From the legendary St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and its principal guest conductor Vladimir Lande come three 20th and 21st century pieces that represent the varied national influences that pervade contemporary American music. The disc includes the world premier recording of Rick Sowash’s Clarinet Concerto, US-Israeli composer Paul Ben-Haim’s Pastorale Variée, and the celebrated film music composer John Williams’ Viktor’s Tale.
The music of Rick Sowash’s Clarinet Concerto, which receives its premiere recording on this new CD, is an unashamedly tonal and melodic piece. The work is in a direct line from the tradition of great American composers, such as Virgil Thompson, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, and Samuel Barber. Its narrative is full of the hopeful sound that they developed to evoke this country’s spaciousness and potential, mixing folk music, jazz and the film scores of the great film westerns.
Completed in 1945 Ben-Haim’s Pastorale Variée blends Western European, Hebrew, and Arabic musical traditions into a sound that is infused with what might be called the spirit of the Mediterranean. The principal theme is a sweet shepherd’s tune which embarks on a series of inventive variations, altering the its style, texture and mood. John William’s Viktor’s Tale is based on the acclaimed composer’s music for the film about a displaced man forced in live temporarily in an airport, ‘The Terminal’. The music brims with folk dance-like tunes that capture Viktor’s spirit.