Click here to return to the main site.

Classical Music Review

Cover Image

Contemporary Works for Orchestra


Composers: Sergio Cervetti, Craig Madden Morris, Betty R. Wishart and Daniel Crozier
Conductors: Petr Vronský, Kirk Trevor
Performed by: Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, Slovak National Symphony Orchestra
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 12 May 2017

Passage is the latest orchestral compilation from Navona featuring compositions from Sergio Cervetti, Daniel Crozier, Craig Morris, and Betty Wishart.

For his contribution to the album, Cervetti recalls a passage from the 'Book of Revelation', read to him in French by his grandfather while sitting in his lap, immobilized by terrified fascination. The resulting 'Concerto for Trumpet, Strings, and Timpani, Septem Tubae from Revelation 11:15 (“The seventh angel sounded the trumpet…”) is an awing and triumphant work of fittingly Biblical proportions.

Morris’ piece 'A Child’s Day' comes from a similarly personal place, with the music’s light, sweet themes reminding the composer of his grandchildren, who experience the fullness of each passing day as a “fresh new world.” The suite for string orchestra with percussion captures the moments within this daily experience, beginning with 'Morning Smiles' and it’s airy string arrangement, which conjures the scene of a child slowly waking to the warm, loving faces of their parents in the morning. After a passage defined by energetic mallet percussion and a whimsical instrumental timbre on “Playtime,” the tired child drifts off to sleep on 'Sweet Dreams' after an eventful day full of warm memories, captured by a slow-soaring micro suite with lighter percussive accents.

With her own mysterious passage on 'Concertante No. 1, Journey into the Unknown', Wishart composes based on the musing that “we may rest from the journey, but the effects of our encounters are still with us.” Written for strings, woodwinds, and French horn, the composer creates a journey for both the mind and heart, as logos-driven motives weave the different instruments in imitative, overlapping counterpoint, and the prominent use of minor seconds, tritones, and sevenths throughout capture the emotional apprehension and excitement of exploring the unknown.

Crozier contributes to Passage with 'Ballade: A Tale After the Brothers Grimm', a similarly fantastical musical yarn. The composition throughout conjures storybook reveries of every persuasion, ranging from bouncing spring footsteps via a collective fluttering orchestra to an evil romp through the forest as thundering percussion propels a frantic string section.

While I enjoyed each and every track on this album, for different reasons, I have to say that is was Crozier's 'Ballade: A Tale After the Brothers Grimm' that caught my imagination the most. This was mainly due to evoking memories of childhood and the fear of the unknown, but more interestingly, once it gets going, I was reminded of the music of Hollywood's Golden Era. It's like a loving homage wrapped up in 11 min, 29 sec.

The album contains 6 beautiful and varied works coming in at 49 min, 27 sec. All of the tracks are worthy of your attention.

Track listing:

Sergio Cervetti
01 - Concerto for Trumpet, Strings and Timpani
Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Petr Vronský (conductor)
Ondřej Jurčeka (trumpet)

Craig Madden Morris
A Child’s Day
Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Petr Vronský (conductor)
02 - I. Morning Smiles
03 - II. Playtime
04 - III. Sweet Dreams

Betty R. Wishart
05 - Concertante No.1 “Journey into the Unknown”
Slovak National Symphony Orchestra | Kirk Trevor (conductor)

Daniel Crozier
06 - Ballade: A Tale After the Brothers Grimm
Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Stanislav Vavřínek (conductor)


Darren Rea

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.

Digital album
iTunes GB
Digital album
Digital album