Virko Baley: Music For Emily Dickinson

Album cover art for upc 5060113446817
Catalog: TOCC0681

Hoft, Timothy; Pollick, Karen Bentley; Cleveland Chamber Symphony; Shelton, Lucy; Baley, Virko

Virko Baley was born in Ukraine in 1938 and came to the USA as a refugee in 1949, eventually making his home in Las Vegas. He has long been fascinated by the poetry of Emily Dickinson, as can be heard in the two moving works recorded here – one an orchestral song-cycle setting her texts, the other a suite for violin and piano inspired by those settings. They display an acute ear for orchestral colour, a fondness for dramatic gesture and a strong sense of lyricism, occasionally inflected by distant echoes of Baley’s eastern European origins, the richness of the song-cycle placing him downstream from Mahler and Berg and the restraint of the Songs without Words occasionally evoking Arvo Pärt.

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