New Dawn

Album cover art for upc 726708602727
Label: INNOVA
Catalog: INN027
Format: COMPACT DISC

Onalbayeva, Kadisha; Shaw, Daniel; Ayau, Joel; Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra; Hinkle, Lee; Talamantes, Danielle; Kutz, Eric; Lawrence Moss Choir; Andrist, Audrey; Khasma Piano Duo; McIver, Sarah Eckman; Winston, Arnold

Moss doesn’t grow under his feet, nor between his ears. Indeed, at a spry 91 years of age, Lawrence Moss is at the top of his game and enjoying an active life of family and prolific composing following 56 years of teaching at Mills, Yale, and the University of Maryland, College Park. His previous innova album, New Paths, pointed out some directions of artistic exploration; now, with New Dawn, he takes us on yet more journeys of promise and possibility. New Dawn is also the title of a tone poem for orchestra based on five Tang Dynasty poems, and if you notice a poetic theme that connects many of the tracks on this album you wouldn’t be far wrong. Dreams by Day and Night is a setting of Li Bai’s poetry, in translations by Moss himself from the original Chinese, and sung by the rising operatic star, Danielle Talamantes. She also sings 4 Haiku for our Time- short poems by Moss on subjects ranging from a kitten’s pawprints on a car windshield to larger questions about the fate of our planet in turmoil. Walt Whitman is represented in two works; Voyagers for chorus and piano, and Grand is the Seen for soprano flute and piano. The remaining works on the album may not have text but are nonetheless rich in allusion. Gamelan for flute and percussion is a colorful take on the traditional Balinese orchestra; De Profundis for piano duet references a canyon in Colorado and a Mass by Josquin; and Ligeti Light alludes to Gyorgy Ligeti’s piano etudes before flying off in its own direction. Moments for cello and piano and Five Bagetelles for solo percussion are more abstract suites where the star performers take us on virtuoso tours and the contrasting moods found along the way.

Price: $17.99