Scarlett & Blue
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If you like Copland, then Ward's music is a "must listen."

Robert Ward provides the following notes: "The Concerto for Violin draws on many strands of my musical background. The first movement is a chaconne based on a 12-tone theme. It is made up of some 27 variations which sometimes demand pyrotechnical display and at others call for intense lyricism or lighthearted playfulness. The slow movement is a "blues" which reflects my war years when I led a swing band as part of my duties as an Army bandleader. The movement just trails off until it is rather rudely interrupted by the Finale. Here again the music is out of my jazz experience and the earlier influence of Gershwin, Copland, and Harris. The movement is nonetheless in a straightforward sonata form within which a fugue is included. The Suite from The Scarlet Letter is a ballet in seven scenes based on the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne's magnificent story proved to be an endless source of inspiration and a great challenge. In planning the work the choreographer and I have tried to accomplish in the "story ballet" the same close interweaving of plot and music that prevails in my opera, "The Crucible," based on the play by Arthur Miller. Each scene involves a principal dramatic climax in Hawthorne's novel and musical ideas are specifically associated with characters or elements of the story."
Robert Ward, composer
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
Winston Salem Symphony, Peter Perret, conductor, Sarah Johnson, violin

Robert Ward, composer
Suite from Scarlet Letter
Winston Salem Symphony, Peter Perret, conductor

"...The real heart of this release is Ward's splendiferous score for a choreographic release of Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter... Ward's thirty-six minute work in seven continuous sections paints a broad canvas, which, with its seamless narrative drive and varied, inexhaustible musical incident, can be listened to without any prior knowledge of the specific literary program as a wonderful sequence of thematically interrelated sound pictures which together form symphonic poem..." (Fanfare)
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