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Classical Music Review

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Winter's Warmth
Contemporary Works for Orchestra


Composers: Andrew Schultz, John A. Carollo, R. Barry Ulrich and J.A. Kawarsky
Conductor: Petr Vronsky
Performed by: Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 14 April 2017

Winter's Warmth is an orchestral compilation featuring works from John A. Carollo, J.A. Kawarsky, Andrew Schultz, and R. Barry Ulrich. These composers present conceptual pieces that all act as soundtracks to our resiliency during the toughest moments of the human experience...

Navona Records bring us a wonderfully moving compilation of contemporary works for orchestra in Winter Warmth. The album opens with Andrew Schultz's 'Falling Man/Dancing Man' which is the ideal way to introduce us to this collection. It has a slight Christmas feel to it, which bursts forth into a feast for the ears, over three parts. The work was inspired by two contrasting depictions of human reactions to war - a photo of a man leaping to his death from the burning World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 and a snapshot of celebration in the streets after an allied victory in World War II.

'Let Freedom Ring', the first of John A. Carollo’s two contributions to the album, focuses specifically on the freedoms of the American experience. At times this is a patriotic piece, but there are layers of melancholic themes that help elevate this up several level from what you may be expecting.

Carollo’s second piece, 'The Transfiguration of Giovanni Baudino', similarly focuses on these themes of change, with the composer describing his fascination with the process of transfiguration and the “transformations we experience as human beings living through life’s demands and delights, its turmoil and tribulations.”

R. Barry Ulrich’s 'Russian Winter' is a short segment of a larger, string suite written in G minor. It’s easy to picture this piece playing in the background as grandiose shots of the cold Russian tundra loom in the distance.

The album concludes with J.a. Kawarsky's 'Episodes', a fluid and beautiful piece that, once again, brings forth images of Christmas.

The seven tracks (58 min, 56 sec) will give you an inner warmth the entire year round.

Track listing

Andrew Schultz
Falling Man/Dancing Man for solo organ and orchestra, Opus 68 (2005)
Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Petr Vronsky (conductor)
Karel Martínek (organ)
01 - Infinity Jinx
02 - Deep Crossing
03 - The Laughing Man

John A. Carollo
04 - Let Freedom Ring
Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Petr Vronsky (conductor)

05 - The Transfiguration of Giovanni Baudino
Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Petr Vronsky (conductor)

R. Barry Ulrich
06 - Russian Winter
Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Petr Vronsky (conductor)

J.a. Kawarsky
07 - Episodes
St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra | Vladimir Lande (conductor)
Peter Laul (piano)



Darren Rea

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