Music of Gerald Levinson
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Works for orchestra by the distinguished composer Gerald Levinson, beautifully performed by Orchestra 2001 and James Freeman.

The conductor James Freeman writes: "When a young composer named Gerald Levinson applied for a position in Swarthmore College's Music Department (of which I was then acting chair) more than 20 years ago, I was struck by an extraordinarily luminous, beautifully written piece called in dark which he had included in his portfolio. That piece and several others in the same folder showed so much imagination, feeling for color, and downright compositional skill that I had no doubt this was the composer we were looking for. A heartfelt and passionate letter from Olivier Messiaen only added to my departmental colleagues' and my own conviction that Levinson must be "the real thing." We were counting on the new person to teach the major part of our theory cycle, and young Levinson had absolutely no teaching experience of any kind. Nonetheless, we took a chance and hired him. Anyone who wrote such wonderful music had to be a great teacher and he was. When Orchestra 2001 was founded in 1988, it was the music of George Crumb (which is currently being recorded for Bridge) and Gerald Levinson that I especially wanted to bring to new audiences." The critic Paul Griffiths has written: "What must thrill anyone who comes in contact with Gerald Levinson's music is its sheer joy in sound, and the decisiveness with which it sings or dances its way through time.... In sympathy with sound, in sympathy with time, Levinson's music is close to the natural phenomena on which all music depends. Two things spring from this. One is that his music can easily evoke other natural phenomena: the sea, the stars, rugged landscapes. The other is that this music is in tune with other kinds of music from around the world. Levinson's resources are classical western: he writes for the symphony orchestra, for the piano, and for chamber groupings of conventional instruments. His disciplines, too, are those of the western tradition. But the east was present in his music even before his first trip there. His works, right through his career so far, exist on companionable terms with Mahler's music and with Bali's, with Ravel's and with Japan's, with Messiaen's and with India's, with Stravinsky's and with China's, with America's symphonic tradition and with Tibet's slow melody. Out of all this he is creating, piece by piece, a world of his own."
Contents:
Gerald Levinson, composer
Time and the Bell
Orchestra 2001, Marcantonio Barone, piano, James Freeman, conductor

Gerald Levinson, composer
Chant des rochers
Orchestra 2001, James Freeman, conductor

Gerald Levinson, composer
For the Morning of the World
Orchestra 2001, James Freeman, conductor

Review:
Review to come.
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