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Tag Archives: Sedition

Paradise by Schultz recording release

paradise-cover-art-final

 

A recording of Andrew Schultz’s Paradise – Five Songs for soprano, cello and piano, Opus 95 (2013) has been given a digital recording release by the three outstanding performers who gave the work its premiere in Paris in August 2015: Felicitas Fuchs (soprano), Li-Wei Qin (cello) and Bernard Lanskey (piano). This new recording was made at NUS in Singapore in October 2015 with Zhou Xiaodong the recording’s engineer and producer. Paradise was a finalist in the 2016 Art Music Awards and Highly Commended in the 2016 Paul Lowin Awards and consists of settings of the composer’s own texts.

The recording is available for sale and streaming on all major digital platforms including i-Tunes, Deezer, Spotify and YouTube. The release date of the recording is 6 January 2017 and the catalog number is Sedition 8.

The text of the songs, program note and composer’s biography are available to download as a PDF from this link: paradise-text-program-note-biog.

‘Captivating’ and ‘eloquent’ After Nina by Andrew Schultz – recording release

After Nina CD cover copy + logo

 

A recording of Andrew Schultz’s “captivating” and “eloquent” chamber work, After Nina, Opus 73 (2007), will be given a digital release on 20 October 2014 on the Sedition label (SEDITION7). The recording is by three outstanding Australian chamber musicians: Paul Dean – clarinet, Patrick Murphy – cello, and Stephen Emmerson – piano.

After Nina, Opus 73 (2007), by Andrew Schultz was commissioned by the Endeavour Trio (Paul Dean and Stephen Emmerson with cellist Trish O’Brien). The title and the mood of the ten minute piece refer to the Nina Simone version of the song, Strange Fruit with its sparse piano accompaniment. Click here to view the release on i-Tunes.

After Nina work was recorded in Brisbane, Australia in February 2014 along with a number of other chamber and vocal works by Andrew Schultz that will be released as a full CD in 2015 by the Southern Cross Soloists ensemble on the Wirripang label (Wirr 065). Other works on the forthcoming disc include To the evening star for soprano and piano – a work which won the Paul Lowin Prize in 2009. Also to be included will be a work commissioned by the Southern Cross Soloists in 2006, Lines drawn from silence.

Paul Dean is currently the Artistic Director of the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne and a member of Southern Cross Soloists. He is regarded as one of the finest clarinettists and chamber musicians in Australia and has recorded for several CD labels. As soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, Paul Dean has performed in Norway, England, Japan, China, the USA and Canada. His recording of brother Brett Dean’s clarinet concerto Ariel’s Music won an ARIA in 1999 and the piece was the Selected Work at the 1999 Paris Rostrum of Composers. In 2004 Paul recorded a CD of music by Andrew Schultz for the Tall Poppies label and in 2009 received rave reviews throughout Europe and the US for his recordings of the Mozart clarinet works on the Melba label. He has performed the premieres of over fifty works, many of which have either been written for or dedicated to him, including Colin Brumby’s and James Penberthy’s Clarinet Concertos and Wilfred Lehmann’s Theme and Variations.

Patrick Murphy is Cello Performance Fellow at the University of Queensland School of Music and a member of Southern Cross Soloists. Prior to that he was Lecturer in Cello at the University of Tasmania, Hobart Conservatorium. He has also taught cello and chamber music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and worked regularly with the Sydney Symphony. Patrick started learning the cello with Rosemary Iversen in Perth. He completed his Bachelor degree studying with Gregory Baron and Michael Goldschlager before spending several years with the Halcyon String Quartet. Their studies took them to the UK and Canada where they were resident artists at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Patrick then completed a Masters Degree studying with Alexander Ivashkin and Natalia Pavlutskaya. Patrick has an extensive background in chamber music performance, and was a founding member of the Tankstream Quartet (now Australian String Quartet) whose international career was launched after winning first prize in the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition, Japan 2002. They went on to be prize-winners in the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition (2003).

Stephen Emmerson studied piano with Pamela Page at University of Queensland and later in London with Peter Wallfisch of the Royal College of Music. At the completion of his undergraduate degree, a Commonwealth Scholarship enabled him to study at New College Oxford where he graduated with a Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. He has been on full-time staff at the Queensland Conservatorium since 1987 where he teaches various music history and performance-related courses. As a pianist, he has performed widely around Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific. In addition to solo performances on piano and fortepiano, the focus of his performance career in recent years has been within various chamber ensembles including the Griffith Trio and Dean–Emmerson–Dean, with whom he has toured internationally. Recordings of his playing in collaboration with a variety of performers have been released by ABC Classics, Move Records, The Anthology of Australian Music on Disc, CPO, Tall Poppies, Contact and Melba. His performances and recordings are broadcast regularly on local and national radio.

