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Ward: Scarlet and Blue

Release Date: 08/10/1995 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 126   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Robert Ward
Performer:  Sarah Johnson
Conductor:  Peter Perret
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winston Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 56 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The real heart of this release is Ward's splendiferous score for a choreographic release of Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter... Ward's thirty-six minute work in seven continuous sections paints a broad canvas, which, with its seamless narrative drive and varied, inexhaustible musical incident, can be listened to without any prior knowledge of the specific literary program as a wonderful sequence of thematically interrelated sound pictures which together form symphonic poem.

– Fanfare

Robert Ward provides the following notes: "The Concerto for Violin draws on many strands of my musical background. The first movement is a chaconne based on a 12-tone theme. It is made up of some 27 variations which sometimes demand
Read more pyrotechnical display and at others call for intense lyricism or lighthearted playfulness. The slow movement is a "blues" which reflects my war years when I led a swing band as part of my duties as an Army bandleader. The movement just trails off until it is rather rudely interrupted by the Finale. Here again the music is out of my jazz experience and the earlier influence of Gershwin, Copland, and Harris. The movement is nonetheless in a straightforward sonata form within which a fugue is included. The Suite from The Scarlet Letter is a ballet in seven scenes based on the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne's magnificent story proved to be an endless source of inspiration and a great challenge. In planning the work the choreographer and I have tried to accomplish in the "story ballet" the same close interweaving of plot and music that prevails in my opera, "The Crucible," based on the play by Arthur Miller. Each scene involves a principal dramatic climax in Hawthorne's novel and musical ideas are specifically associated with characters or elements of the story."
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Works on This Recording

The Scarlet Letter: Suite by Robert Ward
Conductor:  Peter Perret
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winston Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Concerto for Violin by Robert Ward
Performer:  Sarah Johnson (Violin)
Conductor:  Peter Perret
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winston Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; USA 

Sound Samples

Violin Concerto: I. Moderato - Allegro
Violin Concerto: II. Blues
Violin Concerto: III. Allegro spiritoso
The Scarlet Letter Suite: I. Stiff-necked Puritans and Gossips
The Scarlet Letter Suite: II. The Secret Pledge
The Scarlet Letter Suite: III. The Elf-child and the Minister
The Scarlet Letter Suite: IV. Revelation, Guilt and the Scourge
The Scarlet Letter Suite: V. Wild Night of Remorse
The Scarlet Letter Suite: VI. A Flood of Sunshine
The Scarlet Letter Suite: VII. Expiation on the Scaffold

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