Conducting legend José Serebrier, together with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, performs the premiere recording of four works by contemporary American composer, Robert Beaser. Two of the works, Notes on a Southern Sky and the Guitar Concerto, were written for guitar virtuoso Eliot Fisk, a noted pupil of Andrés Segovia, who performed the concerto alongside José Serebrier in 2015 and returns for this recording. Fisk describes them as ‘epic works of historical importance in the history of the guitar.’ Premiered by Fisk in New York in 2009, the Guitar Concerto is truly symphonic in scale with virtuoso passages that only a master could write; the variety of styles perfectly exploits Fisk's dazzling agility. EveningRead more Prayer is an orchestral tone poem demonstrating the melodic and harmonic beauty which characterises Beaser’s style. Ground O is Beaser’s own orchestration of an earlier work written within a month of the events of September 11; its power to reflect the enormous sadness of this tragedy is unspeakably moving. José Serebrier is one of the most recorded classical artists in history; he has received eight GRAMMY wins and forty-five GRAMMY Award nominations including a Latin GRAMMY nomination for his recording of Adler’s Sixth Symphony with the RSNO. The RSNO has a worldwide reputation for the quality of its recordings, receiving two Diapason d’Or de l’année awards for Symphonic Music and eight GRAMMY Award nominations to date. Guitarist Eliot Fisk is known worldwide as a charismatic performer famed for his adventurous and virtuosic repertoire; he has performed with the LA Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Rochester Symphony, Orchestra of St. Lukes, Pro Arte Orchestra, BMOP, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and numerous others.
Robert Beaser is an exponent of so-called New Tonalism. He also originally trained as a percussionist. Together with a propensity for motivic development as a unifying principle, these facts make his music accessible, emotionally direct, and exciting. All fours works have those qualities in abundance.
Concerto for Guitarby Robert Beaser Performer:
Eliot Fisk (Guitar)
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: Contemporary Written: 2009; United States
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Compelling In Every RespectJuly 29, 2017By Henry S. (Springfield, VA)See All My Reviews"American composer Robert Beaser's Guitar Concerto dates from 2010 and was written with guitarist Eliot Fisk in mind. It is indeed Eliot Fisk who is the soloist here, with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under conductor Jose Serebrier. As I listened to this work for the first time, descriptors such as powerful, virtuosic, and aesthetically satisfying came to mind, although I admit that such terms really explain nothing. This is a work which I would also characterize as highly innovative, compared to the more gentle and classical guitar concertos which form such an important niche in the repertoire. Soloist and orchestra play together for literally the entire duration of the concerto, but this in no way reveals anything like overlap or interference. Eliot Fisk's brilliant work is so strongly stated that he almost seemed to generate a sound level equivalent to that of the orchestra (perhaps this may be a result of mike placement- who knows?) In any event, what you will hear is a sharply articulated, impressively disjunctive guitar score accompanied by superb orchestral playing. It is modern music that even stodgy old conservatives (like myself) can easily assimilate and enjoy. Eliot Fisk then plays a purely solo piece entitled 'Notes on a Southern Sky', a work dating from 1980. It is a fascinating, complex, and very challenging piece of music, which clearly places intense demands on the soloist. Rest assured, however, that Eliot Fisk meets these demands head-on, since the work was originally written for him, like the concerto. The final two works are purely orchestral, Evening Prayer and Ground O. Evening Prayer is simply gorgeous, working with a Eastern European folk song and developing it into a masterful and serious musical statement. Finally, Ground O has its roots in composer Robert Beaser's emotional response to the tragedy of Sep 11, 2001 (hence the title). Its moods and rhythms do not directly address the terror of 9/11 directly, but instead seem to establish a wistful, even elegiac, reflection on New York's work to recover from this horrible disaster. In summary, this outstanding new disk from Linn contains modern music which I contend is of supreme merit. Recordings such as these are going a long way to completely change my opinion of the value of truly modern music (in a positive direction). I definitely recommend this fine new disk to one and all in Arkivmusic nation."Report Abuse