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An empire in collapse. A daring escapee.
A deeply personal program of music from a time of turmoil — and hope.
Violinist Elmira Darvarova was communist Bulgaria’s worst-kept artistic secret. News of the young virtuoso’s talent had circulated in the West during the 1970s — even coming to the attention of Jascha Heifetz. An artistic collaboration with legendary cellist János Starker led to her daring escape from Bulgaria. She emigrated to the United States, where she eventually became the concertmaster of the MET Orchestra and founder of the New York Chamber Music Festival. Darvarova has extensively recorded both classical and world music, championing scandalously underexposed works by such composers as David Amram, Amanda Maier, Franco Alfano, and Joseph Marx.
Violin Declamations from the Twilight of the Workers’ Paradise is her most personal recording to date — a program of solo violin works from the waning years of the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union by composers, including several that had been denounced as dissidents in their own countries, whose music was exposing the cracks in the “glorious workers’ revolution” — but also expressing glimmers of hope. The program includes four world premiere recordings. Darvarova also includes a detailed essay on the music and a first-hand account of artistic life behind the Iron Curtain.
Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978): Sonata-Monologue for solo violin (1975)
Sylvie Bodorova (b.1954):Dža More – Gypsy Ballad (1990)
Grigory Zaborov (1935-1985): Improvisation (1978)
Afrodita Kathmeridou (b. 1956): Two Miniatures for solo violin (1978) — World Premiere Recording
Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998): Praeludium in memoriam D. Shostakovich (1975)
Dmitri Smirnov (b. 1948): Two Fugues for solo violin, Op. 6 (1970)
Nikolai Badinski (b. 1937): Dialoghi per violino solo (1973) — World Premiere Recording
Elena Firsova (b. 1950): Fantasia for solo violin, Op. 32 (1985) — World Premiere Recording
Konstantin Soukhovetski (b. 1981): Postcard from the Edge (1990) — World Premiere Recording
Recorded on June 16 and 17, 2013 at Edith Chapel, Lawrenceville, New Jersey
Recording Engineers: John C. Baker and Samuel Ward
Edited by John C. Baker
Mastered by Gene Gaudette
Produced by Elmira Darvarova and Gene Gaudette
Urlicht AudioVisual UAV-5984 (783583260442)
Digital release date: Nov. 27, 2017
CD available in January 2018
Miranda Cuckson has emerged in recent years as America’s leading exponent of new music for the violin.
Invisible Colors, her fourth recordings for Urlicht AudioVisual, features five virtuoso works for solo violin by three highly individualistic composers.
American master Elliott Carter‘s Four Lauds are portraits in music; in the composer’s own words, the works “intend to express gratitude to some of the musicians whose friendship has meant so much to me: Aaron Copland, Roger Sessions, Goffredo Petrassi, Robert Mann, Ole Bøhn and Rolf Schulte.”
Carter himself commemorated Stefan Wolpe upon his death in 1972 with these words: “Comet-like radiance, conviction, fervent intensity, penetrating thought on many levels of seriousness and humor, combined with breathtaking adventurousness and originality, marked the inner and outer life of Stefan Wolpe, as they do his compositions.” Miranda plays Wolpe’s complete unaccompanied violin music – the Piece in Two Parts for Violin Solo and Second Piece for Violin Solo – on this recording.
Brian Ferneyhough is a founding father of what has come to be called the “New Complexity” – a style integrating extended techniques with elaborate and intricate pitch and polyrhythmic notation. The two works included in this recording, Unsichtbare Farben and Intermedio alla ciaccona, are among the most daunting and challenging works in the solo violin repertoire.
Miranda co-produced the recording with Urlicht AudioVisual’s founding director Gene Gaudette. The recording was made in the performance space of National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NY,, one of the world’s leading venues for new music, jazz, and contemporary performance, and was recorded during April 2016 by audiophile engineer Sascha von Oertzen.
Invisible Colors is available in lossless download format (including high-definition FLAC and Apple Lossless packages with complete liner notes in .pdf format) from a number of digital outlets including meyefi.com.
The CD release is now available internationally, and the high-definition Audio Blu-Ray release will occur in January 2018.
