Prisma, Vol. 2: Contemporary Concertos & Works For

Album cover art for upc 896931005326
Label: Navona
Catalog: NV6232

Nouzovský, Petr; Matos, Iliana; Vavrínek, Stanislav; Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra; Zagreb Festival Orchestra; Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; Vaupotic, Miran; Vronský, Petr; Hill, Barbara; Petrdlík, Jirí

Navona Records proudly presents PRISMA VOL. 2, an epic journey into the world of the large ensemble with five of today’s top contemporary composers. PRISMA 2 opens with two debuts: James Lentini’s stunning first release with PARMA Recordings, and the Zagreb Festival Orchestra’s first project on the Navona label. Lentini’s Concerto for Guitar and Strings, performed with the string orchestra by virtuoso guitar soloist Iliana Matos, begins with a fresh and buoyant motive that serves as a foundation for the entire movement. Orchestra and guitar converse back and forth as the piece moves through a melancholic, reflective second movement, and then rises back to full energy with the brisk final movement. This is followed by Rain Worthington’s Full Circle, a somewhat dissonant, striking piece with the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra that follows the emergence and recession of emotions through a lifetime, as soloists emerge and recede from the orchestra. Jan Järvlepp’s Camerata Music, is a bright, tonal piece in a style that the composer calls “post-academic.” Inspired by the vallenato styles of folk music that Järvlepp heard while visiting Colombia, Camerata Music uses percussion to capture the joyous, rhythmic energy of that musical tradition. Peter Castine’s Aperture takes the album in a more somber direction with unsettled dissonance and fragmented feeling, filled with the horror following the 2001 World Trade Center attacks. The composer sets the solo flute and concertino string quartet at odds with one another, clashing even as the orchestra sometimes intervenes to help. PRISMA 2 is brought to a close with composer Beth Mehocic’s Left of Winter, written as a prelude to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. It has the same primal rhythms as Stravinsky’s ballet, but with the addition of cymbals, trumpets, and winds that paint the image of young men going off to war.

Price: $17.99