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Classics is named after Captain Cook's great ship of discovery, the Endeavour.
The concept of the label is to bring both rapidly rising young stars and
performers to classical audiences featuring new or underexplored
"Finalist in the 2005 Van Cliburn Competition and Song-BMG recording artist, Davide Cabassi’s latest release features one of his most revered interpretations, Bach’s Capriccio on the Departure of His Most Beloved Brother. The work is cleverly paired with works by Beethoven and Brahms, each one ending in fugues; the title of the disc, Escaping, is the playful translation of “In Fuga.”
For those who went to an American junior high or high school in the 1980s and ’90s, the mix tape was an important tool— a way for young people to encapsulate their identities. After carefully compiling the songs that meant the most to them, these tapes were often shared among friends or given to romantic companions. It was a way to say, “This is me” when verbal or interpersonal skills seemed inadequate.
Now a grizzled veteran of Generation X, Andrew Russo began to wonder what would happen if a number of American composers were asked to arrange their favorite tunes in their signature keyboard styles. Collaborating with composers such as Daniel Felsenfeld, Marc Mellits, Phil Kline, and David Lang, he presents the harmonies of pop standards through the lens of modern classical composers.
MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition • DEBUSSY: Estampes • L’isle joyeuse
2005 top prizewinner of the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Davide Cabassi made his orchestral debut at age 13 with the RAI Symphony Orchestra. Abroad, Cabassi has played concerts all over the world, highlighted by appearances at Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall, Moscow’s Rachmaninov Hall, Salzburg’s Mozarteum, and Gasteig in Munich. Cabassi’s debut disc for Arte Nova, Dancing with the Orchestra, received worldwide attention and acclaim. He was featured prominently in the film documentary about the Van Cliburn Competition, In the Heart of Music, aired on PBS stations.
“Cabassi entered the stage with the ease and pleasure of stepping into a warm bath. He luxuriated in the joy of creating a coloristic sound world that produced … a ravishing Debussy Estampes.” — American Record Guide
Pictures At An Exhibition
MUSSORGSKY (tr. Trio Solisti): Pictures at an Exhibition • RAVEL: Piano Trio in A minor
A number of years ago, Jon Klibonoff made an arrangement of the work for piano trio and clarinet (including bass clarinet), thus retaining the string and wind colorations of the piece. The daring decision to arrange it for piano trio was made collaboratively by the ensemble in many long sessions, where each member carefully examined his or her part for possibilities in the process of transcription. Includes all fifteen movements of Ravel’s orchestration and what has now become the accepted version of Mussorgsky’s original piano composition. Mussorgsky’s inspiration for Pictures at an Exhibition was the paintings of brilliant young artist and architect Victor Hartmann, whose early death at thirty-nine so grieved Mussorgsky that he decided to write a piece in his memory. Ravel’s Piano Trio in A minor, recognized as one of the greatest chamber works of the twentieth century, premiered in Paris in 1915.
“The performance was consistently brilliant … an incisive account of Ravel’s extraordinary Trio in A minor … dangerous and radical.” — New York Times
With his superb tone and pure musicianship, violinist Giora Schmidt (still in his early twenties) has already proven himself an outstanding artist with a highly promising future. His performances are marked by a commanding presence and a richness of color that earn him a reputation as a virtuoso of the “old school,” whose great technique is matched by a very thoughtful musicality. Giora Schmidt recently received the Samuel Sanders Artist Award, presented to him by Itzhak Perlman at the 2005 Classical Recording Foundation Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall. He is the recipient of a 2003 Avery Fisher Career Grant as well as numerous other prizes and awards.
Born into a family of professional musicians, Giora Schmidt grew up in Philadelphia, also spending time in Israel. He was a student of the late Dorothy DeLay and Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School, where he continues to teach as an assistant to Perlman. Significant landmarks in Schmidt’s 2005/06 season were his European debut at the Louvre recital series in Paris, his Far Eastern debut in a recital in Tokyo, and a debut recital recording. Recent US appearances have included the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, San Diego Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Louisville Symphony, and Chicago Symphony. Pianist Rohan De Silva is a faculty member at the Juilliard School and has accompanied the world’s top violinists, including Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, Vadim Repin, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.
Dirty Little Secret
Andrew Russo is a 2006 Grammy nominee for his Black Box recording of the music of popular American composer John Corigliano! A number of records feature recitals of short encore piano pieces, mostly nineteenth-century trifles. Dirty Little Secret is a record with a similar structure—that is, a piano album with many short tracks. However, it reflects both a repertoire and attitude that belong to this century of soundbites, downloads, and the cynical sarcasm of Generation X. A versatile, prolific artist both onstage and in the recording studio, American pianist Andrew Russo has made a name for himself through his work with many of today’s leading composers in the United States and Europe. As a recitalist, Russo’s programs frequently feature premieres. Trained classically at the Juilliard School and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Mendelssohn in Leipzig, Russo pursued further specialized training in Paris with Frederic Chiu. Russo was the fi rst pianist to play inside the piano (plucking the strings) at the Van Cliburn competition when he performed a work by George Crumb there in 2001. In addition to his extensive solo activities, Russo is a member of the piano/cello/percussion trio Real Quiet, a group much involved in commissioning new music.
