The Walbrzych Project

The Walbrzych Project

A global vision from a small Polish town
David Kechley
Philharmonia Sudeka
Catalog Number: 
new classical

Williamstown, MA

Release Date: 
Apr 27, 2018
Liner Notes: 
2 CD
One Sheet: 

David Kechley’s latest album of orchestra music is a lot easier to listen to than pronounce. It draws from far flung parts of the world, and historical origins, and brings them into a grand compelling vision.

The album features two large scale orchestra works recorded with dazzling clarity by the Sudeten Filharmonie in a small Polish town, Walbrzych (most recently in the news for supposedly being the subterranean hiding place of the infamous Nazi gold train).

The first work, KARASUMA: A Fast Funk for Orchestra, started life as a classroom exercise at the Doshisha Women’s College in Kyoto, Japan, where Kechley demonstrated how acoustic musical fragments could be combined in various ways by computer. The work was so successful it was expanded and premiered by the Boston Pops in 1993.

The other major work on the album is a symphony exploring various aspects of dreams, WAKEFUL VISIONS / MOONLESS DREAMS. Each of the four movements is associated with literary references; from the Old Testament, a haiku by Buson, the Witches’ scene from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and musings on remembrance by Marcel Proust.

David Kechley recently retired from teaching at Williams College, Massachussetts. Taken as a whole this is a record of an expansive imagination and an intercontinental achievement. 



"Kechley's penchant for vibrant melody and rhythmic drive maximizes the accessibility of Karasuma, the result being material that both the novice and the connoisseur can enjoy and appreciate alike." [FULL ARTICLE] - Ronald Schepper


"...this recording is richly entertaining and indeed thought-provoking throughout.” [FULL ARTICLE] - Dominy Clements


"Walbrzych is the name of a small Polish city where these two orchestral compositions by the contemporary American author David Kechley were recorded. Karasuma: a fast funk for orchestra is, as the title promises, an irresistible rhythmic tour de force of about ten minutes, in which a contagious syncopated groove is subjected to geometric and pressing combinations, in the manner of John Adams of Lollapalooza. Wakeful Visions / Moonless Dreams, an orchestral fresco in four panels, each associated with specific literary references ranging from Shakespeare to Proust. The scintillating orchestration, together with the rhythmic explosiveness, contribute decisively to the typically American vitalism of the first movement, followed by a movement with a more abstract and dreamlike character (even if anything but quiet), built with great skill around spacious and enveloping melodic arches mostly entrusted to the flute (in dialogue with strings and harp). The frequent internal contrasts give the joke a now grotesque now dramatic character, also by virtue of the sinister timbric effects obtained with the stringed instruments. In the concluding movement the thoughtful figures of strings and flutes stand out on a solemn mantle of brass, contributing to the affirmative and mysterious tone of this interesting and compelling work." [FULL ARTICLE] - Filippo Focosi


"I come away from this music impressed and satisfied that there is most definitely something to it all. You acolytes and devotees of the Contemporary Modern, hearken! This album has much to recommend it. Give it a few listens by all means. See what you think. I am happy to have this one." [FULL ARTICLE] - Grego Edwards


"Lots of ideas bounce around with audible images shouting for attention." [FULL ARTICLE]