 

Composer’s Note:

After Nina for clarinet, cello and piano, Opus 73 (2007) – Andrew Schultz

After Nina was composed in the first half of 2007 for the Endeavour Trio (Paul Dean, Trish O’Brien and Stephen Emmerson). It is a ten minute work which was written at the same time as my chamber opera, The Children’s Bach. The work is a slow and lyrical study based around a pattern of low chords heard first in the piano. 

The title and the mood of the piece refer to the Nina Simone version of the song, Strange Fruit with its sparse piano accompaniment. Strange Fruit is the anti-lynching civil rights song written in the 1930s by Abel Meeropol and then made famous by Billie Holiday.

‘Southern trees bear a strange fruit, Blood on the leaves and blood at the root, Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze, Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.’

I have often been asked why it is the Nina Simone version of the song that interested me rather than the more well-known version by Billie Holiday. It is the relatively detached style of Simone’s version – the limited use of overt emotionalism when dealing with a topic that so easily invites it. Whilst Simone does give vent towards the end, her style is mostly sparse and allows the text to stand.

That idea of restraint as embodied in the use of the stalking, low chords was important to me at this time because I was also dealing with unsettling and emotive material in the subject and text of The Children’s Bach. The question in my mind was how to allow the text to be heard and its impact kept in clear focus with the music still suggesting and adding more than the text could provide on its own.

c. Andrew Schultz, 2007

 

Excerpts from Reviews of After Nina:

“Schultz’ captivating After Nina, with its slow, stalking chords, was partly inspired by the brooding tone of Nina Simone’s rendition of Strange Fruit.  A recording of the latter, played to the audience before Schultz’s work, was an ideal way to familiarize listeners with the composer’s music.”
[Gillian Wills, The Australian, 22 August 2009]

“Andrew Schultz’s After Nina is inspired by Nina Simone’s version of Billie Holliday’s Strange Fruit. After Selby read the first stanza of the original poem, ”black bodies swinging in the Southern breeze”, it was hard to hear anything but tragedy in Schultz’s eloquent, spare writing.”

[Harriet Cunningham, Sydney Morning Herald, 5 July 2012]

 

 Details:

Schultz, Andrew. After Nina, Opus 73 (2007). Paul Dean – clarinet, Patrick Murphy – cello, Stephen Emmerson – piano. Sydney: Sedition, 2014. SEDITION7.

Schultz Sonatina recording by Jennifer Pike released

Sonatina CD Label FINAL

A recording of Andrew Schultz’s Sonatina for solo violin, Opus 66 (2007), featuring the outstanding British violinist Jennifer Pike, was released on 25 September 2014 on the Sedition label (SEDITION6). Pike has previously recorded the Schultz Violin Concerto, Opus 55 (1996) with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Mills for the ABC Classics label (ABC4764519) – a recording that has earned high praise for both the work and the performance. “This is music for eternity” as one German critic wrote.

Sonatina for solo violin, Opus 66 (2007), by Andrew Schultz was commissioned to be performed by Jennifer Pike for the Wigmore Hall, London, concerts of solo violin music celebrating the sixtieth birthday of violinist and teacher David Takeno. The work is highly virtuosic in its writing for the solo violin and is by turns lyrical and rhythmic. Pike gave the work its first performance in London at the Wigmore Hall in March 2007 and later that year recorded the work in Singapore. Her performances of the Sonatina earned her a Finalist nomination in the Best Performance of an Australian Work category of the Australian Art Music Awards in 2008.

Renowned for her “dazzling interpretative flair and exemplary technique” (Classic FM), British violinist Jennifer Pike has taken the musical world by storm with her unique artistry and compelling insight into music from the Baroque to the present day. She gained international attention in 2002, when aged 12 she became the youngest-ever winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year and the youngest major prizewinner in the Menuhin International Violin Competition. In demand as soloist with top orchestras worldwide, she recently released the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Bergen Philharmonic and Sir Andrew Davis on Chandos to great acclaim.

