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Ricky Ian Gordon: Green Sneakers

Jesse Blumberg , Miami String Quartet , Ricky Ian Gordon , _ Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Price: $20.48 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 19 Songs, 2009 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2010 $20.48  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Prelude (instrumental) 3:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. If Only Someone Could Have Told Me 1:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. In Particular 1:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. He Came to Houston 2:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Needs 1:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Shopping 4:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Sportswear 2:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Opening Night 4:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Philadelphia 1:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Stone Garden 1:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Blue Dust Mask 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Two Months Later 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Would You Consider 2:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Operas Come And Go 3:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. It Was As If... 4:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Bonanza 1:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Bus Ride (instrumental) 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Provincetown 2:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Epilogue: Sleep 5:21$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Presser Music: Opera Spotlight - Ricky Ian Gordon


Life and career

Gordon was born in Oceanside, New York and raised on Long Island with his three sisters, Susan, Lorraine and Sheila, by his mother and father, Eve and Sam. His interests growing up ranged from foreign film, (Bergman, Ozu, Truffaut, Resnais, Rohmer, Godard, Antonioni, Fellini, Mizoguchi) to popular music, (Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, Neil Young) to the composers of the ... Read more in Amazon's Ricky Ian Gordon Store

Visit Amazon's Ricky Ian Gordon Store
for 14 albums, 5 photos, 8 videos, and 10 full streaming songs.

Product Details

  • Performer: Jesse Blumberg
  • Orchestra: Miami String Quartet
  • Conductor: _
  • Composer: Ricky Ian Gordon
  • Audio CD (January 12, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Griffin
  • ASIN: B002ZXZIZ2
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,409 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

World premiere recording of Ricky Ian Gordon s most personal and intimate work, written in search of solace from grief after the loss of his partner, Jeffrey Grossi, to AIDS, and following their last few months together. Hailed as a triumph, superb mini-opera, a masterpiece by Opera Today, American Record Guide and others, every live performance of the piece becomes a cathartic experience and leaves the audience transformed and uplifted. The original cast of the production, the superb Miami String Quartet and the rising star of opera and recital stage baritone Jesse Blumberg, is beautifully captured in the fabulous setting of Blue Griffin s The Ballroom studio with the loving guidance of the composer himself.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gordon Creates Masterpiece With "Green Sneakers" January 6, 2010
Format:MP3 Music
Gordon creates masterpiece in "Green Sneakers"
Wes Blomster, for Opera Today

Eugenia Zukerman asked for a 10-minute chamber work - a piano quintet, perhaps - and she got "Green Sneakers for Baritone, String Quartet and Empty Chair," which lasts exactly an hour.

And she was delighted - as were all those who heard the world premiere of "Sneakers" at Colorado's Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival on July 15.

"I met Ricky two years ago," says Zukerman, who as its artistic director had invited Gordon to be 2008 composer-in-residence at the Festival. "I had heard his `Orpheus & Euridice,' and he wrote me a flute obbligato for several of his songs.

"I was eager to have him in Vail and to commission a new work by him."

In September, however, Gordon called Zukerman; he said he was working on a big piece and could not stop.

"He read me the poems that were the libretto for the work," Zukerman says. "They were gripping.

"I told him we would do it!"

Zukerman first contacted Gordon about Vail a year ago, when he was in Salt Lake City for the second production of his opera "The Grapes Of Wrath." At the time she suggested a collaboration with the Miami String Quartet, an ensemble with a long Vail association.

Gordon remembered a set of poems that he had written following the AIDS death of his long-time companion Jeffrey Grossi in 1996. He saw a new score taking shape on stage around an empty chair.

"I had a sense of the atmosphere that the work would have," says the composer, who goes on to explain the title.

"There was a day after Jeffrey's death when I was staring into our closet from the vast desolation of our bed," he says.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful... tragic... moving... heartbreaking... January 12, 2010
Format:Audio CD
These are just a few comments Blue Griffin is getting from the listeners:

"For all who have known love, only to have it go away for whatever reason, GREEN SNEAKERS should be required listening during a quiet and personal time"

"I'm moved beyond words... it is so intensely personal and honest and deeply mirrors experiences and feeling in my own life. I'm still shaking a bit while writing this. What a beautiful and moving work. Thank you."

"This ripped me apart. Beautiful. Tragic."

"... we were touched, moved and disturbed. Suffering, so clearly expressed, is certainly beautiful, but also truly heartbreaking."
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two New Great Reviews February 20, 2010
Format:Audio CD
Ricky Ian Gordon

Green Sneakers
Jesse Blumberg, baritone; Miami String Quartet
(Blue Griffin ****)

This song cycle for baritone and string quartet - a lineup somewhat similar to Vaughan Williams' On Wenlock's Edge - poses none of the harmonic challenges often heard in modern music, but the poetic content, also written by the composer, is emotionally daunting to say the least. The piece is an unflinching account of Gordon watching his partner die as his long-planned operatic adaptation of theTibetan Book of the Dead was being born, in Houston and at Philadelphia's then-extant American Music Theater Festival. His descriptions of illness speak for their heartbreaking selves; even more searing is the author's guilt after the death.

So unfiltered is the piece that anyone who has trod parallel paths to Gordon's will likely encounterGreen Sneakers not as art but as therapy, similar to John Adams' 9/11 memorial On the Transmigration of Souls. Gordon's music has an emotional restraint that leaves ample room for the listener's own comparative experiences. Baritone Blumberg has just the right touch with the music's highly singable vocal writing, articulating the pathos without overcooking it. - D.P.S.One morning a month or two ago I was in the car and "The Writer's Almanac"

with Garrison Keillor came on the radio. After the list of birthdays and such, the short segment ended, "And
here's a poem by Ricky Ian Gordon..."
I wanted to shout out, "Wait! He's a composer! He's ours!"
But the plain spoken sentiment, as well as the unique name, meant it had to be the same guy. ("The
Tulips," the poem that Keillor read, is available on the Writer's Almanac site.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Death be not proud' February 21, 2013
Format:Audio CD
By now most everyone interested in the new works in classical music is familiar with the composer Ricky Ian Gordon, but for those who have yet to experience this dynamic composers works, the following bit of biographical data my fill the cracks. Gordon, born 1956 in Ocanside, New York is an American composer of songs, stage musicals and opera. He studied at Carnegie Mellon University and has composed songs, stage pieces and operas, his music having been performed by such luminaries as Audra McDonald, Dawn Upshaw, and Renée Fleming. The death of his lover from AIDS inspired Dream True (1998) and Orpheus and Euridice (2005) as well as this fascinating 2008 work Green Sneakers, a theatrical song cycle for Baritone, String Quartet, and Empty Chair, with a libretto by the composer. Green Sneakers as premiered at Vail, Colorado, premiered July 15 in Vail Valley Music Fesival, Colorado with great success, the critics stating, `It is amazing that in this first work for string quartet Gordon has perfected an idiom that goes to the edge of tonality to create a microcosm of pain and despair that has all the markings of a contemporary Gesamtkunstwerk. Indeed, at the premier, members of the Miami String Quartet were no longer mere strings, but humanized voices that formed a seamless dramatic unity with Blumberg... With the repetition of "Sleep Dear," the final words of Green Sneakers, one heard in Vail a distant echo of the "Ewig" that concludes Mahler's monumental Abschied. For this is a song of today's earth, a farewell lamentation that transcends death.'

This recording of the work takes advantage of the artists who premiered it.
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