Kirk O’Riordan composer
Holly Roadfeldt piano
Ann Moss soprano
Peter Dutilly viola
New from Ravello Records comes AUTUMN WINDS, a collection of chamber music composed by Kirk O’Riordan. The music, which features pianist and PARMA recording artist Holly Roadfeldt along with soprano Ann Moss and Peter Dutilly playing viola, is as challenging as it is alluring; O’Riordan takes listeners to the outskirts of tonality in order to elucidate questions of beauty, existence, and mortality.
The first piece, Four Beautiful Songs, explores competing notions of attraction. It is the only piece featuring all three performers. A brazen, dissonant cluster of tones from the piano opens the curtain on this provocative performance, with Moss’s soprano line sung above a frantic accompaniment. The piece juxtaposes the rush of infatuation with the bitterness of rejection. Next is Prayer Stones, a marked departure from the first. The viola embarks on a series of short meditations over the piano, as if gently palming a sacred stone while contemplating the ineffable cosmos. Autumn Winds comes next—a setting of 15 haikus by Japanese poet Matsuo Basho. Each movement, only minutes long, reflects upon the phrase “autumn winds,” each time reinterpreting its meaning. The collection concludes with Beautiful Nightmares, a minimalistic take on the serialism of Schoenberg that portrays the transcendent surrealism of the dream world.
Lovers of early 20th century art music will no doubt take great pleasure in Kirk O’Riordan’s AUTUMN WINDS, but they are far from the only ones who will; O’Riordan’s music will fire the imagination of all those fascinated by life, language, and the distinct challenge of expressing poetry and poetic themes in song.
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Track Listing & Credits
|01||4 Beautiful Songs: No. 1, Ode on "Ode on a Grecian Urn"||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano; Peter Dutilly, viola||4:01|
|02||4 Beautiful Songs: No. 2, The Age of Beauty||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano; Peter Dutilly, viola||5:13|
|03||4 Beautiful Songs: No. 3, Even If||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano; Peter Dutilly, viola||4:13|
|04||4 Beautiful Songs: No. 4, The Blouse||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano; Peter Dutilly, viola||4:32|
|05||Prayer Stones||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Peter Dutilly, viola||12:43|
|06||Autumn Winds: No. 1, All Night Autumn||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano||2:06|
|07||Autumn Winds: No. 2, Autumn Wind Broken||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano||1:44|
|08||Autumn Winds: No. 3, Autumn Winds||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano||2:11|
|09||Autumn Winds: No. 4, Autumn Wind||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano||1:53|
|10||Autumn Winds: No. 5, Bright Red||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano||1:44|
|11||Autumn Winds: No. 6, Speaking Out||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano||1:41|
|12||Autumn Winds: No. 7, Autumn Wind||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano||1:38|
|13||Autumn Winds: No. 8, Blowing Stones||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano||1:41|
|14||Autumn Winds: No. 9, Though Autumn Winds Blow||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano||1:18|
|15||Autumn Winds: No. 10, With What Kind of Voice||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano||3:14|
|16||Autumn Winds: No. 11, Spiders||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano||1:54|
|17||Autumn Winds: No. 12, An Autumn Wind||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano||2:23|
|18||Autumn Winds: No. 13, Shake, Oh Grave!||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano||2:14|
|19||Autumn Winds: No. 14, Tremble, Oh My Grave-Mound||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano||1:14|
|20||Autumn Winds: No. 15, Shaking the Grave||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano; Ann Moss, soprano||1:42|
|21||Beautiful Nightmares||Kirk O’Riordan||Holly Roadfeldt, piano||9:43|
FOUR BEAUTIFUL SONGS
text by Lee Upton
text by Matsuo Basho
Recorded July 19-20, 2018 at the Williams Center for the Arts, Lafayette College in Easton PA
Engineer / Producer Andreas K. Meyer
Producer Kirk O’Riordan
Piano Technician Chris Solliday, RPT
SPECIAL THANKS TO THE GENEROUS DONORS WHO HELPED MAKE THIS POSSIBLE:
Lafayette College Department of Music
Lafayette College Academic Resources Committee
Tom Driscoll And Nancy Quinn
Jane and Pip Moss
Melina and John Boukis
Anthony Joseph Lanman
Karen and Peter Rice
Brian and Mary Ann O’Riordan
Thomas and Kim O’Riordan
Frederick L. Hemke
Executive Producer Bob Lord
Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Chris Robinson
VP, Audio Production Jeff LeRoy
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Patrick Niland, Sara Warner
Kirk O'Riordan's music has been referred to as “unapologetically beautiful” and is often praised for its uniquely “visual” qualities that depict a wide range of striking moods. Gramophone Magazine praised O’Riordan as “a composer for whom imagery is a defining inspiration. ...[He] is a deeply sensitive composer who savours going gently into the night.” O’Riordan (b. 1968) is an active composer, conductor, saxophonist, and teacher.
