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Brutal Reality / Miller, Levy, Casey, Albany So


Release Date: 11/23/1999 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 354   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Arthur BloomEvan K. ChambersJohn Fitz RogersKamran Ince,   ... 
Performer:  Jill LevyNollaig Casey
Conductor:  David Alan Miller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Albany Symphony OrchestraPresent Music
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


In Brutal Reality, Richard Adams attempts to communicate the sense of being overwhelmed by the enormous compositional and professional demands being placed on him at the time. The music itself isn't brutal in an obvious way, with crashing percussion and crunching tone clusters, but rather a different kind of brutality is implied by the relentless ostinato and its constantly evolving permutations. The music, basically tonal, is more invigorating than lacerating (as its title might imply).

Arthur Bloom renders the sweet morsels of Life is Like a Box of Chocolates in neo-baroque flavors, including a sugary harpsichord. A lively ritornello (constructed on modern-day harmonies) and a
Read more central section based on a funky R & B riff are just some of the surprises awaiting the listener. Evan Chambers' Concerto for Fiddle & Violin is a modern classic that would be a hit on any concert program. Unlike Mark O'Connor, whose similar concerto (performed last fall in Carnegie Hall) was little more than a bluegrass jam with sparse orchestral commentary, Chambers creates a real concertante work, ingeniously pairing off the serious and playful aspects of the solo instruments.

John Fitz Rogers drew upon the musical ideas of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition in composing his Verve. While the sonorities and textures of the music do bear a distant relationship to the world of the Ravel orchestration, you'd never guess their origin if you weren't told first. Regardless, this is a colorfully orchestrated and enjoyable little piece. Kamran Ince's Fest for Chamber Ensemble & Orchestra, in which he intermingles Anatolian folk music with modern Western elements, is the most diverse and wide-ranging work in this collection. The piece opens with an Eastern-sounding Prologue, followed by a cornucopia of Asian-accented but distinctly American musical idioms, from the echt rock'n'roll of Dance I, to the John Adams-style minimalism of Reflections, to the Coplandesque asymmetrical rhythmic patterns and bass drum syncopations of Dance III. Epilogue ends the piece in a grand rock-anthem style, replete with electric guitar and saxophones. Under David Alan Miller's firm yet fun-loving leadership, the Albany Symphony (joined by the Present Music Ensemble in the Ince work) plays each one of these pieces with palpable excitement and spine-tingling brilliance. And it's all captured in powerfully dynamic and vivid sound by Albany's engineers. Definitely a disc to liven up your listening room. [6/22/2001]
--Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Life is Like a Box of Chocolates by Arthur Bloom
Conductor:  David Alan Miller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Albany Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
2.
Concerto for Fiddle and Violin by Evan K. Chambers
Performer:  Jill Levy (Fiddle), Nollaig Casey (Fiddle)
Conductor:  David Alan Miller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Albany Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1998; USA 
3.
Verge by John Fitz Rogers
Conductor:  David Alan Miller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Albany Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
4.
Fest by Kamran Ince
Conductor:  David Alan Miller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Albany Symphony Orchestra,  Present Music
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1998; USA 
5.
Brutal Reality by Richard Adams
Conductor:  David Alan Miller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Albany Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 

Sound Samples

Brutal Reality
Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
Concerto for Fiddle and Violin: I. Jigs
Concerto for Fiddle and Violin: II. Air - Waltz
Concerto for Fiddle and Violin: III. Reels
Verge
Fest: I. Prologue
Fest: II. Dance I
Fest: III. Dance II
Fest: IV. Reflections
Fest: V. Dance III
Fest: VI. Epilogue

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