The second release in Orange Mountain Music's 'Concerto Project' series features two world premiere recordings of works by Philip Glass, performed by the Seattle-based Northwest Chamber Orchestra under Ralf Gothóni (well-known to UK audiences as Principal Conductor of the English Chamber Orchestra since 2000). Pianist Paul Barnes performs Piano Concerto No2, After Lewis and Clark written to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the explorers' journey across the American continent. A fortuitous meeting between Barnes and Glass on an airplane in 1995 eventually led to this concerto, but it was only composed after Orange Mountain Music's acclaimed 2003 release of the pianist's transcriptions of Glass operas 'The Orphee Suite'.
Gerhard completed his unnumbered Symphony "Homanaje a Pedrell" twelve years before his Symphony No 1 (1952-3). Its genesis may have been a long drawn-out affair, the opening movement suggesting that is did not begin as a symphony. Perhaps as early as 1922, the year of Felipe Pedrell’s death, Gerhard began to contemplate this tribute to his revered teacher with whom he studied from 1915 to 1920. The tribute is based on ……
Mozart's keyboard works for four hands feature among the most delightful and entertaining of his compositions. Indeed, a favourite family pastime was to play duets on a harpsichord or pianoforte. The young Wolfgang and his sister Nannerl apparently spent many happy hours playing together on the same keyboard. This we learn about from the English music historian and traveller Charles Burney reporting in 1772 : «By a letter from Salzburg (…) I am informed that this young man, who so much astonished all Europe by his premature knowledge and performance, during infancy, is still a great master of his instrument. My correspondent went to his father's house to hear him and his sister play duets on the same harpsichord.».
Attracted by a delightful fusion of early music sonorities with modern expressiveness, the three composers in this amazingly rich and varied programme build on the magnificent harpsichord concerto legacy of JS Bach. John Rutter’s beautiful Suite Antique is full of rich and haunting themes, with a significant solo flute part and a jazzy Waltz which is as much Brubeck as Bach. Philip Glass delivers an exciting experience of virtuoso instrumental blending and solo expressiveness, and with typical wit and elegance. Jean Françaix’s Concerto is terrific fun throughout.