Now Available Directly From Urlicht AudioVisual
If you know the songs “Taking a Chance on Love”, “I Can’t Get Started”, “April in Paris”, “What Is There To Say”, or “Autumn in New York”, then you are already familiar with the music of legendary American songwriter Vernon Duke. As a popular songwriter, he collaborated with Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin, Ogden Nash, Sammy Cahn, John Latouche, and Yip Harburg, and wrote celebrated scores for Broadway and Hollywood.
What you may not know is that he was born Vladimir Dukelsky, admitted to the Kiev Conservatory at age 11, where he studied composition with Reinhold Glière and met his older colleague and lifelong friend Sergei Prokofiev. His family escaped Russia during the revolution and arrived in America in 1921, and within a year had befriended a musician named Jacob Gershowitz (you know him as George Gershwin), who persuaded him to Americanize his name and write for musical theater.
Duke gained fame and fortune as a songwriter, but continued to compose concert works and Russian poetry under his original name. His “serious” music, stylistically similar to that of his friend Prokofiev as well as Shostakovich, also contains flashes of the American style of Roy Harris, Peter Mennin, and their mid-twentieth century contemporaries, balanced with elements of the late Russian romantic style. And it is of such fine quality and compelling listenability that the neglect of these works is scandalous.
Urlicht AudioVisual is pleased to announce the world premiere recording of Duke’s Violin Concerto, along with Capriccio Méxicano and Hommage to Offenbach. Also featured are Duke’s Violin Sonata (commissioned by Roman Totenberg) and the Etude for Violin and Bassoon.
Diana Burgin, the daughter of Ruth Posselt (1911-2007), the distinguished violinist who performed the premier of Duke’s Violin Concerto, shared the following of her mother’s recollections about the work and its premiere:
Duke wrote [it] at the suggestion of Jascha Heifetz and completed the piano score in 1941. The full score was not finished until shortly before the premier performances, given in March 1943 at Symphony Hall in Boston by my mother, violinist Ruth Posselt with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and my father Richard Burgin at the podium. Duke had met my mother in late 1939 and greatly admired her playing. He attended her premier performances of violin concertos by Walter Piston (1940), Paul Hindemith (1941) and Samuel Barber (1942), which together had established her reputation as a major champion of contemporary American violin music. When Duke approached Posselt about introducing his concerto with the BSO, she responded with enthusiasm. [In a rather bitter prior episode for Duke, Heifetz had declined to premiere the work as it wasn’t “completely to (his) liking”; more to the point, Heifetz probably just didn’t want to pay the commission.] My mother received the manuscript of Duke’s concerto in early 1942, and that summer, played it (with piano) – “two times through” – for Koussevitzky, Duke and others at the conductor’s home in Tanglewood. The concerto aroused great enthusiasm, and Koussevitzky programmed the work for the BSO for the spring of the 1942-43 season.
Duke’s four other works for violin are equally appealing and listenable, including the late Hommage to Offenbach, a humorous and endearing three-movement suite for violin and piano that was discovered in the Library of Congress by violinist Elmira Darvarova while researching other works for this CD. Ms. Darvarova, a student of Yfrah Neaman, Henryk Szeryng and Josef Gingold, created a sensation as James Levine’s hand-picked concertmaster for the MET Orchestra – the only woman to have ever held that seat – and founded the New York Chamber Music Festival, now seen as the official “kick-off” of the New York concert season, in 2010.
She is accompanied at the piano and on the podium by dynamic American maestro Scott Dunn, arguably the foremost authority on Duke’s music for the concert hall, and a specialist in music by composers whose music straddles “traditional” concert works and music for film, television, and popular musicians. In addition to his position as Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, he has recently also led the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and Oregon Symphony.
New York Philharmonic Assistant Principal Bassoonist Kim Laskowski is one of the most versatile musicians on the East Coast scene, whose playing can be heard on numerous television, radio, and film scores, and holds two platinum records for CDs recorded with the rock group 10,000 Maniacs.
The ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien is gaining international renown through its recordings and broadcasts, and defines itself in the grand Vienna orchestral tradition. Their eclectic repertoire runs the gamut from the central “classical” repertoire to contemporary works to music for Hollywood and European film. Their broadcast concerts and programs are heard not only on Austria’s ORF but throughout Europe.
