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American Classics - Stephen Hartke: Clarinet Concerto, Etc


Release Date: 09/23/2003 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559201   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Stephen Hartke
Performer:  Richard StoltzmanDavid BjellaFelix WangLaura Renz,   ... 
Conductor:  Michael Stern
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Iris Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Stephen Hartke's new Clarinet Concerto (2001) is a fresh and lively modern work that manages to be intellectually stimulating while remaining largely accessible. Subtitled "Landscapes with Blues", the piece comprises three aural snapshots tracing the history of blues from its African origins to the present day. Harkte incorporates authentic African dance rhythms, as well as those of jazz and blues, yet the composer's own style reflects a strong minimalist influence (particularly of the John Adams variety). In the first movement, Senegambia, a repeated five-note bass figure stalks beneath the clarinet's, freewheeling seemingly improvised modulations. Hartke's orchestra maintains persistent
Read more and colorful commentary on the proceedings, with intriguing instrumental combinations that at times remind of Stravinsky (note the dancing horn chorales midway into the movement). Delta Nights, with its desolate atmosphere and despairing clarinet musings, suggests the oppressive heat of the deep south, while the heavy, disjointed rhythms of Philamayork vividly portray the big city at work. Throughout, Hartke's writing is vibrant, and stunningly imaginative, as is Richard Stoltzman's stellar playing.


But there's still more to enjoy on this disc. The Rose of the Winds (1998) for string octet forms a respite from the calculated intensity of concerto, soothing as it does with its spare string textures and haunting melodic fragments. Gradüsb (1999), with its rough-edged syncopations and layered counterpoint, sparks memories of Steve Reich. Finally, Harkte's Pacific Rim, a much earlier work (1988) is somewhat less cohesive and incisive than the preceding, nonetheless impresses through its novel fusion of eastern and western musical traditions. Michael Stern's performances with the IRIS Chamber Orchestra are remarkable for their high energy and rhythmic precision. Naxos provides an exceptionally vivid recording. You simply must hear the Clarinet Concerto, its bound to be an American classic.
--Victor Carr, Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Clarinet "Landscape with Blues" by Stephen Hartke
Performer:  Richard Stoltzman (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Michael Stern
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Iris Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2001; USA 
Date of Recording: 04/29/2001 
Venue:  Germantown Performing Arts Centre, TN 
Length: 27 Minutes 59 Secs. 
2.
The Rose of the Winds by Stephen Hartke
Performer:  David Bjella (Cello), Felix Wang (Cello), Laura Renz (Viola),
Carolyn Huebl (Violin), Juliana Athayde (Violin), Miho Saegusa (Violin),
Allison Jones (Violin), Beth Guterman (Viola)
Conductor:  Michael Stern
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Iris Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1999; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/05/2002 
Venue:  Germantown Performing Arts Centre, TN 
Length: 12 Minutes 57 Secs. 
3.
Gradus by Stephen Hartke
Performer:  Ed Murray (Percussion), Beth Newdome (Violin), Scott Best (Double Bass),
Joshua Nemith (Piano), David Bjella (Cello), Jerome Simas (Bass Clarinet)
Conductor:  Michael Stern
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Iris Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1999; USA 
Date of Recording: 02/23/2003 
Venue:  Germantown Performing Arts Centre, TN 
Length: 7 Minutes 6 Secs. 
4.
Pacific Rim by Stephen Hartke
Conductor:  Michael Stern
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Iris Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/03/2002 
Venue:  Germantown Performing Arts Centre, TN 
Length: 11 Minutes 13 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Clarinet Concerto, "Landscapes with Blues": I. Senegambia
Clarinet Concerto, "Landscapes with Blues": II. Delta Nights
Clarinet Concerto, "Landscapes with Blues": III. Philamayork
The Rose of the Winds
Gradus
Pacific Rim

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