- Featured: Apostolos Paraskevas
- Release Date: 10/31/2006
-Constitution Article 91 Concerto for Flute, Guitar and Orchestra Apostolos Paraskevas - Composer/Guitarist Ellen Rakatansky - Flutist ALEA III - Theodore Antoniou - Conductor The piece is quite demanding from a technical point of view and unfolds many sonorities for both solo instruments as well as orchestra, including dense texture, polyphony, and a flavor of minimalism just before the end. After an agitated orchestra introduction, the flute enters with a lamenting and painful melody. The guitar then takes over and introduces some of the core motivic elements of the work. Next, the flute and guitar join in a chase-like duo with virtuoso passages for both instruments, playing off the orchestra in a frenzied commotion. The slow and almost distorted cadenza (with the snare drum) comes as a surprise and, at the same time, as a moment of relief. The tension increases as propulsive rhythms drive through the finale and build with rapid agitation to the end. The title of the work, Constitution Article 91, refers to a part of the former Greek constitution used by the dictatorship between 1974 and 1976 to abolish democracy in Greece. Certain rhythms in the work come from a fearsome and agitated speech that the dictator delivered to academicians in 1973 following a student movement against the tyranny. 'Constitution Article 91 is a real tour de force for the soloists. In this colorful work, Apostolos Paraskevas shows us that a meeting point can be found between advanced contemporary idioms and evocations of an almost popular style. This music is notable for it's rhythmic verve, it's melodic grace, and it's emotional depth. It has genuine substance, but speaks directly to the listener - a rare and welcome achievement.' John Daverio/Musicologist Seven Visions in the Shades of Azure for Guitar and Orchestra Alexandros Kalogeras - Composer Apostolos Paraskevas - Guitar Hingham Symphony Orchestra Jin Kim - Conductor -Seven Visions in the Shades of Azure composed in 2000 for guitar and orchestra is the orchestral version of a piece for solo guitar baring the same title, that I composed in 1992 for Apostolos Paraskevas and his Second Guitar Congress/Festival, which took place during the summer of 1993, in Corfu, one of the most beautiful islands in Greece. The title refers to the endless and abundant Mediterranean Azure in all it's manifestations, dyes and shades. The Azure of the morning or the evening sky, the Azure at noon, the Azure of the calm sea, the Azure of the fierce winds, the Azure of the clouds, of the birds, of the mountains in the distance, the Azure of the fresh thin air while sailing in the Aegean. The work was premiered at the Temple Sha'Array Shalom Auditorium, in Hingham, Massachusetts, on May 20, 2000, by Apostolos Paraskevas and the Hingham Symphony Orchestra, Jin Kim, conductoing (who actually requested the piece). The solo version can be heard on a CD by Clear Note with Apostolos Paraskevas on guitar. Vanishing Landscapes Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra Vuk Kulenovic - Composer Apostolos Paraskevas - Guitar Landscapes Chamber Ensemble Gojko I. Damjanic - Conductor -"Vanishing Landscapes for guitar and chamber Orchestra was written in 1994 in Boston, during the second year after my leaving my homeland, the former Yugoslavia. The work is a set of vanishing memories and landscapes that I shall never see again. The concerto was recorded at Berklee College of Music with Apostolos Paraskevas, solo guitar, with an orchestra of Boston area musicians conducted byGojko Damjanic." Vuk Kulenovic Night Wanderingsfor Orchestra Apostolos Paraskevas - Composer Boston University Symphony Orchestra Lukas Foss - Conductor -'A night in Athens... A lonely wandering in the nocturnal life of one of the most ancient cities on earth... A lonely wandering inside the darkness that covers everything we want to avoid...' Thus Mr. Paraskevas describes the influence on the composition of Night Wanderings. Using his personal idiom as composer he wished to transfer the distinctive Greek musical colors into what he considers his 'most Greek-influenced work thus far.' The score of Night Wanderings calls for the typical instrumental forces of a classical orchestra, with the addition of piano and a great variety of percussion, ranging from timpani (four), bongos, and tam-tam to xylophone and sleigh bells. The work is written in one movement, but one can clearly distinguish the following three parts: Part One starts with solo timpani, like a distant echo, in 5/8 time - a rhythm which immediately becomes a persistent ostinato. The opening slow section (A) leads to a fast dance, played primarily by the woodwinds (B), only to subside again into a slow espressivo (C), with rapid repetitive patterns on the flute. The fast dance (B) returns, only this time gradually leading to the climax (D) which concludes the first part. After a short slow introduction to the second part, a solo clarinet line, reminiscent of similar passages in folk songs of northern Greece, soars above the rest of the orchestra. The solo clarinet leads us to the third part, an energetic tutti, where material from the previous parts are recapitulated. The final sonority of the work, E-minor, is played staccato and sforzando by the whole orchestra. The 5/8 meter and the characteristic interval of the augmented second (with it's 'exotic' connotations) permeate the whole piece, and they suggest the influence of familiar rhythmic and modal patterns often encountered in Greek traditional music. As the music evolves one is encouraged to 'wander' with the night colors and surprises of the music. Night Wanderings was written during April and May of 1996 in Boston. It's chamber version premiere was given in Athens in September 1996, with the Hellenic Contemporary Orchestra and Theodore Antoniou as conductor. A year later, Lukas Foss presented the work in Boston with the Boston University Symphony Orchestra in it's orchestral