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Violin Concerto (1940-41)1
Sonata in D for violin and piano (1948-49)2
Etude for violin and bassoon3
Hommage to Offenbach2
Elmira Darvarova, violin
Scott Dunn, 1conductor and 2piano
1ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien
3Kim Laskowski, bassoon
Produced by Elmira Darvarova, Scott Dunn, and Erich Hofmann
Executive producres: Kay Duke Ingalls and Gene Gaudette
Co-executive producer: Nancy Burgin
Urlicht AudioVisual UAV-CD-5990
CD release via Urlicht Direct
Download via mEyeFi and eMusic: November 18, 2014
Available in the US through retail, Amazon, and iTunes December 2, 2014
Now Available Directly From Urlicht AudioVisual
This album ventures into regions of the art of violin-playing the significance of which is now becoming clear. Devoted entirely to microtonal compositions for violin and pieces for violin with electronics, this CD explores works of seven composers who have been challenged by these areas of discovery to create intriguingly fresh and surprising sound worlds.
Since turning much attention in recent years to the music being written in my own time, I have found it fascinating to explore certain areas of experimentation that have taken my instrument beyond the familiar glories of its heritage. One of these is the use of microtonality- a system of intervals involving distances smaller than the half-step (the keys on a piano). I have been intrigued by both the physical aspects of working with such intervals, and the idiosyncratic ways in which composers use such intervals for their own expressive aims. Another interest has been noise- that is, non-pitched sounds, often percussive or abrasive, produced by unusual techniques on the instrument. A third area I’ve been eager to explore has been music involving electronics. Since electronic music’s beginnings, using spliced reel-to-reel tapes decades ago, the possibilities of the technology have exploded so that there are numerous ways in which to create or generate sounds and to interact, as a live performer, with them. This has led to a palette of sound possibilities and a degree of agility of response often not offered by traditional instruments.
— Miranda Cuckson
Miranda Cuckson is the leading exponent of new music for the violin on this side of the Atlantic, and is beginning to make waves as well in Europe. Her two previous recordings for Urlicht AudioVisual, featuring some of the most demanding modern-era works for violin by Luigi Nono, Elliott Carter, Roger Sessions, and Jason Eckardt, have met with unanimous critical acclaim from the music press.
Miranda herself selected the repertoire and produced “melting the darkness“, assembling a program of solo microtonal violin works and music for solo violin with electronics microtonal that showcases a wide range of styles and moods. The program begins with Xenakis‘ revolutionary Mikka S, a daunting microtonal masterpiece “duo” for solo violin, and the world premiere recording of Georg Friedrich Haas‘s “de terrae fine” in the version for solo violin. Five world premiere recordings round out the program: Oscar Bianchi‘s “Semplice“, Christopher Burns‘ “Come Ricordi Come Sogni Come Echi“, Alexander Sigman‘s “Vurtruvurt“, Ileana Perez-Velasquez‘s “un ser con unas alas enormes“, and Robert Rowe‘s “Melting the Darkness“. Recorded and mixed by her frequent artistic collaborator and electronic music wizard Richard Warp, each work is framed in a unique acoustic environment that brings each work into vivid relief.
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melting the darkness
Iannis Xenakis: Mikka S
Georg Friedrich Haas: de terrae fine
Oscar Bianchi: Semplice
Christopher Burns: Come Ricordi Come Sogni Come Echi
Alexander Sigman: VURTRUVURT
Ileana Perez-Velasquez: un ser con unas alas enormes
Robert Rowe: Melting the Darkness
Miranda Cuckson, violin
Produced by Miranda Cuckson
Engineered by Paul Geluso
Mixed and edited by Richard Warp
Recorded at James L. Dolan Recording Studio, New York University, New York City, 2011-2013
Urlicht AudioVisual UAV-CD-5998
CD release date: November 4, 2014
Blu-Ray Audio release in January 2015
Pascal Rogé is today’s unrivaled master of French piano music. With a legacy of recordings spanning nearly four decades, many acknowledged as benchmarks, Rogé is one of the most critically acclaimed and best-selling pianists of all time.
