Walter Ross composer
St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra | Vladimir Lande conductor
Artem Chirkov double bass
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra | Robert Black conductor
Marjorie Mitchell piano
Warsaw National Philharmonic | George Manahan conductor
Richard Stoltzman, clarinet
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. His Piano Concerto, Mosaics opens with an episodic first movement, pairing syncopated rhythms with tuneful melodies. The second movement, “Largo malincolico,” dynamically matches a melancholic section with a celebratory section as the third movement, considered a “devil’s dance fantasy,” builds suspense and mystery before going into a playful and percussive flourish.
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Walter Ross (b. 1936), whose works have been performed in over 40 countries, is perhaps best known for his compositions featuring brass and woodwinds. Raised in Nebraska, he became a professional orchestral French horn player by the age of seventeen and went on to gain more performance experience in college as member of the University of Nebraska symphonic band, as a string bass player in a polka band, and as a flute player with a baroque ensemble. Currently he plays bass in the Blue Ridge Chamber Orchestra in Charlottesville VA.
Richard Stoltzman’s virtuosity, technique, imagination, and communicative power have revolutionized the world of clarinet playing, opening up possibilities for the instrument that no one could have predicted. He was responsible for bringing the clarinet to the forefront as a solo instrument, and is still the world’s foremost clarinetist. Stoltzman gave the first clarinet recitals in the histories of both the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall, and, in 1986, became the first wind player to be awarded the Avery Fisher Prize. As one of today’s most sought-after artists, Stoltzman has been a soloist with more than a hundred orchestras as well as a recitalist and chamber music performer, innovative jazz artist, and prolific recording artist. A two-time Grammy Award winner, he has amazed critics and audiences alike in repertory spanning many musical genres.