in the city at night

My CD of solo English horn works! Click here or on the CD to buy from CD Baby.

This CD project was a little over a year in the making. While it is my debut solo CD, this project is not and never has been about me. It’s about the music and the composers on the CD. I hope I captured the music and character of these pieces for all the listening audience.

I began this project with the idea in mind to have some of my friends write solo English horn pieces for me to play on some of my chamber music concerts. Since I didn’t really enjoy the music in the ‘standard repertoire’ I went to these friends for new compositions. The first piece I got was from Dante De Silva who has written me tons of music over the years. Then followed works by Jenni Brandon and Abe Fabella, with everyone else on the CD following shortly thereafter. These pieces are ALL great and each has their own unique voice.

Click here to listen to sound clips from the CD!»

Click on the compser’s name to see their website. You can read about the pieces by clicking on the ‘program notes’ links.

Jenni Brandon In the City at Night program notes»
Dante De SilvaIcarus
Abe Fabella…And After That
Tim Hagen The Ugly Duckling
Kevin Saunders Hayes Tempted Suite
Allen MentonTragic Odes program notes»
Mark PopeneyReverie
Eric SchwartzEletelephony and Other Tales of Whoa! program notes»
Jennifer StevensonBorrowed Forms

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1. Borrowed Forms – by Jennifer Stevenson
2. In the City at Night – by Jenni Brandon
3.…And After That– Abe Fabella
4. Tragic Odes – Allen Menton
5. Icarus – Dante De Silva
6. Eletelephony – Eric Schwartz
7. Ugly Duckling – Tim Hagen
8. Tempted Suite – Kevin Saunders Hayes

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In The City At Night was written at the request of Ryan Zwahlen, oboe and English horn player with the Definiens Project…I wanted to write him a piece that uses the lovely, lyrical range of the English horn while at the same time composing something that was also rhythmically fun to play. In The City At Night focuses on just that; it is at times playful and fast like many lights blinking on just after dusk in the city. At other times it is quiet and serene like the city streets that are empty at the early hours before dawn. In creating this world I wanted the listener to be left with thoughts and impressions of a city after dark, and the lone voice of the English horn telling the story of a night adventure on the city streets. Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5

I. Salmacis, the Curious Nymph lived in a beautiful lake on Mount Ida. One day a shy youth named Hermaphroditus took a break from his hunting to bathe in its cool waters.  Salmacis conceived an immediate passion for him, but he resisted her overtures. In exasperation she beseeched the gods to make them inseparable, and the gods complied, fusing the two bodies into one creature, neither man nor woman, yet both.  Fused as one, they sank beneath the surface and drowned. The lake remains, but legend says the gods granted Hermaphroditus his last wish, that the water causes impotence for all who bathe in them.
II. Pirene, the Lamenting Nymph bore two sons by the god Poseidon, but both sons perished horribly. Her grief was inconsolable and she sat weeping outside the gates of Corinth. Her endless tears transformed her into a fountain which remains to this day.
III. Echo, the Chattering Nymph formed part of Hera’s retinue. Whenever Zeus pursued some amorous affair, Echo distracted Hera with chattering gossip and singing. When Hera discovered the ruse, she deprived Echo of speech, condemning her to repeat the last syllable of whatever she heard. Rejected by her beloved Narcissus, Echo withdrew to live in solitary caves, where her voice lives on.
IV. Callisto, the Heroic Nymph took a vow of chastity in order to join the retinue of Artemis. When the amorous Zeus appeared to her disguised as Artemis, Callisto realized the deception too late. To protect Callisto from Artemis’ wrath, Zeus changed her into a great bear, but Artemis killed her with arrows. After her death, Callisto was transformed into a constellation of stars, which can still be seen in the night sky.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5
To my mind nothing is more difficult to compose than a work for solo wind or brass, as the textural limitations of these instruments can be pretty creatively overwhelming. As such, writing a piece for solo english horn was an intimidating proposition. So I cheated. Ha. Instead of a solo work, I decided to create a duo for speaker/singer and english horn, infinitely expanding the palate I had to play with compositionally. It may have been cheating, but I had great fun setting the wonderful, whimsical poetry of Laura Richards for this wee ensemble. I hope you enjoy the results.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5

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