Poulenc has figured in Pascal Rogé’s repertoire since his earliest years. His desire to revisit the chamber music of Poulenc has led to this unique collaboration with friends from the New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, MET Orchestra, and Orchestre National de France, along with his wife Ami Rogé. This cross-continental collaboration — recorded at the church in Paris where his mother was organist and at the acoustically superb Lawrenceville School chapel — brings together four of Poulenc’s sonatas for solo instruments and piano along with other chamber works. Audiophile engineers George Vasiliev and John C. Baker capture these performances in state-of-the-art sound, setting a new standard in this highly listenable and frequently played recital repertoire.
Poulenc | Pascal Rogé et ses amis
Sonata for flute and piano (1956) — Michel Moraguès, principal flute, Orchestre National de France
Sonata for oboe and piano (1962) — Liang Wang, principal oboe, New York Philharmonic
Élégie for horn and piano (1957) in memory of Dennis Brain — Howard Wall, horn, New York Philharmonic
Sonata for clarinet and piano (1962) — Pascal Moraguès, 2ème principal clarinet, Orchestre de Paris
Sonata for Piano Four Hands (1918, rev. 1939) — Ami Rogé, piano
Sonata for violin and piano (1942-3 rev. 1949) to the memory of Federico Garcia Lorca / Bagatelle for violin and piano (1932) — Elmira Darvarova, past concertmaster, MET Orchestra
Pascal Rogé, piano
Recorded 2013 in Paris and Lawrenceville, New Jersey
Engineered by George Vassilev and John C. Baker
Edited by George Vassilev and Gene Gaudette
Produced by Gene Gaudette
Urlicht AudioVisual UAV-5986
Distributed in the US and Canada by Entertainment One
Distributed in the Europe and Asia by Also Distribution and its affiliates.
Over the last two decades, Ástor Piazzolla (1921-1992) has emerged as one of the twentieth century’s most popular composers. Piazzolla revitalized and reinvented Argentina’s tango, taking it from the dance floor onto the world’s concert stages and transforming it into tango nuevo (`new tango`). One of the most prolific composers ever, Piazzolla wrote over 3000 works and performed extensively around the globe, collaborating with musicians ranging from jazz god Dizzy Gillespie to legendary cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.
Octavio Brunetti has been called `the inheritor of [Ástor] Piazzolla’s mantle` and today’s most prominent pianistic interpreter and arranger of Argentinian tango. `PIAZZOLLA — desde ESTUDIOS a TANGOS` teams Brunetti with violinist Elmira Darvarova — the first woman concertmaster of the MET Orchestra — in their second CD collaboration.
Included is the world premiere recording of Piazzolla’s six solo `Etudes tanguistiques` in new versions for violin accompanied by piano by Octavio Brunetti, along with his new, atmospheric and colorful arrangements of six of Piazzolla’s most popular tangos. The popularity of Piazzolla’s music continues to increase with each passing year, and this new release will bring the tuneful, dramatic Etudes Tanguistiques, previously seen as `serious` virtuoso solo studies, to a far broader audience.
desde Estusios a Tangos
6 Études tanguistiques • Introducción al Ángel • Night Club 1960 • Milonga del Ángel • Vardarito • Resurreccion del Ángel • Revolucionario
Elmira Darvarova, violin
Octavio Brunetti, piano
Recorded January 19, 2013 at Gill Chapel, Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ
Engineered and edited by John C. Baker
Produced by Gene Gaudette
Urlicht AudioVisual UAV-CD-5991
CD release date: September 9, 2014
“David Amram is arguably the most American of American composers. His music has drawn from a diversity of sources and styles: the American ‘classical’ style, theater and film music, the ‘great American songbook’, folk, jazz, blues, native American melodies and instruments, beat poetry, and many other influences. His music reflects America’s virtues of innovation, independence, and multiculturalism. And it’s a blast to listen to!”
