"With the arts we can keep faith with our ancestors, speak for justice, and even address the most tragic and painful issues. If you are hurt and angry don't use violence — write a poem or a song. Use your feelings to create something." These words by late composer Philip Koplow (1943-2018) perfectly encapsulate both his life mission as a composer and the mission of FOR THE PEACE OF CITIES. Released posthumously, this collection features Koplow’s masterpieces for orchestra as well as three 20th-century works that commemorate the lives lost in war tragedies.
Richard Brooks’ PLACES IN TIME travels through the acclaimed composer’s personal history with each piece representing a different period in the composer’s life. Many of these recordings were originally released by Brooks’ label, Capstone Records. Each piece gains new life as Brooks and Ravello Records team up to share this fascinating work in tonality, soundscapes, and emotional sway with a new generation of music lovers.
Weaving together vocal musical styles of the past and present, composer and conductor Thomas Juneau, with the Juneau Vocal Alliance and Summit Chorale, present their debut Ravello Records release, VISIONS ETERNAL. Replete with transcendent performances and sweeping moments of musical euphoria, Juneau creates a stunning choral vision of eternal serenity and triumph.
Using Igor Stravinsky's final percussion solo from L'histoire du soldat (The Soldier's Tale) as inspiration, James M. Stephenson's theatrical narrative, THE DEVIL'S TALE, picks up right where Stravinsky leaves off. But on this Ravello Records release, the protagonist, Joseph, wakes up at the final drum-stroke and realizes that the Stravinsky was all a dream. He is relieved to still be in Las Vegas with Hannah, his showgirl girlfriend, at his side, where the story begins to unfold. The dramatic and astute plot about Joseph, a pit musician, and Hannah centers around their attempt to escape the city by tricking Sam, a devilish blackjack dealer and Hannah's manager.
Few events happen that shock all living generations, causing them to never forget their memories. For many, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. is such an event. In 1970, composer Mary Ann Joyce-Walter wrote a piece in honor of King, Immortal Diamond – the title track on her release single on Ravello Records.
On TRIUMVIRATE, composer Walter Ross' second release on Ravello Records, the concerto is showcased as a genre, illustrating that tension and opposition can create balance and richness. Throughout the three concerti, themes, timbres, rhythms, and tempos juxtapose each other, building webs of contrasting musical elements and textures. In Ross' Clarinet Concerto, the two outer movements, "Fantasia" and "Capriccio," move with the energy of dance rhythms while the middle movement, "Romanza," drifts with dreaminess and impressionistic lyricism.
Composed with integrity, mystery, and ambition, the orchestral works of Marga Richter thrive on the emotional and the visceral, conjuring vast and majestic imagery with poetic and dramatic underpinnings. POETIC IMAGES BEYOND POETRY includes three of Richter's works for orchestra, each of which present a tonal and moving representation of their various influences: Out of Shadows and Solitude, inspired by the flight of a condor over clouded mountaintops; Quantum Quirks of a Quick Quaint Quark, based on Richter's early dance music and boogie-woogie; and Spectral Chimes: Enshrouded Hills, permeated with imagery from Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles.
THROUGH THE REEDS is a collection of woodwind concerti from American composer Walter Ross. Ross, a lifelong musician and composer, has historically worked most closely with instruments in the woodwind family; the four concerti on this album, all of which feature a woodwind solo, highlight his preference for the family and his keen ability to compose works for oboe, bassoon, and flute.
CANTATA FOR THE CHILDREN OF TEREZIN, Mary Ann Joyce-Walter's debut release on Ravello Records, features two of her works for orchestra: Cantata for the Children of Terezin, featuring the Kiev Chamber Singers and soprano Oxnaya Oleskaya, and Acaldama. Using poems written by children incarcerated at the Terezin concentration camp during the second world war, Joyce-Walter composed the Cantata in order to evoke a universal compassion and empathy for the most innocent and vulnerable among us.
ESSAYS AND SKETCHES is an album unreleased works of American composer and longtime Sam Houston State University faculty member Newton D. Strandberg. Featuring performances by orchestras and ensembles from around the globe, the four pieces on this recording—Essay for String Orchestra, Amenhotep III, String Trio, and Acts for Orchestra—serve as an astute collection of Standberg's output as a composer. More than a musical release alone, ESSAYS AND SKETCHES serves as a retrospective of Strandberg's prolific career, housing a collection of writings, visual art, scores, and more, all compiled by Strandberg's peers, students, and admirers from SHSU.
REFLECTED LIGHT was originally released in 1995 and features stunning performances by pianists Jerome Reed, Jeananne Albee, and Sibylle Dotzauer; cellist Mary Lou Rylands; harpsichordist Ursula Trede-Boettcher; clarinetist Markus Lucke; The Constitution Brass; and the Chamber Choir of the Staatliche Jochschule fur Musik.
20TH CENTURY NEW MUSIC was originally released in 2006, and features works by William Albright, Mario Davidovsky, Bernard Rands, Noel Zahler, Michael Daughtery, and David K. Gompper, presented and performed by the University of Iowa Center for New Music.
CON MOTO, VOLUME 2 is a the second release in the Ravello Records Con Moto series of digital releases featuring unreleased works for orchestra and ensemble. Included on this volume are the modern orchestral and ensemble compositions of Stephen Kemp, Stephen Rush, Larry Barnes, Raymond E. Fahrner,, HyeKyung Lee, Paula Diehl, and Paula Diehl. All of the pieces on this release are completely original, contemporary compositions for orchestra, ensemble, and solo instruments.
PIPING THE EARTH was originally released in 2003 and was lauded as “strong and original” (Fanfare) and “a major release” (New Music Connoisseur). Featuring perfectly interpreted performances by pianist Gayle Martin Henry, flutist Renee Siebert, and Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Prism Chamber Orchestra, PIPING THE EARTH provides listeners with an adept sampling of Judith Shatin’s orchestral prowess.
CON MOTO, VOLUME 1 is a new series of digital releases featuring unreleased works for orchestra. Included on this volume are the modern orchestral compositions of J. Windel Brown, Jerry Sorcsek, William Prince, Robert Ehle, Eric Funk, and Mitch Hampton. All of the pieces on this release are completely original, contemporary compositions for orchestra and solo instruments.