AFTERWARDS, THERE WERE NO MORE WARS
01 Allegro 6:43
02 Moderato 5:38
03 Andante-Allegro-Andante-Vivace 10:29
DREAMING OF A BETTER WORLD
04 Moderato 6:48
05 Andante 3:53
06 Largo 2:53
07 Spirito 4:35
THE TIME IS PAST
08 Moonshiner 5:54
09 Oh, love is teasin’ 3:14
10 Edward 3:32
11 Barbry Ellen 3:49
THE BECKONING STARS
12 Andantino 12:28
– 69:58 –
Luigi Mazzocchi & Blake Espy, violins; Jonathan Kim, viola; Stephen Framil, cello
© Stanley Grill. All Rights Reserved. 2020.
innova® Recordings is the label of the
American Composers Forum.
Raised in the Bronx, Stan has been obsessed with music since the age of six, when his mother took him to Carnegie Hall and he was astonished and awestruck by a performance of “La Mer.” While that obsession first took the form of playing piano at every possible moment (when not otherwise engaged in activities typical of a kid growing up in the Bronx of the 1950’s and ‘60s), it was Stan’s music theory studies at the Manhattan School of Music that converted that obsession to writing music – and to finding his own musical voice.
He learned the craft from extraordinary musicians: among others - Robert Helps, Leon Kushner, Ursula Mamlok and Joseph Prostakoff. Stan's passion for medieval and Renaissance music has greatly influenced his writing - a contemporary expression of ageless techniques based on melody, modal harmonies, and contrapuntal, extended, interweaving lines. Two main themes permeate many of his works - music composed in an attempt to translate something about the nature of the physical world, and music composed to inspire and promote world peace.
Stan’s music has been performed the world over – from Ecuador to Poland; Toulouse to Tokyo; Brooklyn to Vienna – by such artists as Camerata Philadelphia, Camerata Arkos, Englewinds, the Pandolfis Consort, the Bronx Arts Ensemble, One World Symphony, violists Brett Deubner and Ralph Farris, and violinist Jorge Avila.
Other albums by Stanley Grill are AT THE CENTER OF ALL THINGS and RUSTLING FLIGHTS OF WINGS, also available on Innova Records.
“As I see it, as much as we strive to find reason and purpose in our having been born into this amazing, mysterious and awe-inspiring universe, that attempt is largely futile. It is however, the best part of our nature that obliges us to make the attempt, though the most we can hope for is to gain some small degree of understanding of the world around us, and, more importantly, of ourselves. To achieve this, we each approach the problem in our own way, uniquely shaped by our cultural background, innate talents and abilities, education and so on. For some, science may be the window through which they best perceive and interpret the world, for others, religion. For those to whom the world seems to express itself most clearly and beautifully through sound, music is the voice that speaks to us and through which we, in turn, most effectively express ourselves. The best of my music has arrived, rather inexplicably, as part of a personal effort to understand the world and myself. It is, in a way, an act of translation. The world says something, I try to understand it, and then translate it into musical language. The particular musical language which I speak, is, of course, a product of my conservatory training and personal musical tastes, but hopefully, the outcome, imperfect a translation as it may be, will convey to others something of its original intent.”
CAMERATA PHILADELPHIA is an ensemble without musical boundaries. From orchestral to chamber music, lieder to choral to opera – CAMERATA not only brings a fresh interpretation to the venerated classics, but also seeks to bridge the styles of classical, jazz, folk and world music. Committed to music appreciation for all ages, it is the mission of CAMERATA to make the experience of great music accessible to all. With Music Director Stephen Framil (cellist & conductor), CAMERATA has performed throughout the United States, toured China, and is the ensemble-in-residence at the Port City Music Festival (North Carolina), Holy Trinity Rittenhouse Square (Philadelphia), and Eastern University (Pennsylvania). Artistic collaborations include the Philadelphia Boys Choir, the International Opera Theater of Philadelphia, the West Philadelphia Orchestra, and an array of internationally renowned concert soloists and chamber musicians. CAMERATA programs and projects include the Port City Music Festival, Camerata Youth Orchestra & Ensemble, domestic/international concert tours, CelloFeast / ChamberFeast, and recordings of new music of today’s composers. Stanley Grill is CAMERATA’s composer-in-residence. CAMERATA PHILADELPHIA INC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.
Stephen Framil has performed as concert soloist, chamber musician and conductor around the world: including Carnegie Weill & Avery-Fisher Halls (New York), Verizon Hall (Philadelphia), Hong Kong City Hall, with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra (Prague), Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra (Hungary), Volgograd Philharmonic Orchestra (Russia), Latvian Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra (Italy Tour 2007), Manila Philharmonic Orchestra (Philippines), National Philharmonic of Moldova, Oltenia State Filarmonica (Romania), Zaporozhye Symphony Orchestra (Ukraine), Vratza Philharmonic Orchestra (Bulgaria), Viêt Nam National Symphony Orchestra, Bombay and Bangalore Chamber Orchestras (India), Redlands Symphony Orchestra (CA), Nashville Chamber Orchestra (TN), Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series (“Live” Broadcast on WFMT - Chicago), Brunei Music Society, and the Hong Kong Chamber Music Society, among others. Dr. Stephen Framil is the Music Director & Conductor of CAMERATA PHILADELPHIA, Artistic Director of the Port City Music Festival (North Carolina), and Director of Orchestra & Strings at Eastern University (Pennsylvania).
