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McEncroe: Dark Clouds in Life / Kennedy, Amore, Janacek Philharmonic


Release Date: 03/10/2017 
Label:  Navona   Catalog #: 6082  
Composer:  Mark John Mcencroe
Performer:  Helen Kennedy
Conductor:  Anthony Armoré
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A persistent goal of Mark John McEncroe is to create compositions that elicit an emotional response, as is echoed in the titles of his works. This is particularly true of the Australian composer's Navona debut, Dark Clouds of Life, a conceptual release focused on overcoming addiction and depression, challenges McEncroe has personally struggled with. His sessions in Ostrava, Czech Republic with the Janá?ek Philharmonic Orchestra and pianist Helen kennedy produced a cornerstone suite and three addendums that capture the essence of the record's stated purpose. The most personal of these works is the three-movement Natalie's Suite. McEncroe dedicated the piece to his daughter, who has been "wrestling with addiction and depression as Read more I have and is well on the way to a better life. This suite is all about that struggle." The emotive, expansive performances of this tribute by Kennedy and the Janá?ek Philharmonic amount to a stirring soundtrack to Natalie's journey and the turmoil of all who battle addiction. The composer describes these themes as grappling with an insane, detrimental cycle of repeating mistakes, which he chose to illustrate by staying in the home key throughout the entire work and creating a "tragic soundscape." This is most prominently showcased in the storming density of the suite's first two, 20-minute movements - "Facing the Demons" and "Into the Dark Spaces". Yet, as "Moving into the Light" concludes Natalie's Suite, a lighter mood begins to dissipate the tragedy of the suite. The movement accomplishes what its title suggests, presenting and embodiment of McEncroe's view that "there can be no recovery until acceptance of complete powerlessness is reached. Only at that point can an addict and/or alcoholic begin teh long, slow, painful, but richly rewarding journey into a brand new life." Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Natalie's Suite "3 Faces of Addiction" by Mark John Mcencroe
Performer:  Helen Kennedy (Piano)
Conductor:  Anthony Armoré
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra
2.
Natalie's Theme by Mark John Mcencroe
Performer:  Helen Kennedy (Piano)
3.
Symphonic Poem "Echoes from a Haunted Past" by Mark John Mcencroe
Conductor:  Anthony Armoré
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra
4.
The Pendulum by Mark John Mcencroe
Performer:  Helen Kennedy (Piano)

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