The Red Violin
Prize-winning violinist Maria Bachmann has been a featured soloist around the world and her recordings have generated critical raves; the New York Daily News named her debut CD,FRATRES, the Best Classical Recording of the Year.
Bachmann is an eminent proponent of contemporary music who has been praised for her romantic and deeply personalized approach to contemporary repertoire. She has premiered and recorded works by John Corigliano, Paul Moravec, William Bolcom, and many other living composers. Pianist Jon klibonoff has established a versatile career as an orchestra soloist,recitalist, and chamber musician throughout the US and abroad. He has several CD recordings to his credit, including two of twentieth-century violin and piano music with Bachmann.
Maria Bachmann’s title choice for this recording, The Red Violin, suggests not only the Chaconne of Corigliano’s Red Violin Concerto but also the brilliant color, energy, and lyricism that pervade every work on the disc. Another driving force of this recording is Bachmann’s long-time association with composer Paul Moravec, winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for his Tempest Fantasy, which was written for Bachmann and Klibonoff’s Trio Solisti (with cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach) and clarinetist david krakauer. In addition to the Trio Solisti, Bachmann is also a member of the critically acclaimed Lark Quartet; both groups have made several celebrated recordings. In 2000, John Corigliano won the Academy Award for the movie score of The Red Violin. In 2006, the Baltimore Symphony commissioned a violin concerto, developed from themes from The Red Violin. While the Chaconne for Violin and Orchestra is the first movement of the concerto, it remains a separate work both in its orchestral version and in the violin and piano adaptation. This is the world premiere recording of this version.
Klap Ur Handz
The works on this recording represent the Lark Quartet’s longtime association with new music and adventuresome programming. There is traditional string quartet playing, but also the string quartet as never heard before. The exploration of this new voice, however, is a thoughtful one rather than a mere attempt to be different. The works chosen reflect the Lark Quartet’s long and close association with the composers Peter Schickele and Paul Moravec, and with the Quartet’s more recent discovery, Daniel Bernard Roumain. The Gershwin songs are also explorative, with the unearthing of Stanley Silverman’s elegant translation of them that goes well beyond the expected. Performing with a unique blend of excitement, individuality, technical brilliance, and an unusually sonorous quartet sound, the Lark Quartet has won the acclaim of critics and audiences alike.
Building on the group’s illustrious commissioning history, the Lark continues its bold approach to wide-ranging musical styles. Peter Schickele is internationally recognized as one of the most versatile artists in the field of music as a composer, pianist, author, and satirist. His works, now well in excess of one hundred for symphony orchestras, choral groups, chamber ensembles, voice, movies, and television, have given him “a leading role in the ever-more-prominent school of American composers who unselfconsciously blend all levels of American music” according to the New York Times. Paul Moravec, recipient of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Music, has composed over ninety orchestral, chamber, choral, lyric, film, and electro-acoustic pieces. Daniel Bernard Roumain (“DBR”), the son of Haitian immigrants, is a composer/performer/band leader who seamlessly blends funk, rock, hip-hop, and classical music into a new and highly personal sonic vision. His dramatic, soul-inspiring pieces have been commissioned and performed by orchestras nationwide including the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Chicago Sinfonietta, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. The centerpiece of Klap Ur Handz is the world premiere recording of DBR’s new string quartet, dedicated to civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. Earlier this year, DBR’s music was highlighted in a feature story on NPR’s All Things Considered. The broadcast included a focus on the Lark Quartet’s first rehearsal of Quartet No. 5 “Rosa Parks.” For more information on the Lark Quartet, visit www.larkquartet.com. For more information on DBR, visit www.dbrmusic.com.
Sonata No1 / Excursions / Baue
Critics are using phrases such as “a young Van Cliburn,” “a pianist to watch” and “a star is born” to describe Stephen Beus. As one of only four Americans invited to compete at the 2005 Van Cliburn Competition, Beus’s performance of the Barber Sonata Op. 26 was called the “most hair-raising performance at Van Cliburn.”
Born in Othello,Washington, Stephen Beus began piano lessons at age five and made his orchestral debut four years later. Beus began to accumulate national acclaim while still in high school, placing first at both the Gina Bachauer International Young Artists Piano Competition and the pre-college level of the Corpus Christi International Concerto Competition.