Luigi Mazzocchi studied in the Venezuelan "El Sistema” and the Latin American Violin Academy with José F. del Castillo. He was a first violinist of the “Simón Bolívar” Symphony Orchestra and performed as soloist with the leading Venezuelan symphony orchestras. He attended international music festivals in Latin America, the US, Spain, France and Australia and is a prizewinner such competitions as the Venezuelan “Del Castillo” Latin American Competition and the 1999 FOSJA, performing in the Casals Festival. Mr. Mazzocchi studied with Liliana Ciulei and Helen Kwalwasser and has coached with M. Pardee, Z. Bron, O. Charlier, T. Tanaka, W. de Pasquale, L. Biava, and D. Arben. Currently, he is the Concertmaster of the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, Co-Concertmaster of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, Associate Concertmaster of the Delaware Symphony and a member of the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the West Jersey Chamber Orchestra, the Ocean City Pops, the Philly Pops and the Gaudeamus and Cachasa ensembles.
Blake Espy has enjoyed a diverse career as an active recitalist and performer with several orchestras and chamber ensembles. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Ballet and a frequent performer with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra among others. Blake has been a violinist in La Catrina Quartet, in residence at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. As a member of the quartet, he has performed in more than 35 states in the US and Mexico. The quartet recorded with Cuerteto Latinoamericano on the Dorian Label, which subsequently won a Latin Grammy for best classical album 2012. In 2007, Blake was invited to become a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL, a professional studies orchestra whose alumni have gone on to join the ranks of professional orchestras all over the US and world. In this program, he was given the opportunity to act as a rotating concert master, chamber musician, and educator to young musicians in the Miami area.
Jonathan Kim is the Principal Violist of Opera Philadelphia. He was most recently a member of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and has performed with the San Diego Symphony, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Jonathan completed his Bachelor of Music at the Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of Cleveland Orchestra Principal Violist, Robert Vernon. He began his viola studies with Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Violist, Choong Jin Chang. While a student in the Cleveland area, Jonathan served as Principal Violist with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, and the National Repertory Orchestra with which he was also featured as soloist. He has studied violin with Michael Ludwig, Yong Ku Ahn, Martin Beaver, Misha Rosenker, and Keng-Yuen Tseng. During summers Jonathan has also participated in the Encore School for Strings, Itzhak Perlman Chamber Music Workshop, Pacific Music Festival, and the Tanglewood Music Center. Jonathan is a recipient of the Robert Vernon Prize in Viola Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
AFTERWARDS, THERE WERE NO MORE WARS imagines a time in our future when someone will be able to open the pages of a history book and read those words. Coming of age in the 1960s, my world view was influenced by the optimism of the times, filled with youthful dreams of changing the world. Our visions of peace would replace the violent world of our parents, a world that had led to World War, to Vietnam, and to the threat of nuclear holocaust that hovered over us all. We dreamed of changing all of that – and while that remains as distant a dream as ever, I continue to write music that is intended to awaken that spirit in the hearts and minds of those who hear it.
DREAMING OF A BETTER WORLD is another work in my Music for Peace series. While the optimism of my youth in the ‘60s that real change in how humans deal with one another was possible has largely collapsed in the face of reality, as the world we live in today turns more and more ugly, it becomes all the more important for me to bring beautiful music into the world that dreams of something better.
THE TIME IS PAST is a romanticized look back at several of my favorite Appalachian folk tunes. I grew up during a renaissance in American folk music – and in a household where the likes of Burl Ives and Joan Baez were often on the turntable. Those songs now seem to hark back to a day that the world has bypassed. The melodies in this work were taken from a small but wonderful collection of Jean Ritchie’s, one of my favorite books of music. These are not settings of the songs for string quartet, but rather music that reflects back on those tunes, as if seen through the distance of time and haze of memories from my childhood.
THE BECKONING STARS was my attempt to capture something of the yearning I feel when looking up at the night field of stars. It is the closest I have come to writing a “tone poem” and having the music be representative of aspects of this complex feeling. The high melody in the first violin is the distant stars, so out of reach. The cello is me, grounded on earth, unable to do more than think about and yearn for the stars. The middle section of the piece, with its sudden flurries of motion, was intended to represent the energetic fluxes of energy in the depths of space out of which stars and everything else we know are born. At the end, the stars continue to flash indifferently in the sky, while below on earth I fall silent…
OTHER STRING QUARTETS BY STANLEY GRILL
6 Contrapuntal Pieces (1986)
For Laura (1987)
Short Stories (2003)
American Landscapes (2007)
Middle Ground (2012)
At the Center of All Things (2013)
Lonely Voices (2013)
Aphorisms I (2019)
Produced by: Ralph Farris
Recorded: Kaleidoscope Studio, Union City, New Jersey
Edited, Mixed, Mastered by: Randall Crafton
Cover Design: Philip Blackburn
Innova Director: Philip Blackburn
Operations Director: Chris Campbell
Publicist: Tim Igel
Stan Grill’s Publishing: SG Music Publications
Stan Grill gratefully acknowledges those who helped make this recording possible:
Ralph Farris, members of Camerata Philadelphia, Philip Blackburn, Chris Campbell, Renee Alberts, Christine LeBeau, and everyone I know of loving and kind spirit who kindles my faith in music.
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Innova is supported by an endowment from the McKnight Foundation
Philip Blackburn, director, design
Chris Campbell, operations director
Steve McPherson, publicist