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Julian Wachner: Symphony No. 1 "Incantations and Lamentations" - Works for Orchestra and Voices / Christopher Burchett; Stephen Burns

Album Summary

>Wachner, Julian : Symphony no 1
>Wachner, Julian : Come, My Dark-Eyed One, for 2 voices, chorus & orchestra
>Wachner, Julian : Regina coeli, for soprano, chorus & orchestra
>Wachner, Julian : Canticles, for chorus & chamber orchestra
>Wachner, Julian : Jubilate Deo, for chorus, children's chorus, brass sextet, harp, organ & percussion
>Wachner, Julian : Psalm Cycle no 1, for soprano, violin, viola, cello, double bass & organ
>Wachner, Julian : Blue Green Red, for trumpet & organ
>Wachner, Julian : Alleluias, Intercessions and Remembrances, for 2 voices, chorus, brass ensemble & percussion
>Wachner, Julian : Holy, Holy, Holy, for chorus, brass ensemble & organ
>Wachner, Julian : Joy to the World, for chorus, brass & organ
>Wachner, Julian : All Creatures of Our God and King, for chorus, brass ensemble & organ
>Wachner, Julian : Psalm Cycle no 3, for soprano, chorus, brass ensemble, harp, organ & percussion
>Wachner, Julian : Somerville Service, for chorus, brass ensemble, organ & timpani
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This 3 CD collection brings together composer Julian Wachner's most important works for orchestra and voices from the early breakthrough "Canticles" [1990] through his monumental "Symphony No. 1" [2001] and theatrically-charged "Regina Coeli" [2002] to his secular ghost-story oratorio "Come, My Dark-Eyed One" [2008] and jazzy, blues-infected Blue, Green, Red [2014] for trumpet and organ. Recorded in the superb acoustics of Trinity Church, NYC, and featuring the combined forces of the GRAMMY-nominated Choirs of Trinity Wall Street and NOVUS NY, Trinity's resident new music orchestra. Mr. Wachner's compositions have been described as "jazzy, energetic, and ingenious" by the Boston Globe, having "splendor, dignity, and sophisticated chromatic exploration" by La Scena Musicale, being "a compendium of surprises" by the Washington Post, and as "bold and atmospheric", having "an imaginative flair for allusive text setting" and noted for "the silken complexities of his harmonies" by the New York Times.

American Record Guide, March/April 2015
The Symphony No. 1 is in two parts, 'Incantations' and 'Lamentations'. It expresses the title very well and pins your ears back doing so. Come, My Dark-Eyed One is a nearly 45- minute, six-part setting for choir, two soloists, and orchestra of poems by Alfred Tennyson, John Clare, Sara Teasdale, Emily Dickinson, and Ali-Shir Nava'i. Much of it is attractive. Regina Coeli is energetic, with more shades of Bernstein; it's as vibrant as Symphony 1 was bloodthirsty. Canticles opens with 'Why are the nations in an uproar?', which has some Penderecki-like chattering. Jubilate Deo is for soloists, choirs, and small ensemble; after how riotous Wachner has generally been, I was pleasantly surprised that this starts out gently though still full of fast-moving eighth notes. Psalm Cycle I sets four of the psalms. Psalm Cycle III is meandering except for 'May God Be Merciful to Us' and 'Out of the Depths' - the latter in particular has some vivid text-painting in its chant-like opening lines. Blue Green Red, for trumpet and organ, is a welcome instrumental respite at the beginning of the third disc. They are stately, appealing, and very well written. So, the man is undeniably talented and prolific to boot, and this is an excellent introduction to his choral works. Choirs and instrumentalists are all excellent and engaged with the music.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Trinity Church, New York City (2014-01-06_2014-01-12&2014-).



Reviews

Striking a Balance
In the liner notes for this three-CD set, Julian Wachner writes,

"My music lives in a sound world that seeks to balance harmony and melody, movement with stasis, simplicity with chaos, and contemporary techniques with unabashed borrowing from the past."

And for the most part, he succeeds in achieving that balance, as this new three-CD collection shows. For the most part, this release presents Wachner's works for orchestra and voices. Wachner's extensive background as a church musician has given him an intimate familiarity with the possibilities of the human voice, which makes his writing for it particularly effective.

Wachner's musical style isn't easy to pin down. Sometimes his music is aggressively atonal, sometimes tonal, but always in his own voice. The First Symphony is a good example. The way Wachner voices his chords sometimes give the orchestra a hollow and ethereal sound. And his layering of voices and cross-rhythms make the orchestra sound massive, while blurring the edges.

The other large work in the collection, "come, My Dark-Eyed One" was commissioned for a concert with the Brahms Requiem. For contrast, Wachner chose a secular subject, the loss of a loved one and the emotions it triggers. I found the work quite compelling as the protagonist works his way through to acceptance. To my ears, it sounded like a companion piece to Corigliano's "Ghosts of Versailles" -- and one that seems to be more successful in its evocation of atmosphere and drama.

