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Stem/ Janacek Philharmonic Orch/ Kotronakis - Dimensions 2

Stem/ Janacek Philharmonic Orch/ Kotronakis - Dimensions 2

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Beginning as a single spark of inspiration, the orchestral work blossoms into something transcendentally grand and organically rich. DIMENSIONS VOL 2, the second in Navona Records' series for orchestra, presents five organically inspired compositions, with music that is as multidimensional and richly textured as the subject matter is multifaceted. Traverse through each unique work and witness what vast results can be drawn from the creative mind. Erich Stem's orchestral rhapsody Portland is indescribably vivid; even if you've never been to Portland, you'll certainly feel like you'll have. One hears the bustle of a big city, scurrying people, novelty at every corner; but also surrounded by mountains, forests, and gushing streams of white water. Bonzai Down, composed by Bill Whitley, takes the listener on a precarious mountain bike journey. The piece is a musical depiction of the steep Bonzai Trail in Oregon. Written in the rondo form, Whitley contrasts stretches of tranquil serenity in the deep, coniferous forest with the heart-stopping thrill, tempo, and panache of the main theme. Brian Field's A Letter from Camp illustrates the emotional turmoil of war and it's far-reaching consequences. Walt Whitman's eponymous poem, here set to music for soprano and orchestra, dramatically brings the Civil War-era poem into the 21st Century by highlighting the universality of human suffering beyond the battlefield, to the farms and families of those engaged in armed conflict. Concerto No. 2 by Mark Francis bears the subtitle In somnis veritas, "in dreams there is truth"; and there is plenty of dreaminess and true musicianship to be found in this concerto for guitar and orchestra. Mark, himself an accomplished guitarist, uses his virtuosic instrumental skill and rich musical imagination to create a concerto fit to join Rodrigo's classic Concierto de Aranjuez as a repertoire staple. Jan Järvlepp's Street Music is a lighthearted piece for percussion and brass, evocative of a walk on a hot, sunny day off with nothing but cheerful thoughts in mind. It's sense of levity fittingly rounds off the album-an album which not only caters to a diverse range of personal tastes, but which might also be able to expand them.

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