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Larsen: Circle of Friends

Release Date: 11/13/2015 
Label:  Navona   Catalog #: 6014   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Libby LarsenUnspecified
Performer:  Norman FischerCurtis MacomberJeanne KiermanCraig Rutenberg,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Trailblazer. Advocate. Innovator. All of these descriptors apply to Grammy Award-winner Libby Larsen, but at the core is the most important title of all: Artist. As the first woman to serve as a resident composer with a major orchestra and one of the most performed and prolific composers of our time (she has over 500 works in her catalog, including 15 operas), Larsen has established a permanent place in the annals of American concert music.

Her new Navona Records album CIRCLE OF FRIENDS in many ways highlights a number of musicians with whom she has developed lasting relationships over the years. The performers on the album are all Larsen’s colleagues and associates from various points in her career.

Read more by 4-time Grammy-winner Judith Sherman, the album opens with the 3-movement Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano, an agile, nimble jazz-inspired piece that takes a gentle breather in the middle movement. Sifting Through the Ruins, a 5-movement work for mezzo-soprano, viola, and piano, was composed in memory of the events of September 11, 2001; the music and words are designed to be without artifice, focusing instead on simplicity and directness of expression.

Larsen’s Viola Sonata moves away from the expansive scope of dynamics normally found in the composer’s scores and substitutes a more restrained sense of color and texture. The vocal qualities of the viola are emphasized in this 3-movement work. The final work on the program, Up Where the Air Gets Thin, is perhaps the most adventurous piece on the album, a poetic imagination of sound at extreme altitudes in extreme environments. Read less

Works on This Recording

Trio for violin, cello & piano by Libby Larsen
Performer:  Norman Fischer (Cello), Curtis Macomber (Violin), Jeanne Kierman (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2001 
Venue:  Duncan Recital Hall, The Shepherd School 
Length: 18 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Sifting Through the Ruins, for voice & ensemble by Libby Larsen
Performer:  Craig Rutenberg (Piano), Susanne Mentzer (), James Dunham (Viola)
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 3 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Sonata for viola & piano by Libby Larsen
Performer:  Jeanne Kierman (Piano), James Dunham (Viola)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2001 
Venue:  Duncan Recital Hall, The Shepherd School 
Length: 19 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Four on the Floor, for violin, cello, double bass & piano by Libby Larsen
Performer:  Curtis Macomber (Violin), Deborah Dunham (), Norman Fischer (Cello),
Jeanne Kierman (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1983 
Venue:  Duncan Recital Hall, The Shepherd School 
Length: 5 Minutes 30 Secs. 
[CD-ROM Track] by Unspecified
Period: Modern 
Venue:  Duncan Recital Hall, The Shepherd School 
Up, Where the Air Gets Thin, for cello & double bass by Libby Larsen
Performer:  Deborah Dunham (), Norman Fischer (Cello)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1985 
Venue:  Duncan Recital Hall, The Shepherd School 
Length: 6 Minutes 30 Secs. 

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