The two song cycles for soprano and orchestra on “Winter Morning Walks” could only have been written by jazz maestro Maria Schneider. Commissioned and recorded by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the songs use poetry by Ted Kooser and Carlos Drummond De Andrade (translated by Mark Strand). Soprano Dawn Upshaw is the perfect interpreter for Schneider’s graceful and evocative music.
“Visions” is a collection of rhapsodies and fantasias for piano composed by Constantine Caravassilis and performed by Christina Petrowska Quilico. Many of the works were inspired by visual images, and in turn the music has inspired Quilico, also a gifted painter; ten of her canvases are pictured in the liner notes of this two-CD set.
A fitting tribute to a mysterious figure, “The Julius Eastman Memory Depot” is the creation of Jace Clayton, aka DJ/Rupture. Clayton electronically layers and manipulates works for piano by Julius Eastman to create a musical conversation between himself and the late composer. Our current album of the week, it features performances by pianists David Friend and Emily Manzo, and Sufi vocalist Arooj Aftab.