Thursday, December 3, 2015

Roberto Sierra: Concerto Premieres - "Concierto Caribe", For Flute & Orchestra - "Of Discoveries", For Two Guitars & Orchestra - "Concierto Evocativo", For Horn & Strings - The St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra of Lithuania, Arie Lipsky - Fleur De Son Classics 1997

In the last post I mentioned that I have been listening to Roberto Sierra lately (prior offering contains a work by Sierra for Guitar and String Quartet..) and this gem of a disc of exciting and inventive concertos is one of the finest. Sierra is a prime example of a great American composer who is, more recently, finally getting his due (such as the recordings on Naxos...they're up to five recordings already!) and I hope this momentum continues. All three concertos here are a real delight; indeed, I find it's difficult to have a favorite as I enjoy them all so highly-Sierra's music always has something interesting to say, one might blissfully find that to be the case minute-by-mintute for the duration, no matter what work it is. I know I do. I'm most certain that the majority of visitors will adore this music!

*I know I rarely say this (I assume it's a given for serious collectors!!) but please please do buy the music - all the Naxos releases and well all other available recordings if your budget allows! Naxos especially is beyond a musical godsend, needless to say, and although it's the most popular and (still all these years later!) most affordable classical label - the day could easily come when the glorious, seemingly non-stop flood of the highest quality releases could be reduced to a trickle. There are plenty of now defunct labels that were spectacular. We mustn't forget that as an audience we are *the* specialist group, no matter how many esoteric and non-esoteric discs alike seem to be available and easily accessible..

To save myself the time for now, here are some notes about Roberto Sierra:

Roberto Sierra has been part of the repertoire of many of the leading orchestras, ensembles and festivals in the USA and Europe. At the inaugural concert of the 2002 world renowned Proms in London, his Fandangos was performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a concert that was broadcast by both the BBC Radio and Television throughout the UK and Europe. Sierra's numerous commissions include works for many of the major American and European orchestras. International ensembles that have performed his works include the orchestras of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, New Mexico, Houston, Minnesota, Dallas, Detroit, San Antonio and Phoenix, as well as by the American Composers Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich, the Spanish orchestras of Madrid, Galicia, Castilla y León and Barcelona, among others.

Commissioned works include: Concerto for Orchestra for  the centennial celebrations of the Philadelphia Orchestra commissioned by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation and the Philadelphia Orchestra; Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for James Carter; Fandangos and Missa Latina commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington DC; Sinfonía No. 3 "La Salsa", commissioned by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; Danzas Concertantes for guitar and orchestra commissioned by the Orquesta de Castilla y León; Double Concerto for violin and viola co-commissioned by the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Orchestras; Bongo+ commissioned by the Juilliard School in celebration of the 100th anniversary; Songs from the Diaspora commissioned by Music Accord for Heidi Grant Murphy, Kevin Murphy and the St. Lawrence String Quartet; and Concierto de Cámara co-commissioned by the the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest and Stanford Lively Arts.

In 2003 he was awarded the Academy Award in Music by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The award states:  "Roberto Sierra writes brilliant music, mixing fresh and personal melodic lines with sparkling harmonies and striking rhythms. . ." His Sinfonía No. 1, a work commissioned by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, won the 2004 Kenneth Davenport Competition for Orchestral Works. In 2007 the Serge and Olga Koussevitzky International Recording Award (KIRA) was awarded to Albany Records for the recording of his composition Sinfonía No. 3 “La Salsa”. Roberto Sierra has served as Composer-In-Residence with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and New Mexico Symphony. In 2010 he was elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Roberto Sierra's Music may be heard on CD's by Naxos, EMI, New World Records, Albany Records, Koch, New Albion, Koss Classics, BMG, Fleur de Son and other labels. In the spring of 2004 EMI Classics released his two guitar concertos Folias and Concierto Barroco with Manuel Barrueco as soloist (released by Koch in the USA in 2005). Roberto Sierra was born in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, and studied composition both in Puerto Rico and Europe, where one his teachers was György Ligeti at the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg, Germany. The works of Roberto Sierra are published principally by Subito Music Publishing (ASCAP).

Track listing:

Concierto Caribe, For Flute & Orchestra

1) I. Figuras
2) II. Claro de luna
3) III. Sabor

Of Discoveries, For Two Guitars & Orchestra

4) I. Ocean
5) II. Stars
6) III. Land

Concierto Evocativo, For Horn & Strings

7) I. Lento
8) II. Scherzando
9) III. Ritmico y Energico



Marcelo Lasta said...

Super cd,gemas todas,gracias hermano Tzadik.Abrazo glacial de Tapirman(que está cada vez más ansioso por escuchar la nueva musica de star wars 7 de nuestro amado John Williams,fervoroso defensor de la Music de Hovahness,el 17 de diciembre es el estreno en mi país,loas a Chewacca)

theblueamos said...

Thank you so very much.I'ms till at the Hovhaness's.I'll get there in the in the end.Thank you so much for being you.All the very best from Jerusalem.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for taking us on your wonderful journey!!!

Tzadik said...

Hola doctor T. querida Estoy feliz te gusta el disco Sierra (¿sabes sus otras composiciones?). Sí, es verdad acerca de John Williams, la mayoría de la gente no sabe la afición de William para Hovhaness. Estoy seguro de que tiene el disco de Sony Classical donde JW conduce Misteriosa Montaña, así como su propia (Concierto para fagot? No recuerdo ..) llamada "Cinco árboles sagrados"? También me olvido que era el tercer compositor en el disco de Sony, la pieza era creo "viejos y perdidos Ríos". Tengo que dios disco sabe dónde!

¡Decir ah! El ir a pasar el rato con Chewbacca en el 17, ¿eh? Y Doctor T, ¿alguna vez has tenido pacientes de la especie wookies en su práctica? ;-)

Su principal hombre de la música montañosa,


Tzadik said...

Blue you are welcome as always my friend. -And what a nice thing to say, I am touched :)

I hope The Festival of Lights is an enjoyable, peaceful time for you right now (and the following six days as well...). My family has done nothing thus far, however when I get my daughter (she is 11) this Friday from her mother's house, we are going to all have a proper evening of dreidel twirling.



Tzadik said...

Thank you anon person for commenting, and you are quite welcome!