Holly Roadfeldt is a versatile performer whose concerts regularly mix newly composed music with established masterpieces. Equally adept at both languages, Roadfeldt’s mission is to inspire and advocate for piano music of the highest caliber. Her most recent project celebrates the piano prelude. The goal for this endeavor is to commission new preludes to be performed alongside works from the standard repertoire. As part of her Preludes Project, new preludes were premiered by Roadfeldt at Oklahoma State University, Wichita State University; the Peabody Institute; University of Nebraska-Kearney; Mars Hill University; Western Carolina University; Carson-Newman University; the College of Southern Maryland; Westminster College; the University at Albany; and Manchester University.
Soprano Ann Moss is an acclaimed recording artist and champion of contemporary vocal music who has premiered over 200 new works, the lion’s share of which have been composed for her. Often described as a “fearless performer” of some of the most challenging music of our time, her high, flexible voice has been singled out by Opera News for “beautifully pure floated high notes” and by San Francisco Classical Voice for “powerful expression” … “clear, silvery tones and passionate sweetness.” Moss has been a featured soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Redwood Symphony, Orchestra Without Borders, West Edge Opera, SF Lyric Opera, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and many others.
Primarily an orchestral violist, Peter Dutilly is also an active chamber musician, composer, and conductor/educator. Recently appointed to a section viola position with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans, Dutilly appears regularly with orchestras across the southeast including those in Naples, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Orlando, where he has held a section position since 2014. His rich tone, expressive color palette, and good nature have garnered him attention as a sensitive collaborator. Dutilly is a proponent of new music, having introduced audiences to dozens of works written for him or rarely performed. As an orchestral musician, Dutilly’s most treasured collaborations have been with John Williams, Yo-Yo Ma, JoAnn Falletta, Gerard Schwarz, Anne Akiko Meyers, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Kayhan Kalhor, and Midori. Having settled on the viola as of late, Dutilly played a lot of catch-up in his studies at both Jacksonville University, from which he holds a Bachelor of Music in both Viola Performance and Music Composition studying with Dr. Marguerite Richardson and Dr. Jianjun He respectively, and Florida State University, from which he earned a master’s degree studying with Dr. Pamela Ryan. In his free time, Dutilly is an avid fisherman who loves to cook and travel, with a special place in his heart for his native New England, especially for his home state of Rhode Island and for Maine. Dutilly performs on a viola made by Frederick Haenel in Gaylordsville CT, in the 1950s which was gifted to him by his dear friend and mentor, Ernest Nordman.
The four pieces on this album were composed by Kirk O’Riordan between 2012 and 2018. Although I am familiar with all of his compositions and have performed many of them, this collection of works is especially alluring. All of the works represent what Kirk values as a composer, yet there are characteristics that even he may not see as vividly: a spiritual awareness of the human psyche, a vibrant resonance with nature, an aching vulnerability, an ardent need for introspection, and an unwavering acknowledgement that our collective consciousness is much more powerful than what is possessed by the individual.
The rehearsal process was exhausting yet enlightening, productive yet decidedly personal. Fortunately, we were able to complete our soul-searching work at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute where focused practice could be interwoven with an abundance of reflection, laughter, and of course, a few tears. We practiced, we studied, we performed, and we rehearsed some more for 11 days; then Andreas Meyer guided us through our final steps. We were most grateful to have such a gifted engineer proceed with our visions, our hearts, and our music.
— Holly Roadfeldt