version and at Carnegie Hall with the National Festival Orchestra on January 14, 2001. Eftychia Papanikolaou -Apostolos Paraskevas, Composer/Guitarist, is a Grammy Award nominee, frequently published composer and recording artist. Major publishers: Clear Note, Bridge Records, Chanterrelle Verlag/Germany, Berben/Italy and Ch. Nakas/Greece. He has received five First Prizes in International Composition Competitions and is the founder and Artistic Director of the International Guitar Congress/Corfu. Major performances in concerts halls around the world include Carnegie Hall/New York, (with Lukas Foss conducting) Weill Hall/New York, Wertheim Performing Arts Center/Miami, Jordan Hall/Boston, St. Petersburg, Hall/Russia, Athens Concert Hall/Greece. He is an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music and a composer in residence at Northeastern University in Boston. -Alex Kalogeras, born in Athens, Greece, in 1961, received his B.M. and M.M. from Boston University, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Student of Theodore Antoniou, Bernard Rands, John Harbison and Donald Martino, his catalogue includes more than seventy works for orchestra, chamber music, solo instruments, chorus, music for the theater, as well as electronic and computer music. In his music the flexibility and vast imagination of traditional folk players, the mysticism of Byzantine music, and the ritualistic and dramatic character of ancient Greek theater have been a point of departure for many of his works. -Lukas Foss (b. 1922) American composer, pianist, and conductor, came to the United States from Berlin in 1937, studied at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, and became a citizen in 1942. His composition Four Inventions, for piano, was published when he was 15. In 1957, while professor of composition at the Univ. Of California, Los Angeles, he founded the Improvisation Chamber Ensemble, which performed many of his experimental works. From 1963 to 1971 he was music director and conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, where he became noted for performing avant-garde compositions. Teaching at the State Univ. Of New York at Buffalo during this period, he also founded (1963) it's Center for Creative and Performing Arts. In 1971 he was named music director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, remaining in the post until 1990; from 1981 to 1986 he also was the conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. -Theodore Antoniou, one of the most eminent and prolific contemporary artists, leads a distinguished career as composer, conductor, and professor of composition at Boston University. He studied violin, voice, and composition at the National Conservatory in Athens, with further studies in conducting and composition at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, and the International Music Center in Darmstadt. After holding teaching positions at Stanford University, the University of Utah, and the Philadelphia Musical Academy, he became professor of composition at Boston University in 1978. -Flutist Ellen Rakatansky is an active freelancer in the Boston area and performs regularly with the Boston Lyric Opera Orchestra, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Granite State Opera and Orchestra, Nashua Symphony, and ALEA III. She has appeared as soloist with the New England Philharmonic as winner of the orchestra's concerto competition and performed at the 2005 National Flute Association convention in San Diego as a winner of the Convention Performers Competition. An advocate of new music, she has premiered multiple works including concerto 'Constitution Article 91' with ALEA III and solo and chamber works for Composers in Red Sneakers. She has given numerous recitals in the Boston area and her solo and duo performances have been broadcast in the US and Europe. Ms Rakatansky holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Music from Tufts University and a Master's degree in Flute Performance from The Boston Conservatory. She performs on a Williams flute. -Gojko I. Damjanic has extensive experience with the educational market. As a member of the Board of Admissions and as an Assistant Director at Berklee College of Music, Mr. Damjanic was a great asset to international recruitment efforts which require much on-the-spot ability to socialize, counsel and act as public relations for the College. In addition, he also served as the principal point of contact for Berklee College of Music International partners in Japan, South Korea, Germany, France, Finland, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. He studied Software Engineering at Harvard University-Extension School, MA, Music (Composition and Conducting) at Berklee College of Music, MA and Mathematics at the University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia. -Jin Kim is in his ninth season as music director of the Hingham Symphony Orchestra. During his tenure, the HSO has become one of the premier professional orchestras in the New England region. The music critics including The Boston Globe have consistently praised the orchestra's performances as "spectacular, dramatic, expressive, confident and unified". Kim is the recipient of the 2003 Robert Shaw Conducting Fellowship, a prestigious career development award underwritten by the National Endowment for the Arts and Warner Brothers Publications, presented annually to one outstanding conductor in North America. -Vuk Kulenovic was born in Sarajevo 1946. He received his degree in composition from the Music Academy of Ljubljana, and achieved Magisterium at the Music Academy in Belgrade. A prolific composer Kulennovic has written several hundred compositions, including over 30 symphonic works, as well as numerous chamber and solo pieces. He has spent much of his life teaching at Music Academy of Belgrade and is currently a professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
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