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Harberg & Wolpert: Viola Concertos / Deubner, Lerner, Southern Arizona Symphony


Release Date: 07/14/2017 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559840  
Composer:  Amanda HarbergMax Wolpert
Performer:  Brett Deubner
Conductor:  Linus Lerner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

These premiere recordings of viola concertos written especially for Brett Deubner are by two leading American composers whose appealing styles are full of engaging melodies and vital rhythms. Amanda Harberg's Concerto for Viola and Orchestra meditates upon soaring flight and the fragility of life, concluding with joyful energy and syncopation. Her Elegy commemorates a beloved music teacher. Inspired by tales from around the world, Max Wolpert's work draws on ancient traditions of music and storytelling. His Viola Concerto No. 1 ''Giants'' gazes at the lost magic of a distant past, calling up singing harps, dancing storm clouds, and a fiendishly ticking clock inexorably counting down to the end of the world. These premiere recordings of viola concertos written especially for Brett Deubner are by two leading American composers whose appealing styles are full of engaging melodies and vital rhythms. Amanda Harberg's Concerto for Viola and Orchestra meditates upon soaring flight and the fragility of life, concluding with joyful energy and syncopation. Her Elegy commemorates a beloved music teacher. Inspired by tales from around the world, Max Wolpert's work draws on ancient traditions of music and storytelling. His Viola Concerto No. 1 ''Giants'' gazes at the lost magic of a distant past, calling up singing harps, dancing storm clouds, and a fiendishly ticking clock inexorably counting down to the end of the world. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Viola by Amanda Harberg
Performer:  Brett Deubner (Viola)
Conductor:  Linus Lerner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2011/2012; United States 
2.
Elegy by Amanda Harberg
Performer:  Brett Deubner (Viola)
Conductor:  Linus Lerner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2007; United States 
3.
Concerto for Viola No. 1 "Giants" by Max Wolpert
Performer:  Brett Deubner (Viola)
Conductor:  Linus Lerner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2015; United States 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Refreshingly modern November 12, 2018 By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA) See All My Reviews "I'd like to have a copy of this release readily available at all times. I would shove it into the hands of every person I heard complain about "unlistenable" modern music and demand they listen to it. Amanda Harberg is a thoroughly modern composer who is unafraid of a beautiful melody. Her 2012 Concerto for Viola and Orchestra was commissioned by violist Brett Deubner (who performs it here). Harberg doubles down on the expressive quality of the viola, and it pays off. This lyrical work is astonishingly beautiful. Her 2007 Elegy is a heartfelt memorial to a former teacher. It's a quieter, more personal work. The warmth of the viola in the middle and lower registers gives the music an introspective, intimate feel. Max Wolpert has a somewhat eclectic background, equally at home with traditional folk music as with classical. His 2015 Viola Concerto, "Giants" is as accessible and engaging as Harberg's music, but in a different way. Wolpert's meters are more complex -- sometimes almost jittery in their rapid changes. (And that's fine with me.) His melodies seem more open-ended and develop in interesting ways. The second and third movements borrow from various folk traditions, blended together in a fascinating melange that continually surprises and delights. Brett Deubner performs with fire and passion. His playing often has a grittiness to it I really liked. Halberg and Wolpert write very accessible music - Deubner's earthy playing keeps it from sounding pretty (which its not) and superficial (which it is definitely not). Thanks to Naxos for releasing this music. It brought two more contemporary composers to my attention whose music I want to explore." Report Abuse
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