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Thomas Sleeper (b.1956): Four Concertos / Huifang Chen, violin; Dale Underwood, alto saxophone; Tim Conner, trombone; Jennifer Culp, cello

Album Summary

>Sleeper, Thomas M. : Concerto for Violin no 1 ("Hypnagogia")
>Sleeper, Thomas M. : Alto Saxophone Concerto
>Sleeper, Thomas M. : Translucence, for trombone & orchestra
>Sleeper, Thomas M. : Concerto for Cello
Performers Conductors Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Thomas Sleeper enjoys an active dual career as composer and conductor. His compositions include three symphonies, six operas, 14 concerti and numerous chamber works. His music is regularly performed through the U.S., in Europe, Asia and South America. He is director of orchestral activities at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music and music director of the Florida Youth Orchestra. With this world premiere recording of four of his concerti, we discover a composer in full control of his considerable faculties. His musical voice is oblique, as language in a dream, which tends to evaporate the more you attempt to sharpen your focus. These works display a composer with something interesting and important to say in a voice that is uniquely, authentically and unmistakably his.

American Record Guide, May/June 2014
Huifang Chen is soloist in the 18-minute Violin Concerto 1 (2011), subtitled Hypnagogia (the state between awake and asleep). Ms Chen plays passionately and should stand out much more. The 12-minute Alto Saxophone Concerto (2010) begins with a dramatic I ('Feroce') that has an ethereal middle section. The album ends with the best piece - the 21-minute Cello Concerto (2007) - the strongest performance and the best recording set-up. In I, Sleeper has cellist Jennifer Culp (formerly of Kronos Quartet, now of San Francisco Conservatory) playing virtuoso material much of the time, the orchestra playing passionately. The quiet ending leads nicely to a gorgeous, contemplative II ('Arioso sacree') where a drone pitch is heard from beginning to end, where the lovely melody is in absolutely no hurry, and where Ms Culp's tone is rich and beautiful. III is a lively, off-kilter Vivace. The engineers finally got one right.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Brno, Czech Republic (05/10/2012-05/11/2012).



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Works Details

>Sleeper, Thomas M. : Concerto for Violin no 1 ("Hypnagogia")
  • Performer: Huifang Chen (Violin)
  • Conductor: Thomas Sleeper
  • Ensemble: Brno Philharmonic
  • Notes: Brno, Czech Republic (05/10/2012-05/11/2012)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 2011

>Sleeper, Thomas M. : Alto Saxophone Concerto
  • Performer: Dale Underwood (Alto Saxophone)
  • Conductor: Thomas Sleeper
  • Ensemble: Brno Philharmonic
  • Notes: Brno, Czech Republic (05/10/2012-05/11/2012)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 2010

>Sleeper, Thomas M. : Translucence, for trombone & orchestra
  • Performer: Tim Conner (Trombone)
  • Conductor: Zoe Zeniodi
  • Ensemble: Brno Philharmonic
  • Notes: Brno, Czech Republic (05/10/2012-05/11/2012)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 2009

>Sleeper, Thomas M. : Concerto for Cello
  • Performer: Jennifer Culp (Cello)
  • Conductor: Thomas Sleeper
  • Ensemble: Brno Philharmonic
  • Notes: Brno, Czech Republic (05/10/2012-05/11/2012)
  • Running Time: 21 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 2007