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Walter Saul (b.1954): Kiev 2014; Violin Concerto; Overture for the Jubilee / Rong-Huey Liu, oboe; James Buswell, violin; Walter Saul, piano; Nat'l SO of Ukraine; Kuchar

Album Summary

>Saul, Walter : Kiev 2014, rhapsody for oboe & orchestra
>Saul, Walter : Concerto for Violin
>Saul, Walter : Overture for the Jubilee, for orchestra
>Saul, Walter : From Life to Greater Life, for orchestra
>Saul, Walter : A Christmas Symphony, for orchestra
>Saul, Walter : Metamorphosis, for piano & orchestra
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Composer and pianist Walter Saul is the recipient of 24 ASCAP awards and numerous other honors. His mission as a composer is 'to create musical icons, windows of sonic light' which point towards Christian spirituality. Kiev 2014 reflects on Ukraine's challenges, from the darkness of occupation towards hope and victory. The Violin Concerto is packed with numeric symbolism, while A Christmas Symphony paints four significant scenes from the Nativity. Saul's Overture for the Jubilee explores the history of John Quincy Adams and the abolition of slavery. From Life to Greater Life celebrates the transformation to heavenly immortality, and the profound peace which concludes Metamorphosis stands witness to the inner peace granted to the composer through his faith.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Grand Concert Studio of the National Radio Company of U (2014-12-18&2014-12-20&2014-).



Reviews

Accessible, well-crafted music
I have to admit I'd not heard of American composer Walter Saul before this CD landed on my desk. I'm glad it did. Saul's music has a directness to it that I find refreshing. Saul writes in a post-tonal style that's extremely accessible, yet avoids triteness and cliche.

Case in point, Saul's 1992 Christmas Symphony. This is no medley of holiday tunes, but a tightly-organized four-movement symphony that uses oblique elements of the Christmas story (Gabriel, the Star, Simeon, and heavenly Glorias) to document an emotional journey. It's one of those works that may be inspired by the season, but could be played any time of the year.

"Overture for the Jubilee" and "From Life to Greater Life" - like virtually all of Saul's music --draw on the composer's deep-seated religious convictions for inspiration. The Overture is an uplifting, yet restrained, concert opener. "From Life" moves from chaos to order as it progresses (thus illustrating its theme of ascending from life to afterlife).

The Violin Concerto is the most adventurous work on the album, with a snarling twelve-tone middle movement that resolves eventually into some beautiful lyrical passages in the finale.

"Kiev 2014" is an engaging work for oboe and orchestra. Its relentless energy keeps driving the music forward. According to the composer, it "reflects on the history, challenges and hope for Ukraine in the 21st century." And that perhaps explains the restless nature of this work.

The album is warmly recorded, with the National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine under Theodore Kuchar delivering straight-forward no-nonsense performances.
Submitted on 12/04/15 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Saul, Walter : Kiev 2014, rhapsody for oboe & orchestra
  • Performer: Rong Liu (Oboe)
  • Conductor: Theodore Kuchar
  • Ensemble: National Symphony of Ukraine
  • Notes: Grand Concert Studio of the National Radio Company of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine (2014-12-18&2014-12-20&2014-)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2014

>Saul, Walter : Concerto for Violin
  • Performer: James Buswell (Violin)
  • Conductor: Theodore Kuchar
  • Notes: Grand Concert Studio of the National Radio Company of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine (2014-12-18&2014-12-20&2014-)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1980

>Saul, Walter : Overture for the Jubilee, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Theodore Kuchar
  • Notes: Grand Concert Studio of the National Radio Company of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine (2014-12-18&2014-12-20&2014-)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1997

>Saul, Walter : From Life to Greater Life, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Theodore Kuchar
  • Notes: Grand Concert Studio of the National Radio Company of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine (2014-12-18&2014-12-20&2014-)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1978

>Saul, Walter : A Christmas Symphony, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Theodore Kuchar
  • Notes: Grand Concert Studio of the National Radio Company of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine (2014-12-18&2014-12-20&2014-)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1992

>Saul, Walter : Metamorphosis, for piano & orchestra
  • Performer: Walter Saul (Piano)
  • Conductor: Theodore Kuchar
  • Notes: Grand Concert Studio of the National Radio Company of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine (2014-12-18&2014-12-20&2014-)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1974