Edward Hart’s UNDER AN INDIGO SKY features A Charleston Concerto and Under an Indigo Sky, two concertos that celebrate and reflect the history and culture of the Southeastern United States. A native of Charleston SC, Hart finds inspiration in the natural beauty and multicultural heritage of his homeland.
A Charleston Concerto was written to commemorate the 350th Anniversary of the City of Charleston; it features a collaboration with the Charleston Symphony and the world-renowned Harlem Quartet. It takes an unflinching yet ultimately hopeful view of the city’s complex history over those three and a half centuries. Under an Indigo Sky for violin and orchestra is a musical love letter written to Hart’s geographical home. It explores both the physical splendor of the mountains and coast, but also the feel and “soul” of these breathtaking places.
Yuriy Bekker, violinist on Navona Records release TWENTIETH CENTURY DUOS, is joined by renowned pianist Andrew Armstrong in some of the most beautiful and rarely-performed works of the twentieth century by Jewish composers Erich Korngold and Aaron Copland.
Bekker says of the album, “The idea for this project finally came to fruition with the help of the rare 1686 Ex-Nachez Stradivarius violin. This is the first sound recording of this violin and I believe these particular selections by Korngold and Copland highlight its most magical qualities.”
Erich Korngold’s Much Ado About Nothing Suite (1921) for violin and piano, contains moments of dialog and synchrony between the leading violin and accompanying piano. Through interplay of the piano and violin, it is obvious that the two musicians are compatible chamber musicians as they combine forces and feed off of each other musically. Bekker breathes new life into the seldom heard but beautiful aria transcriptions from Korngold’s opera Die tote Stadt. The work originally premiered in 1920 and was a major hit. Following the premier, the Nazi regime banned the opera due to Korngold’s Jewish heritage.
Over the entire duration of Aaron Copland’s Violin Sonata (1943), the three-movement structure breaks traditional nineteenth century precedents, making it a much more modern piece than the Korngold. The piano part is characterized by “planning,” a technique involving a series of parallel chords, which here, are made of stacked perfect fourths. Two Pieces was written by a young Copland and highlights his interest in American folk, blues, and jazz. The piece showcases Copland’s early influences, setting the foundation for his future compositions.