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Classical Music Review

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Spectra: A Concert of Music for Piano / Voices / Orchestra


Composer: Members of Connecticut Composers, Inc.
Label: Navona Records
Release Date: 13 January 2017

Back in 2008, Parma Recordings acquired Capstone Records, the New York-based classical label founded by composer Richard Brooks in 1986. The original idea behind the acquisition was to bring the company, and its music, into the digital era.

Spectra: A Concert of Music for Piano / Voices / Orchestra was originally released by Capstone. This three-album collection contains all the installments in the Spectra series – a collection of works from members of Connecticut Composers, Inc., a nonprofit supporting composers living and working in the state.

The trio of releases is collected here in one volume. The whole album contains 61 tracks (2 hr, 55 min, 04 sec). This is split as follows: Piano: 34 tracks (58 min, 41 sec); Voices: 19 tracks (1 hr, 01 min, 06 sec); and Orchestra: 8 tracks (55 min, 27 sec).

Spectra: A Concert of Music for Voices (2002), features the Kent Singers and conductor Marguerite Mullee; Spectra: A Concert of Music for Piano (2004), features pianists Ulrich Urban, Margaret Mills, Genevieve Chinn and Angela Pistilli; and Spectra: A Concert of Music for Orchestra (2007), features the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra and Hartt Symphony Orchestra with conductors Christopher Zimmerman, Marguerite Mullee and Joel Eric Suben.

I have to admit that I found the first two collections in this trilogy to be a little flat. A Concert of Music for Piano and A Concert of Music for Voices had a tendency to be a little too self indulgent - quite a remarkable feat when you consider that several composers work is represented here. A Concert of Music for Orchestra, however, saves this release from banality.

If you're not a huge fan of piano or choral albums then there's little here that will win you over. Technically it's a varied collection, but personally I didn't warm to it.


Darren Rea

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