The Heart Revived

The Heart Revived

Endearing and heartfelt
Lawrence Axelrod
Lawrence Axelrod
J. Lawrie Bloom
Ensemble Nouvelle Epoque
Marcus Ostermiller
Julia Bentley
Scott Ramsay
Catalog Number: 
new classical
solo voice

Chicago, IL

Release Date: 
Aug 26, 2016
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
One Sheet: 

Composer Lawrence Axelrod’s The Heart Revived is his second album for innova Recordings, following 2013’s The Six Brandenburg Fantasias. In this new collection spanning almost twenty years of compositional activity, Axelrod displays a wide breadth of expression and emotional range, always full of passionate engagement.

“Pos Metaphonos,” a work for bass clarinet in highly compressed concerto form, allows this magnificent, overlooked solo instrument to sing and scurry, dramatize and discuss. Next, in “Night of Stars”, with words of transcendent love and intimate connection, the mezzo soprano travels from passionate seeking to peaceful abiding.

The sensitive and lesser-known French poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke is the basis of the song cycle “Saisons.” Here, the tenor traverses the seasons of the year with the poet’s focus on human engagement and the Earth. Throughout, Axelrod’s meticulous and colorful orchestration supports the soloists with sensitivity, surprise and power.

The three works for piano are more intimate. “Love Letters” translates charged moments of a relationship into five compact movements. “Common Threads” chronicles Axelrod’s reaction to the beautiful and moving AIDS Quilt. “Four Postcards” uses the full range of pianistic expression, including extended techniques, to evoke diverse places and images from the composer’s own postcard collection.

Axelrod is equally at home as composer, pianist and conductor. As a composer, he has had works performed by The Chicago Composers Orchestra, Pinotage, The Lincoln Trio, The Duo Ahlert/Schwab, the Ensemble JungeMusik Berlin and The Verdi String Quartet. In the dual capacities of pianist and composer, he has presented concerts around the United States and internationally, including venues in New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, Cuba and South Africa. 


“Lawrence Axelrod is a Chicago-based composer whose rest and distinctive music deserves to be more widely known. … The emotionally turbulent harmonic language hovers tantalizingly on the porous border between tonality and atonality. … The swooping, upwardly sequencing orchestral figure that recurs is an excellent depiction of a shimmering sky full of shooting stars.”