There's much more to this collection. There are several short sacred songs that are absolute gems. The duet for trumpet and organ "Blue, Green, and Red," that takes this instrumental combination far beyond the world of Jeremiah Clarke.

Overall, this collection provides a good overview of Wachner's style. There are large, complex works, and short ones of more modest aims. Whether you're interested in choral music or contemporary music, this one's highly recommended.
Submitted on 08/29/14 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Wachner, Julian : Symphony no 1
  • Conductor: Julian Wachner
  • Ensemble: Choir of Trinity Wall Street
  • Notes: Trinity Church, New York City (2014-01-06_2014-01-12&2014-)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 2001

>Wachner, Julian : Come, My Dark-Eyed One, for 2 voices, chorus & orchestra
  • Performers: Christopher Burchett (Bass Baritone); Jessica Muirhead
  • Conductor: Julian Wachner
  • Ensemble: NOVUS NY
  • Notes: Trinity Church, New York City (2014-01-06_2014-01-12&2014-)
  • Running Time: 41 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 05/2009

>Wachner, Julian : Regina coeli, for soprano, chorus & orchestra
  • Performer: Jessica Muirhead
  • Conductor: Julian Wachner
  • Ensemble: Trinity Youth Choir
  • Notes: Trinity Church, New York City (2014-01-06_2014-01-12&2014-)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2001

>Wachner, Julian : Canticles, for chorus & chamber orchestra
  • Performers: Melissa Attebury; Marguerite Krull (Soprano); Jessica Muirhead; David Vanderval; Jonathan Woody
  • Conductor: Julian Wachner
  • Ensemble: Majestic Brass Quintet
  • Notes: Trinity Church, New York City (2014-01-06_2014-01-12&2014-)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1991

>Wachner, Julian : Jubilate Deo, for chorus, children's chorus, brass sextet, harp, organ & percussion
  • Performers: Jonathan Allen (Percussion); Sarah Brailey; Victor Caccese (Percussion); Caroline Cole (Harp); Ian Rosenbaum (Percussion); Steven Wilson; Janet Yieh (Organ)
  • Conductor: Julian Wachner
  • Notes: Trinity Church, New York City (2014-01-06_2014-01-12&2014-)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2006

>Wachner, Julian : Psalm Cycle no 1, for soprano, violin, viola, cello, double bass & organ
  • Performers: Hannah Collins (Cello); Tony Flynt (Double Bass); Katie Hyun (Violin); Kyle Miller (Viola); Jessica Muirhead; Julian Wachner (Organ)
  • Notes: Trinity Church, New York City (2014-01-06_2014-01-12&2014-)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1991

>Wachner, Julian : Blue Green Red, for trumpet & organ
  • Performers: Stephen Burns (Trumpet); Julian Wachner (Organ)
  • Notes: Trinity Church, New York City (2014-01-06_2014-01-12&2014-)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Wachner, Julian : Alleluias, Intercessions and Remembrances, for 2 voices, chorus, brass ensemble & percussion
  • Performers: Jonathan Allen (Percussion); Sarah Brailey; Victor Caccese (Percussion); Caroline Cole (Harp); Ian Rosenbaum (Percussion); Steven Wilson; Janet Yieh (Organ)
  • Conductor: Julian Wachner
  • Notes: Trinity Church, New York City (2014-01-06_2014-01-12&2014-)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1995

>Wachner, Julian : Holy, Holy, Holy, for chorus, brass ensemble & organ
  • Performers: Ian Rosenbaum (Timpani); Janet Yieh (Organ)
  • Notes: Trinity Church, New York City (2014-01-06_2014-01-12&2014-)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Wachner, Julian : Joy to the World, for chorus, brass & organ
  • Performer: Janet Yieh (Organ)
  • Notes: Trinity Church, New York City (2014-01-06_2014-01-12&2014-)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 2004

>Wachner, Julian : All Creatures of Our God and King, for chorus, brass ensemble & organ
  • Performer: Janet Yieh (Organ)
  • Notes: Trinity Church, New York City (2014-01-06_2014-01-12&2014-)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1992

>Wachner, Julian : Psalm Cycle no 3, for soprano, chorus, brass ensemble, harp, organ & percussion
  • Performers: Jonathan Allen (Percussion); Victor Caccese (Percussion); Caroline Cole (Harp); Jessica Muirhead; Ian Rosenbaum (Percussion); Janet Yieh (Organ)
  • Conductor: Julian Wachner
  • Notes: Trinity Church, New York City (2014-01-06_2014-01-12&2014-)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Wachner, Julian : Somerville Service, for chorus, brass ensemble, organ & timpani
  • Performers: Ian Rosenbaum (Timpani); Janet Yieh (Organ)
  • Notes: Trinity Church, New York City (2014-01-06_2014-01-12&2014-)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2000