Inna Gilmore and pianist Brian Gilmore delve into Russian and Soviet post-romanticism seldom heard in the West, with music by the virtually-unknown Vasilenko ("Springtime Suite" Op. 138: "Prelude" / "Waltz-Caprice" / "Across the Desert" / "In the Forest" / "Spring Streams") and Tsybin ("Concert Etude # 1" / "Etude # 7" / "Etude # 8, Nocturne" / "Etude # 10" / "Concerto Allegro # 2"); the somewhat familiar Lyadov ("Prelude" Op. 57") and Gliere ("Melody" Op. 35, # 1 / "Waltz" Op. 35, # 2); and Rachmaninoff ("Romance, Ne poi krasavitsa" Op. 4, # 4 / "Romance, Veshnie Vodi" Op. 14, # 11 / "Polka Italienne").
Meanwhile, on their "Debut" CD, the couple present a stunning program of 20th-Century works by Charles-Marie Widor ("Suite for Flute and Piano, Op. 34 ~ I Moderato - II Scherzo - III Romance - IV Finale)" / Reinhold Gliere ("Melody for Flute and Piano, Op. 35") / Howard Hanson ("Serenade for Flute and Piano, Op. 35") / Walter Gieseking ("Sonatine for Flute and Piano ~ I Moderato - II Allegretto - III Vivace)" / Frank Martin ("Ballade for Flute and Piano") and Henry Dutilleux ("Sonatine for Flute and Piano").
Percussionist extraordinaire Dean Witten conducts the Rowan University Percussion Ensemble in a live performance of Mick Rossi's original film score for F.W. Murnau's 1922 classic "Nosferatu," featuring guest clarinet soloist Andy Laster.
What the critics say:
"The music is commanding and powerful. Rossi and clarinetist Andy Laster are the prime soloists. The Rowan University Percussion Ensemble, consisting of ten percussionists and eight bassists, lavishly embellish the dark and light passages with all manner of interpretive speech. Rowan University Music Department Chairman Dean Witten conducted the massive undertaking.
The intrigue of this performance is pervasive, but its imagery is startlingly realistic and communicative. Rossi scurries over the keys depicting lighter film moments and then seeps deeply into the darkness with ponderous thunder as the action becomes morose. Laster intertwines clarinet passages that spring freely from his instrument to cloak the mood swings. The clarinet has the capacity to evoke numerous feelings, and Laster sets the shifting scenes with his conceptual outpourings.
The percussionists play an extremely important role in this presentation. Lighthearted vibes and marimba tones transform into segments portraying sinisterness. Similarly, the bassists add their brand of aural description of the action, such as during stalking scenes and other stealthy, heart- stopping sections...
As the film progresses deeper and deeper into its ghoulish plot, the music realistically relays the images to the mind. Rossi ponders over the keys and Laster portrays cautiousness that soon erupts into a state of frightening agitation when the inevitable consequences of the storyline unfold in full. The kettledrums explode, the bassists become frenzied, and Rossi and Laster continue to transport the visions in compelling musical terms. Rossi often steered the ensemble into sections of free improvisation to provide spontaneity to the action.
Although this gigantic effort was done in support of the silent film, it stands on its own as a significant artistic work. Rossiís score and improvisations contain all the elements necessary to stimulate a demanding musical appetite, and the intricate blending of Lasterís clarinet with the percussionistsí and bassistsí nuances cum overt outbursts makes the recording an emotionally charged, cross-genre event."
- All About Jazz
Special guests Michael Davis (trombone), Mariko Smiley (violin), Dr. Harold Oliver (haiku reader) and Dr. Robert Rawlins (flute) join director Dean Witten in a program of works ranging from our own Denis DiBlasio to Edgard Varese: "Periphery" / "Purple Mountains" / "Holos-Gramma/Torso" / "Lapidary Nimbus" / "Temples, Evening, Wind and Metal" / "TV Themes" / "Ionisation"
What the critics say:
"The Rowan ensemble and Witten should be commended for recording this CD without any editing. The energized sounds and accuracy are apparent." - Pecussive Notes