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Joan Tower (b.1938): Violin Concerto; Stroke; Chamber Dance / Cho-Liang Lin, violin; Nashville SO; Guerrero

Album Summary

>Tower, Joan [Composer] : Stroke, for orchestra
>Tower, Joan [Composer] : Concerto for Violin & orchestra
>Tower, Joan [Composer] : Chamber Dance, for chamber orchestra
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Joan Tower creates music which is bold, colorful and communicative, her list of commissions and awards providing ample evidence of her ability to engage performers and audiences alike. Emotional intensity characterizes Stroke, which vividly conveys a stroke victim's dramatic turmoil while also offering a vision of hope. The Violin Concerto, selected for the final round of the Pulitzer Prize in Music, is both a virtuoso showcase and a lyrical vehicle for the soloist, its conversational cadenzas representing a poignant exchange between the living and the departed. The deceptively titled Chamber Dance alternates huge blocks of sound with intimate solos and duets in an ever-evolving riot of colors. Joan Tower's Made in America (8.559328) won three GRAMMY® awards.

BBC Music Magazine, September 2015
[In the Violin Concerto] the ear is caught by the constantly changing colours of the soloists interaction with different orchestral players... violinist Cho-Liang Lin is lyrical and muscular as required, and his slender tone is well balanced with the excellent Nashville Symphony. The orchestra impresses also in two more recent pieces by Tower... [and] bears further witness to Tower's imaginative handling of instrumental colouring.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Laura Turner Concert Hall at Schermerhorn Symphony Cent.



Reviews

Outstanding Orchestral Works
This new release serves up three outstanding orchestral works by American composer Joan Tower.

Stroke is a 2010 musical portrait of a stroke, and the disruptive effect it has on the victim. Tower's music upends itself early on, and over the course of the piece moves through several violent emotions before settling on serene acceptance of the new norm.

The earliest work on the album is the 1991 Violin Concerto. This single-movement piece was originally composed for violinist Elmar Oliveria. In this recording, Cho-Liang Lin is the featured soloist. Lin has an intense style that imbues his performance with a frantic energy that gives the entire work a sense of urgency -- and to good effect. While Lin's style may differ from Oliveria's his interpretation is no less valid.

The Chamber Dance, to my ears, seems like a kind of a concerto for orchestra. Over the course of the 16-minute work, each instrument (and instrumental combination) is showcased. Originally written in 2006 for the Orpheus Ensemble, the work betrays its origin as a piece for leaderless orchestra. In such an organization, all players are equal -- and the Chamber Dance gives everyone equal time to shine. The piece moves through various orchestral textures and colors in kaleidoscopic fashion. Underneath it all is a thematic framework with a clear sense of direction, giving the work substance as well as glitter.

A colleague of mine calls Joan Tower one of the greatest living composers. After hearing this release, I can't argue with him.
Submitted on 07/09/15 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Tower, Joan [Composer] : Stroke, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Giancarlo Guerrero
  • Ensemble: Nashville Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Laura Turner Concert Hall at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA (11/21/2013-11/23/2013)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 2010

>Tower, Joan [Composer] : Concerto for Violin & orchestra
  • Performer: Lin Cho-Liang (Violin)
  • Conductor: Giancarlo Guerrero
  • Ensemble: Nashville Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Laura Turner Concert Hall at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA (11/21/2013-11/23/2013)
  • Running Time: 21 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1992

>Tower, Joan [Composer] : Chamber Dance, for chamber orchestra
  • Conductor: Giancarlo Guerrero
  • Ensemble: Nashville Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Laura Turner Concert Hall at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA (10/04/2013-10/05/2013)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 2006