– Gene Gaudette, Urlicht AudioVisual
David Amram — composer, conductor, multi-instrumental virtuoso, and author — is one of the most versatile, acclaimed, and truly unpredictable musicians America has produced. His surprising litany of achievements include the world’s record for number of performances of the Brahms Horn Trio (during his military service in the 1950s), musical collaborations with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsburg, numerous film scores including his acclaimed music for “The Manchurian Candidate”, pioneering work in promoting native American and world music, advocacy for music education and youth music programs, and a tour of Cuba in 1977 with Stan Getz and Earl “Fatha” Hines (the first visit by American musicians since the trade embargo of 1962). In 2012, the New York Chamber Music Festival presented an evening of Amram’s chamber music performed by acclaimed flutist Carol Wincenc, violin virtuoso Elmira Darvarova, New York Philharmonic hornist Howard Wall, the Face the Music Ensemble, the New York Piano Quartet, and the David Amram Quartet.
Sonata for Violin and Piano
Elmira Darvarova, violin • Tomoko Kanamaru, piano
Theme and Variations on “Red River Valley” for flute and strings
Carol Wincenc, flute • Face the Music Ensemble
Giants of the Night: A Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (version for flute and piano) – Andante
Carol Wincenc, flute • Hsin-Chiao Liao, piano
Portraits for piano quartet
New York Piano Quartet with guest cellist Wendy Sutter
Blues and Variations for Monk for French horn
Howard Wall, horn
Five Readings from Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” for narrator(s) and jazz quartet
Ekayani Chamberlin, Adira Amram, Douglas Yeager, narrators • The David Amram Quartet
All works published by C.F. Peters Corporation
Recorded live September 7th, 2012 at Symphony Space, New York City
Engineered by Gene Gaudette and Howard Wall • Produced by Gene Gaudette
Total Playing Time 79:57
CD retail release date: July 22, 2014
Available NOW exclusively from Urlicht AudioVisual
Urlicht’s newest release is a tour-de-force of modern American masterpieces for violin-piano duo and solo violin, including the world premiere release of Jason Eckardt‘s daunting “Strömkarl” for violin and piano – commissioned for this release – played by two of today’s most in-demand champions of new music, violinist Miranda Cuckson and pianist Blair McMillen.
Of “Strömkarl”, Miranda says:
Jason Eckardt is an artist whose music impresses with its combination of intellectual thoroughness, vigorous physicality and spontaneous volatility. His enthusiasm for complexities and his sincere assimilation of a variety of musical genres have given his music an individual and distinctly American cast. Collaborating with him and with Blair McMillen on his piece Strömkarl was a memorable experience, and I am delighted to add it to this strong chain, linking works of the past few decades to those of the present.
The recording includes Elliott Carter‘s Duo for violin and piano, and Roger Sessions‘ Sonata for violin solo.
Elliott Carter: Duo for violin and piano (1973) [21:56]
Roger Sessions: Sonata for solo violin (1953)
1. Tempo moderato, con ampiezza, e liberamente [10:53]
2. Molto vivo [6:57]
3. Adagio e dolcemente [10:22]
4. Alla Marcia vivace[4:53]
Jason Eckardt: Strömkarl [12:51]
Miranda Cuckson, violin
Blair McMillen, piano
Produced by Gene Gaudette
Engineered and edited by Ryan Streber, Oktaven Audio
CD Edition: Urlicht AudioVisual UAV-5989
CD release date: March 4, 2014
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Available in Europe and Asia in May 2013
This collection of every known commercially issued Mahler recording from 1903-40 is one of the most important Mahler issues in recent decades and is very strongly recommended indeed.” — Robert Matthew-Walker, International Record Review, Dec. 2013
Epic… Excellent transfers and exhaustive notes.
This impressive collection of early — very early — Mahler recordings includes symphonies led by the likes of Bruno Walter, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Eugene Ormandy and Willem Mengelberg, often in interpretations more willful and changeable than we are used to today.
– Zachary Woolfe, “2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Best Music,” The New York Times
- The most comprehensive collection ever assembled of Mahler’s music as issued on 78s between 1903 and 1940 — every such recording listed in Péter Fülöp’s Mahler Discography
- New transfers by Ward Marston and Mark Obert-Thorn
- Detailed notes on the music, the recording artists, and revelatory information about performances of Mahler’s music prior to World War II by Sybille Werner
- Full texts and translations
- Super-value price
Produced by Gene Gaudette
Special thanks to Henry-Louis de La Grange
CD Edition: Urlicht AudioVisual UAV-5980
No longer available, limited to an edition of 1000 copies