Orchestral Works
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Major new works by one of America's elder statesmen.

The Pulitzer Prize winning composer, George Walker, composed his Serenata for Chamber Orchestra for the Michigan Chamber Orchestra. It received its premiere in Detroit in October 1983. It received another performance by the New York Philharmonic in July 1984 on a Horizon's 94 concert. The Lyric for Strings was composed in 1946 and premiered that year by the student Orchestra of the Curtis Institute of Music conducted by Seymour Lipkin in a radio concert. It received another performance the following year by Richard Bales and the National Gallery Orchestra. The Poeme for Violin and Orchestra was premiered by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra with Cho-Liang Lin as violin soloist in 1991. It is a revised version of an earlier Violin Concerto. Orpheus for Chamber Orchestra was commissioned by the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra and was completed in 1994. It received its premiere in March 1995. Besides the Chamber Orchestra, it includes a part for narrator and singer. The Folk Songs for Orchestra were completed in the fall of 1990 and was premiered in May 1992 by the Baltimore Symphony under David Zinman. The composer describes his intention as "to set these melodies in an interesting way, in a respectful Orchestral manner. They are wonderful melodies. Four spirituals are quoted intact."
Contents:
George Walker, composer
Serenata for Chamber Orchestra
Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Edwin London, conductor

George Walker, composer
Lyric for Strings
Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Edwin London, conductor, Gregory Walker, violin

George Walker, composer
Poeme for Violin & Orchestra
Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Edwin London, conductor, William Demsey, narrator, Eileen Moore, soprano

George Walker, composer
Orpheus for Chamber Orchestra
Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Edwin London, conductor

George Walker, composer
Folk Songs for Orchestra
Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Edwin London, conductor

Review:
"Although George Walker was the first African American to receive the Pulitzer Prize in music...his compositions are not nearly as well known as they deserve to be. This release of orchestral selections...offers an inviting entrée into Walker's musical world. ...Walker's music is often a rich amalgam of formal design with disparate elements--folk idioms, serial techniques, jazz rhythms, unusual collages of timbre--that are fused into a highly personalized, questing voice. (Amazon.com)
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