Works for Chamber Orchestra
1. Braid for Violin and Chamber Orchestra 13:15
Artur Zobnin, violin
2. Ground 6:27
3. Margarita Metaphrase 11:11
Irina Vassileva, soprano
Alexandra Shatalova, english horn
Concert for Piano and Chamber Orchestra 19:47
James Giles, piano
4. Allegro Risoluto 5:06
5. Lento. Vivo 8:05
6. Allegro Giocoso 6:41
The St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, Jeffery Meyer, conductor
New York born composer Timothy Dunne earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Music Composition in 2008, studying under Sergei Slonimsky at the State Conservatory of St. Petersburg, Russia. His compositions, including works for piano, voice, orchestra, small ensembles and solo instruments, have been called “strikingly written” by The New York Times and reveal a rich and turbulent creativity in search of a fresh, modernist grammar. Writing about the music featured on this album, Nigel Osborne has said that Dunne’s compositions constitute “a field of complete originality where atonality meets the ghosts of tonality and figure meets ground in a wild and open space.”
Braid for Violin and Chamber Orchestra (2013-2014)
A metaphrase on Ribbon, a previous composition for solo violin which The New York Times called “strikingly written,” Braid is a re-reading more complex than the original where various strands of musical material emerge from, weave in and out of, and depart from the fabric of the earlier, 2011 work. It is a work of extreme virtuosity, and in its thirteen plus minutes gives scant reprieve to the soloist’s flood of double and triple stops, dynamic disquiet, spiccato bowings, stratospheric harmonics. That said, Braid is not without its moments of languid entropy and junctures of immobility (if not quite repose...), and in its ethereal codetta, vanishes aloft into the heights of a more tranquil domain.
A friend once said that listening to Ground reminded him of a feeling he had when spending, “…about an hour in a huge art installation, walking through very large but detailed sculptures.” I think I understand what he meant, despite the brevity of Ground’s duration, when considering how large swaths of this single movement for strings present a very ungrounded, suspended surface texture in which objects, or events of varying scale and density, seem to emerge and intersect at unpredictable intervals. Stylistically speaking, Ground is both a study of the dynamics of harmonic/rhythmic stasis vs. activity, and an exploration of what the early 20th Century Viennese composers referred to as Klangfarben Melodie - sound-color melody - in which small, balanced shifts in volume and timbre provoke the synesthesia of shimmering light and shadow.
Written in appreciation for my teacher, Sergei Slonimsky, Margarita Metaphrase appropriates music from his 1972 chamber opera, The Master and Margarita, and was intended as both a personal study in orchestration and formal reconfiguring of Slonimsky’s music. Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel by the same name, a hall mark of Soviet literature, remains a popular favorite in today’s Russia. Slonimsky was the first composer to render the novel into a large musical form and his chamber opera’s premiere, which security forces immediately shut down after the opening night, was a cause célŹbre in the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) cultural world. Margarita Metaphrase, a concert aria for dramatic soprano, captures the ruminating heroine of Bulgakov’s “rescue drama” in a string of connected moments taken from three lyrical episodes of the original opera by Slonimsky.
Concert for Piano and Chamber Orchestra (2007/2013)
Commissioned by the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic early in 2007, Concert for Piano and Orchestra is dedicated to and performed here by pianist, James Giles. Concert received its premiere in the Small Hall of the Philharmonic in St. Petersburg in November of 2007, and a third movement, completing the work in 2013. The name Concert is a linguistic collision of the Italian/English concerto with the Russian/German variant, konzert. Because of the ubiquity of instrumental solo passages, the duet and trio groupings, and dueling episodes between the piano and random instruments through its three movements, it seemed right to place the word “Concert” first and foremost with “Piano” in a very close, but slightly subordinate position. With the small wordplay, I am also acknowledging my deep appreciation for my “Russian” years spent in St. Petersburg, and, in particular, as an artistic advisor, colleague of, and friend to the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic.
– Timothy Dunne 2016
Metaphrase – a creative chain reaction by which one art work,
literary, musical or otherwise, inspires a conscious re-telling or
refashioning. Metaphrase is both transformational activity and product.
For more information please go to timothydunne.com
Photos: Scott Langely (Dunne), John Moyers (trees)
Recorded at Dom Radio, St. Petersburg, Russia
November 2013/March 2014.
Mastered by Greg Reierson at Rare Form Mastering.
We would like to show our deep appreciation to Timofey Buzina, Alexei Barashkin, Alex Perialas, Mehdi Hosseini, Timothy Pettitt, Stephanie Segrete Sack, Tom Monkell, Drew Tirella, William Culley and Daniel Scollard.
A very special thanks to Sergei Slonimsky for his generosity and artistic guidance and to all the members of the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic and production team who made this recording possible.
innova is supported by an endowment from the McKnight Foundation.
Philip Blackburn, director, design
Chris Campbell, operations director
Steve McPherson, publicist