He won both the high school and later the collegiate level of Music Teachers National Association’s competition, garnering, for the latter triumph, a Steinway Model M piano. At the age of eighteen, Beus had already been a featured performer on NPR’s young artist showcase From the Top and five years later, at twentythree, was featured on From the Top’s “Where Are They Now,” with host Christopher O’Riley.
Marc Mellits was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1966. He was already composing piano music before he started formal piano lessons at age six. He went on to study at the Eastman School of Music, Yale School of Music, Cornell University, and Tanglewood. His composition teachers during this period included Samuel Adler, Martin Bresnick, Bernard Rands, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner, Roberto Sierra, and Steven Stucky, yet one hears other influences in Mellits’ music.
The sound worlds of Steve Reich (whom Mellits considers a mentor) and Philip Glass resonate inside of this music, not to mention the rock and funk music from his childhood in the seventies. Mellits is a miniaturist, composing works that are comprised of short, contrasting movements. His music is eclectic, all-encompassing, and open to reflecting whatever enters his life and mind during the period of creation. Just recently, he was awarded the prestigious 2004 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award. Although this recording is the first dedicated completely to his music, other Mellits works can be heard on Santa Fe New Music and CRI/ Emergency Music.
|Jasper Wood, violin/David Riley, piano/Ricardo Morales, clarinet (in Contrasts)
Contrasts: Bartók Violin Works
Violinist Jasper Wood has garnered international critical acclaim for his solo performances with orchestras and chamber music concerts. Known for his intimate and dazzling recitals, Wood is sought after as a musician with his own personal voice. He can be heard frequently on NPR in the United States, and on the CBC in Canada. Pianist David Riley gave more than 50 concerts this past season, including two at the National Art Gallery in Washington DC and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. He has been heard on dozens of radio broadcasts on WQXR and WNYC in New York, Canada's CBC, and NPR's Performance Today. Wolfgang Sawallisch appointed Ricardo Morales Principal Clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2002. Prior to this, he was Principal Clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; a position he assumed at the age of 21 under the direction of James Levine.
Bartók's two Rhapsodies were originally written with orchestral accompaniment in 1928. Contrasts was written at the suggestion of Benny Goodman and premiered in 1940. All three works were written for violinist Joseph Szigeti, who arranged several of Bartók's piano pieces For Children into the Hungarian Folk Tunes. The Sonatina is based on Transylvanian folk tunes as arranged by Endre Gertler. Zoltán Székely did the arrangements for the Romanian Folk Dances.
Recorded in Toronto, 2005.
A unique program chosen around the theme of folklore (i.e. works using folk themes) or, as in the case of Stravinsky, older existing themes brought into a composer’s own style and era. Over 76 minutes of rarely recorded and interesting repertoire on a single disc!
Born into a family of musicians in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Denise Djokic has been called the most talented young cellist in the world. Her recent appearance at the 2002 Grammy Awards confirmed her as a young star in the classical field, and she was recently offered a contract with Sony Classical. She has played with major orchestras and music festivals, and her performances are heard frequently on CBC and NPR programs. She is joined on Folklore by pianist David Jalbert. With his personal style, incomparable stage presence and refined ear, Jalbert is one of the most exciting talents of his generation.
||Jasper Wood & David Riley
Ives: Works for Violin & Piano
This unique CD explores the very accessible violin and piano music of Charles Ives. Here is little of the dissonance or rhythmic complexity that some listeners find difficult—this is music primarily of simplicity and beauty. Included are seven of Ives's songs, arranged for violin and piano by Matthew Feurst and recorded here for the first time ever! The songs are: Wiel' Auf Mir ("Eyes So Dark"), S.387; Feldeinsamkeit ("In Summer Fields"), S.250; Rosamunde, S.337; Berceuse, S.220; Kären, S.285; Omens and Oracles, S.317; and From "Night of Frost in May," S.309.
Corigliano & Rzewski: Ballads & Fantasies
These are new works by two of America's most distinguished living composers, John Corigliano and Frederic Rzewski.
David Jalbert, 25, is recognized as one of the most daring and imaginative pianists of the younger generation.With a repertoire ranging from Bach to the likes of Ligeti, Corigliano and Rzewski, he has established himself as a fearless and enthusiastic artist. Mr. Jalbert recorded in 2002 with cellist Denise Djokic the first Canadian release on the Sony Classical label, the result of an exciting ongoing collaboration. Messrs. Corigliano and Rzewski both consulted personally with David Jalbert on this recording of their piano works.
Endeavour Classics welcomes artist submissions. If you are a musician interested in having your album released on Endeavour Classics, please send a complete package that includes:
a finished master on CD-R (cassette tapes are not acceptable)
bio and resumé
headshots or other photos
a cover letter describing your music
No materials will be returned, so please do not send originals.
Mail to: Endeavour Classics c/o Allegro Corporation, 20048 NE San Rafael
Portland OR 97230.
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