Monuments and Motifs
CSUF Wind Symphony
The Wind Symphony at California State University, Fullerton, has released a new album featuring conductor Mitchell Fennell and clarinetist Håkan Rosengren in Frank Ticheli’s Clarinet Concerto. Ticheli, composition faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music, wrote the commissioned concerto for Rosengren, conceiving its three movements as tributes to George Gershwin, Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein. The first movement, “Rhapsody for George,” is “built largely from chromatic, jazzy relentless flurries off 16th-notes,” Ticheli wrote. “Song for Aaron” evokes the open-aired quality sometimes heard in Copland’s slow movements, followed by “Riffs for Lenny.”
Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist Robert Gupta, together with his cousin Badal Roy, famous for his recordings on Indian drums for Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman, returns in this audiophile recording made in Walt Disney Concert Hall. Opening with “Calcutta Sunrise,” the album features “Partita for Solo Violin,” written in 2012 by Joseph Pereira, USC Thornton percussion faculty and LA Phil timpanist. A piece that grew out of Pereira’s 2006 Cello Suite, “Partita for Solo Violin” has been submitted by Yarlung Records to the Grammy Foundation for best classical composition.
Jazz tubist and USC Thornton faculty Jim Self has released a recording of Bill Cunliffe’s Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra with The Hollywood Ensemble. Cunliffe, one of the great jazz pianists and a Grammy award-winning composer, wrote the work for Self, who premiered the piece with the U.S. Army Orchestra in 2011. For the recording, Self recruited John Williams’ engineer, Shawn Murphy, and worked with The Hollywood Ensemble, a 60-piece studio orchestra. Featuring Afro-Cuban rhythms and elements of jazz within the traditional structure, the concerto includes extended cadenzas, to allow for Self’s improvisational jazz solos, and complex orchestration.