Hart-A Tidal Concerto
- Featured: Charleston Symphony Orchestra
- Release Date: 3/21/2006
This new CD contains two large piano and orchestra works, the classic George Gershwin Concerto in F and Edward Hart\'s new work, A Tidal Concerto performed by Enrique Graf and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Stahl. Here is what Hart and Graf had to say about them: A Tidal Concerto was inspired by my experiences in the coastal waters around Charleston, South Carolina. As an avidfisherman and boater, I have learned the importance of understanding the tide\'s powerful effect on marine life and coastal waterways. In a more esoteric context, the tide can also have very powerful poetic, religious, and philosophical implications. I recognize the tide cycle as a religious metaphor representing Crucifixion (Ebb), Death (Slack), and Resurrection (Flood). This three-movement piano concerto attempts to musically capture the three phases of the tide. The first movement, Ebb (the out-going tide), represents a time when water is rushing back to the sea. A sense of urgency prevails as swift currents sweep out of estuaries into wider deeper channels threatening to carry life out to sea or leave it stranded it on dry land. The second movement, Slack (the motionless period between tides), is a time of hopeful anticipation when the current is at a standstill. The third movement, Flood (the in-coming tide), fulfills nature\'s (God\'s) promise to return bringing new water and life. -Edward Hart Having lived only 38 years (Brooklyn, NY., September 1898 - Hollywood, Ca, July 1937) George Gershwin left a substantial number of beloved instrumental and vocal works that have become classics of western music. Although it was not received enthusiastically by the critics when first performed on December 3, 1925, the Concerto in F for piano and orchestra has endured the test of times among the public. Possibly his greatest work, the concerto is written as a typical classical concerto in three movements. What makes it unique is a successful combination of styles and idioms (classical, romantic, jazz, blues) that was never attempted before. Perhaps because it has not made the list of accepted concertos in international competitions it has not become so popular among pianists, however, after repeated hearings it continues to excite audiences worldwide because of it's expressiveness, brilliance, and exuberance. When Edward Hart approached me to perform the premiere of a piano concerto that he had not written yet, I jumped at the opportunity. Although I have performed many works of living composers, I had never had the chance of offering opinions and seeing the work as it evolved. After a couple of performances of the work here and abroad, David Stahl and I decided it would be important to record it so more people could hear what we think is an original, powerful concerto that evokes very nicely where we live. As we planned this live-recorded concert at the International Piano Series at the College of Charleston, David and I almost immediately came up with the Gershwin Concerto to pair it with the Hart. Two American composers with a connection to Charleston, Gershwin spend some time here writing Porgy and Bess and Hart was born and lives in Charleston. While both pieces evoke different spheres and emotions (Gershwin\'s feeling of the American melting pot and Hart\'s understanding of nature and spirituality), they constitute a complimentary outtake of the American piano concerto. -Enrique Graf Enrique Graf After winning all of the national competitions in his native country of Uruguay, Enrique Graf came to the United States to study with Leon Fleisher on a full scholarship from the Peabody Conservatory and the Organization of American States. Shortly after graduation he won the First Prize in the William Kapell International Competition, the National Ensemble Piano Competition and the East and West International Auditions in New York. Graf has been soloist with orchestras in Moscow, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New York, Nashville, Washington, Lima, Richmond, Indianapolis, Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas, Bogota and Montevideo. He has appeared in chamber music and solo recitals at Lincoln Center, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, the National Gallery, Krannert Center, Kennedy Center, the Broward Center for Performing Arts and Teatro Opera in Buenos Aires. His recordings of solo works by Bach and Liszt and concertos by Grieg, and Beethoven have been highly acclaimed by the press. The latest, an all Poulenc CD with the Charleston Symphony and David Stahl was chosen "Pick of the month" by the Sunday London Times and received 5 stars in Classic CD. Graf is Artist in Residence at the College of Charleston and Senior Artist Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University. Edward Hart Edward Hart\'s music has been performed throughout the United States and Latin America including performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the opening of the 32nd Annual Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato, Mexico with President Vicente Fox in attendance. Newspapers such as a.m., Leon, Mexico have described his music as "...spiritual and emotional," El Pais, Montevideo, Uruguay as "...clearly visual," and the Charleston Post and Courier as having "... great sweep and strong appeal." His works include concertos for piano and guitar, various orchestral works, chamber music, solo piano compositions, and art songs. Ensembles that have performed his music include Orquesta de Baja California (Mexico), Philharmonica de Montevideo (Uruguay), the South Carolina Philharmonic, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Carolina Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, and the Upton Trio. He has received many commissions including song cycles for D\'Anna Fortunato of the New England Conservatory of Music and Darryl Taylor, founder of the African-American Art Song Alliance. From 1994 to 2004, Hart was a cofounder and musical director of The Lowcountry Heritage Society, an arts organization dedicated to the production of new works of art, music, and literature about or inspired by the South Carolina Lowcountry. During that time, the Society commissioned over fifty new musical works by thirteen composers. Additionally, the Society produced two modern dance works, a ballet, two literary anthologies, an original play, and fourteen visual art exhibits. Hart is a native of Charleston South Carolina, USA and holds a Doctorate from the University of South Carolina where his primary composition teacher was Gordon "Dick" Goodwin. He is on the music faculty of the College of Charleston. Charleston Symphony Orchestra Founded in 1936, The Charleston Symphony Orchestra has an interesting history studded with figures of historical significance, much like it's charming home city. DuBose Heyward, whose collaboration with George Gershwin produced Porgy and Bess, composed a prologue especially for the opening night concert. The CSO has played an important role in the history and development of Charleston\'s culture ever since it's establishment. Under the leadership of Music Director David Stahl, the CSO has been consistently dedicated to providing audiences with the finest in classical, opera, pops, jazz, and other musical performances. The CSO annually reaches more than 100,000 people through concerts, outreach activities, and radio broadcasts. David Stahl Since coming to Charleston, David Stahl has transformed the CSO into a leading cultural institution in the region and has received a national ASCAP award for imaginative programming from the American Symphony Orchestra League. Stahl and the CSO have toured throughout North America and in Israel with Porgy and Bess. Mr. Stahl is also the Music Director and Chief conductor of Munich\'s Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz. He has conducted nearly 100 orchestras and opera companies including the Staatskapelle Dresden, Munich Philharmonic, the Cincinatti Orchestra, NDR Orchestra of Hamburg, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Bamberg Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, the Bavarian State Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the New York City Opera, the Washington Opera. A native of New York City, Stahl made his Carnegie Hall debut at the age of 23 and was immediately invited by Seiji Ozawa to become a conducting fellow at Tanglewood. The next year Leonard Bernstein invited Stahl to be Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic. After serving as Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony for four seasons, Mr. Bernstein again called on Stahl to assist him on the Grammy award winning recording of West Side Story.