Guitar Concerto & Two Ballets
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This second volume of Chihara's music on Albany Records features his Guitar Concerto and two ballets.

Paul Chihara writes: "The three pieces on this CD were written when I was a young composer, I had just resigned my teaching position at UCLA (in 1973), and was just entering the free-lance world of movies, Broadway and ballet. Within six months I found myself working on my first film for Roger Corman (Death Race 2000) and first commissioned ballet score (Shinju, for the San Francisco Ballet). Each of the three works on this CD were revised extensively over the last few years, and recorded and mixed with the latest technology in Hollywood and New York. The Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra with Trumpet Obbligato was written for Pepe Romero and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in 1975. Maestro Neville Marriner was the orchestra's first music director, and he chose me to be his first composer-in-residence. Over the years, we have maintained the warmest artistic relationship. The concerto also reflects my friendship with the great Spanish guitarist Pepe Romero, and our mutual fascination for scary movies with their haunting stories and images of tragic, beautiful women. The concerto evokes the mysterious films from Japan from that period: especially Kuroneko (Black Cat) and Onibaba (Demon Woman). Mistletoe Bride (1978) was my second ballet commissioned by the San Francisco Ballet, which subsequently appointed me to be its first composer-in-residence. Its story (and principal musical theme) is based on the tragic ballad of the same name, attributed to Thomas Haynes Bayly (1797-1839). Despite its title and hallucinogenic orchestral textures, Grass has nothing to do with marijuana. It was composed in 1974 for the great avant-garde bass virtuoso Bertram Turetsky, and commissioned by Giora Bernstein and the Claremont Music Festival. It derives its title from the pastoral lyrics of the 17th century English poet Andrew Marvell: his Mower songs, with their obsession for the mysterious Juliana, and the recurring metaphor of grass as a symbol of life and death."
Contents:
Paul Chihara, composer
Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra with Trumpet Obbligato
London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Neville Marriner, conductor, Pepe Romero, guitar, Jens Liindemann, trumpet

Paul Chihara, composer
Mistletoe Bride
London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Neville Marriner, conductor, Susan Botti, soprano

Paul Chihara, composer
Grass (Concerto for Two Double Basses & Orchestra)
London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Nevile Marriner, conductor, Jon Deak and Buell Neidlinger, double basses


Review:
"[Paul Chihara's] polystylistic works, hard to describe because they are never one thing for very long, are nonetheless beautiful, well crafted, and absorbing. ... Fascinating music in outstanding recordings." (American Record Guide)
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