Kennedy Portrait
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Masterful settings of Pierrot Lunaire using the 29 not included in Schoenberg's settings.

Settings from Pierrot Lunaire (1987-90) was commissioned by the Arnold Schoenberg Institute in honor of the 75th anniversary of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire (1912). In connection with a conference at the Arnold Schoenberg Institute to celebrate the 75th anniversary, Leonard Stein, the director of the Institute conceived a project that would provide a more lasting commemoration: "The commissioning of musical settings of the other 29 poems of the Pierrot cycle not included in the original 21 of Schoenberg's work." The performing ensemble would be the same. The orchestration of Settings from Pierrot Lunaire took place over a period of five years, 1990-94. The work was recorded for this CD on October 21, 2001. Vintage Renaissance (1989) was first performed on June 10, 1989 by the Boston Pops with John Williams conducting. In the 1980s, the Boston Pops Orchestra started on a project of commissioning new works as well as special arrangements from Broadway, film and the popular music world. Among those serious composers commissioned to write new works were Peter Maxwell Davies, Oliver Knussen, Joseph Schwantner, John Adams and William Kraft. The Symphony of Sorrows was given its first performance by Gerard Schwartz and the Seattle Symphony in 1995. A Kennedy Portrait (Contextures III) was commissioned by the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of President Kennedy. Its conductor, Ben Zander was the person who commissioned the work and gave it its first performance on November 19, 1988.
William Kraft, composer
Settings from Pierrot Lunaire
Jane Manning, soprano, Royal Liverpool Orchestra, Paul Polivnick, conductor

William Kraft, composer
Vintage Renaissance
Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Paul Polivnick, conductor

William Kraft, composer
Symphony of Sorrows
Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Paul Polivnick, conductor

William Kraft, composer
A Kennedy Portrait
John Shea, narrator,Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Paul Polivnick, conductor

" is a fine and important collection." (American Record Guide)
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