The new recording is available from digital music stores and  i-Tunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/sonatina-for-solo-violin-op./id911866510?i=911866552

More details

Read more about Jennifer Pike: http://www.jenniferpike.com

Read more about Andrew Schultz: http://www.andrewschultz.net

Hear an excerpt from the Schultz Violin Concerto played by Jennifer Pike (TSO/Mills on ABC Classics 4764519): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cPEjXm4nws

Composer’s Note: Andrew Schultz Sonatina for solo violin, Op. 66 (2007)

The work is entitled Sonatina because it has some flamboyant and effervescent qualities contrasted with sadder and more soulful passages and also because it is in one movement.

Getting the balance of mood in the piece was the biggest challenge. There is an inner dialogue for the player – both on a contrapuntal level of ideas contrasted over time and on an emotional level.  It is as if there should be a performance in which statements are made and then self-effaced but still felt deeply; self-contradictions perhaps.

There is a hint of folk-styles of violin playing with the use of short-lived drones and the use of pizzicato to almost suggest a band of players.  In interpretation, it calls for some freedom of tempo – it should never be rushed (except where it rushes) and ideas always need time to speak.

The piece is about 8 minutes duration and is in a spiral-rondo form – – an ABACA of sorts. That means when the A comes back it’s transformed and ideas also accumulate from section to section – hence the idea of the spiral shape and spiral motion (which may be down or up!). It could be the real, or pure, A is at the end  –  depending on the direction of travel.

The piece was written in early 2007 for performance by Jennifer Pike at The Wigmore Hall in March 2007 to form a part of concert celebrations for David Takeno’s sixtieth birthday. The work is dedicated, in memoriam, to Barbara Takeno.

Excerpts from Reviews: Schultz Violin Concerto, Opus 55 (1996) with Jennifer Pike and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Mills for the ABC Classics label (ABC4764519) https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/violin-concerto-op.-55-i./id509356971?i=509356984

“Cast in two movements, the concerto is ambitious – and successful – in its attempt to pit the solo line against orchestral textures which constantly change and shimmer, sometimes sounding like a resonating carillon…or a large organ in the vast reaches of a mighty cathedral.”

[David Bollard, Music Forum, Summer 2011.]

“… the first movement proceeds at an evolutionary petal-unfolding gait with the violin singing likewise. The music effervesces slowly and the Silvestrov-like carillon bubbling is unhurried….The violin gently continues to soar. The second movement is animated with iterations of bell fanfares from the brass and Hovhaness-like groans before the violin enters with a fast pulse and slippery virtuosity locked into the harmonies of the first movement…Schultz’s magnetic pull is towards the pensive. So it proves with a final page that glows steadily and in which the solo and orchestral strings whisper into silence.”

[Rob Barnett, Music Web International, October 2011.]

“If the association with film music is hinted at in “Endling”, in the two-part violin concerto it is tangible. In Schultz’ case, this does not mean that his compositions can only be associated with (real) films in order to be apprehended: the works themselves are musical films that do not require illustration but are instead, in terms of their sound qualities, both figurative and sensual. In this sense they touch upon the music of the great Latvian (Vasks), whose work similarly engages the large and existential themes of love, nature, belief, longing, hope, life and death with emotion, spontaneity, directness, without fear of drawing upon ‘already used’ tonality and harmony. One can place Schultz’ violin concerto, that had to wait fifteen years to be transferred to CD, in a line of very great works that have been written for this instrument in recent years: “Distant Light” by Peteris Vasks, “Concentric Path” by Thomas Adès or “1001 Nights in the Harem” by Fazil Say.

Schultz’ violin concerto begins with a lengthy movement titled “Chorale Expansive”. Like languorous waves, the music surges forth, retreats, and surges forth again, continuing in this fashion. This is music for eternity. The composer links the concerto with a poem by the English romantic William Butler Yeats that also recalls Goethe’s phrasing in Faust: “formation, transformation,
the eternal mind’s eternal recreation”. The second movement “Dances: Fast and Vibrant” is rhythmic, exuberant and rollicking and provides, as it were, the antithesis to the foregone “Chorale”. At its end, the music returns once more to the quiet waterways of the first movement.”

[Burkhard Schäfer, blog.codaex.de]

Schultz “is, in my opinion, one of the finest composers in this country today. The music is well-crafted in a modern idiom which is pleasing to the ear. Violin Concerto… is a work of tender lyricism and dramatic power … In two movements, the first is the slow movement titled Chorale with a hymn-like chordal structure alternating with long melodic lines. The second movement, Dance, is in direct contrast with fast, exuberant rhythms which give a feeling of joy and exultation. Double-stopping and drone techniques are employed by the violin and the rhythmic energy is explained by Schultz as ‘possibly influenced by the rich world of folk-style-violin playing’.”

[Elaine Siversen, Fine Music, July 2012.]