Friday, June 20, 2014

NCCO: From A to Z

Last month the New Century Chamber Orchestra released a CD of 4 violin concertos, all world premieres & all commissioned for soloist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg & the ensemble. These concertos by Clarice Assad, William Bolcom, Michael Daughtery & Ellen Zwilich resulted from the composers' residencies with the orchestra. The works are pithy & share a feeling of restlessness perhaps inspired by Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg's jumpy performing style. Her solos have a nervous energy, & Assad's Dreamscapes feels anxious & searching. Daughtery's architecture-inspired suite is picturesque, & the stomping rhythms of the final movement of Bolcom's Romanza sound like a ragtime hoe-down. The music is virtuosic for both soloist & orchestra, & everyone's playing is consistently emphatic. There are nice cello & double bass solos scattered throughout, & members of the ensemble clearly had fun doubling on percussion in Zwilich's Commedia Dell’ Arte. Violinist Dawn Harms's drumming is particularly zestful. The CD was recorded live at concerts in the Bay Area & captures the impetuosity of NCCO's performances. The audience can be heard applauding & even whooping at the end of each piece.

§ From A to Z
21st New Century Concertos
New Century Chamber Orchestra
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin soloist & leader

Clarice Assad
Dreamscapes for Solo Violin & String Orchestra (2008)

William Bolcom
Romanza for Solo Violin & String Orchestra (2009)

Michael Daugherty
Fallingwater for Solo Violin & String Orchestra (2013)

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich
Commedia Dell’ Arte for Solo Violin & String Orchestra (2011)

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