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Theofanidis: Symphony No. 1 & Lieberson: Neruda Songs


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Audio CD, June 28, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Demonstrating ASO Music Director Robert Spano's enduring commitment to new music, ASO Media presents a stirring pairing of compositions by 21st century composers. Both works are about emotional journeys. Symphony, written by Atlanta School composer Christopher Theofanidis, is a piece written in response to momentous events in the composer's personal life. Not unlike other composers (Beethoven for example), personal crises inspire strong artistic reactions. Such is the case with The Theofanidis Symphony. The Neruda Songs are a similar example of such a journey. Since this work was written and premiered, both the composer and his muse (Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, for whom he wrote the work) have passed away from cancer. When writing the piece, Mr. Lieberson and Ms. Hunt had already been through one bout of cancer (hers) and these songs were written well in the knowledge that they might be valedictory compositions. They were, first for her and now for him. From personal challenges comes often great art.
A note from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra:
All of us who were involved with this project are deeply saddened by the passing of Peter Lieberson, a great artist and musical partner. This recording is dedicated to his memory. We are proud to be a part of his legacy that lives on through his extraordinary music.
Mezzo Soprano Kelley O'Connor was the first to perform the Neruda Songs after the death of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. The composer himself taught her the songs, one a day, over a five day retreat. O'Connor said in a 2008 interview with the Denver Post, 'Once it became that personal to me that he became a friend to me, I felt honored to tell their story, because it is their story.'

Review

With singing that managed to be at once seductive and haunting, O'Connor was equal to this smoldering music in every way. (Peter Lieberson's Neruda Songs) --Kyle MacmIllan, The Denver Post, January 2010

Listening to it we hear celebratory Ottorion Respighi-style processionals, percussive syncopation a la John Adams and some heroic outbursts that might easily fit in place of Howard Shore s soundtrack for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra - the team that commissioned the piece in 2009 give an authoritative reading. --Opera News, September 2011

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.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 1: I. -Atlanta Symphony Orchestra11:56Album Only
listen  2. Symphony No. 1: II. -Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 8:34Album Only
listen  3. Symphony No. 1: III. -Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Symphony No. 1: IV. -Atlanta Symphony Orchestra10:27Album Only
listen  5. Neruda Songs: No. 1. Si no fuera porque tus ojos tienen color de luna (If your eyes were not the color of the moon)Kelley O'Connor 5:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Neruda Songs: No. 2. Amor, amor, las nubes a la torre del cielo (Love, love, the clouds went up the tower of the sky)Kelley O'Connor 5:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Neruda Songs: No. 3. No estes lejos de mi un solo dia (Don't go far off, not even for a day)Kelley O'Connor 6:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Neruda Songs: No. 4. Ya eres mia. Reposa con tu sueno en mi sueno (And now you're mine. Rest with your dream in my dream)Kelley O'Connor 6:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Neruda Songs: No. 5. Amor mio, si muero y tu no mueres (My love, if I die and you don't)Kelley O'Connor 7:13$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Performer: Kelley O'Connor
  • Orchestra: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Robert Spano
  • Composer: Peter Lieberson, Christopher Theofanidis
  • Audio CD (June 28, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ASO Media
  • ASIN: B004YP3U0Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,553 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Digital Chips on July 9, 2011
Format: Audio CD
If they continue on the trend established by their first two releases, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's ASO Media label may become one of my favorite labels. For their second release, the orchestra pairs two compositions by a rising and an established composer. Christopher Theofanidis is the (relative) newcomer, and the work is his first symphony. Peter Lieberson is the established composer, with his "Neruda Songs."

The Symphony was premiered by the Robert Spano and the ASO in 2009, and it's clear that they know this music intimately. Theofanidis's symphony is a study in contrasts. It starts out with a unison wind line that contains all the motifs for the rest of first movement. When the rest of the orchestra enters, its with a lush sound well-suited to the orchestra.

Some parts reminds me of Carl Vine's orchestral music, which is not a bad thing. Like Vine, Theofanidis writes melodically, in clearly defined structures that are easy to follow. This four-movement work is symphonic in every sense; dramatic, expansive, full of rich timbres and imaginative orchestration. For those who still think that modern music is only cacophony gone wild, Theofanidis' First Symphony provides ample proof to the contrary.

The second work on the release, is Peter Lieberson's "Neruda Songs." It's a good match for the Theofanidis Symphony. It also is richly orchestrated, with some distinctively Latino musical turns, in keeping with the Chilean poetry of Pablo Neruda. Lieberson originally wrote this orchestral song cycle for his wife, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. This recording features mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor, who brings her own interpretation to the work (that's her picture on the album art, BTW).

O'Connor's warm delivery and sensitive phrasing give this work new life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 4, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This is one of those recordings that just may slip past the eye and ear of classical music lovers - until the Grammy Awards announcements come out. Robert Spano and his Atlanta Symphony Orchestra continue to bring contemporary works very much worth our attention. In this recording he introduces the Symphony No. 1 of Christopher Theofanidis - who ha a longstanding relationship with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. As a bit of background information, Theofanidis was born in1967 in Dallas, Texas and is 'an American composer who has had performances by many leading orchestras from around the world, including the London Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Moscow Soloists, the National, Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, and many others. He participated in the Young American Composer-in-Residence Program with Barry Jekowsky from 1994 to 1996 and, more recently, served as Composer of the Year for the Pittsburgh Symphony during their 2006-2007 Season, for which he wrote a violin concerto for Sarah Chang. He holds degrees from Yale University, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Houston, and has been the recipient of the International Masterprize (hosted at the Barbican Centre in London), the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, six ASCAP Gould Prizes, a Fulbright Fellowship to France, a Tanglewood Fellowship, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Charles Ives Fellowship. In 2007 he was nominated for a Grammy for best composition for his chorus and orchestra work, 'The Here and Now', based on the poetry of Rumi. He has completed a commission for the San Francisco Opera to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, to star Thomas Hampson. He has served as a delegate to the U.S.Read more ›
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Cooper on August 30, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Beautiful music. very nice to listen to. takes getting used too , listen to it 3 or 4 times. Very good
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William Bronston, MD on November 28, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Christopher's works are immensely rich and varied as he finds his mature stride after a young life of incredible recognition and commissions including his 2 operas. This work is a beautiful instumental and vocal journey well worth the purchase and repeated listen.
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