder runs the musical gamut of intended emotional responses in his listener. It is hard not to juxtapose texts from Mark Twain’s biting and satirical tale of Pudd’nhead Wilson with the ancient writings of Rumi without inviting a varied listening experience, and Schroeder masterfully imbibes each collection of songs with the essence of its respective source material. In particular, the expansive Turning to the Center occupies a highly unified musical dimension, defining and expanding upon a pensive and often austere harmonic foundation. Rooted in the relationship between the melodic lines of Tamara Raatz’s clarinet and Robert Best’s rich baritone, the piece contains flavors of otherworldly mysticism and timelessness emphasizing the continued relevance of Rumi’s texts.
Schroeder’s intent both as composer and player (the composer appears on piano or synthesizer on each composition) to achieve a singular musical ethos is apparent throughout this re-release. Of this, Schroeder wrote in the liner notes to the original release, “I find no aspect of composing more fulfilling than the crafting of music for specific performers, their strengths, aesthetic preferences, and personalities, ultimately resulting in a community effort as kindred spirits.”
Schroeder has appeared as a featured guest composer, lecturer, and performer at music festivals, conferences, and universities throughout the United States and Europe, and has performed his own chamber works on over 75 concerts.
Schroeder is a professor of music at Henderson State University, where he has taught composition, theory, and aural skills.
Residencies have included the MacDowell Colony, Palenville Interarts Colony, Millay Colony, and the Charles Ives Center for American Music.
ALSO ON RAVELLO RECORDS
Release Date: July 14, 2017
Catalog #: RR7970
Songs for Baritone, Clarinet, and Keyboards
Robert Best, baritone & percussion
Tamara Raatz, clarinet & bass clarinet
Phillip Schroeder, piano & synthesizer
02 Beautiful Women
03 O You Whom I Often and Silently Come
04 The Untold Want
05 To Old Age
From Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar
06 Introduction: It is by the goodness of God
07 Set One:
I. When in doubt
II. One of the most
III. Let us be thankful
08 Interlude 1: In the first place
09 Set Two:
I. We should be careful
II. Man is the only animal
III. Nature made the locust
10 Interlude 2: It could probably be shown
11 Set Three:
I. Noise proves nothing
II. The holy passion
III. Nothing so needs reforming
IV. She was not quite
Turning to the Center
13 You have said
14 A secret turning in us
15 This moment this love
16 Keep walking
17 Walk to the well
18 No better love
19 I am so small
20 The sun is love
21 I have lived
22 I stand up
24 Something opens our wings
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Ravello Records is the contemporary classical label imprint of audio production house PARMA Recordings. Dedicated to highlighting forward thinking composers and musicians from around the world, the New England-based label's eclectic catalog offers listeners a cross-section of today's up-and-coming innovators in orchestral, chamber, and experimental music.
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