The Ceiling of Heaven
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A recording celebrating the 60th anniversary of this music festival and the music of Allen Shawn and Donald Crockett.

The Chamber Music Conference and Composers' Forum has reached the venerable age of 60, and it is very appropriate indeed that the Conference celebrates, at least in part, with a new recording of music played by members of its outstanding and musically vibrant faculty. Every summer for these past six decades, the Conference itself has been a celebration of the love of music making, involving Conference faculty and participants from around the world in a heady fusion of musical activities: public concerts, including frequent world premieres, professionally-coached rehearsals and intensive study sessions, lectures and seminars addressing a wide range of topics. From the beginning in 1945, participation by composers has been an integral feature of the Conference. Among the founders were composers Otto Luening and Richard Donovan. Among the many distinguished composers who have been in residence over the years are Henry Brant, Elliott Carter, Stephen Hartke, Jennifer Higdon, Libby Larsen and Steven Stucky. The recording presents a small but highly representative sample of what the Conference is all about. Vermont composer and Bennington College faculty member Allen Shawn (brother, incidentally, of playwright/actor Wallace Shawn) has been a Resident Composer and frequent guest at the Conference. His string quartet Sleepless Night and the Wind Quintet (a commission by long-time participants) are fine examples of his lyrical style. Donald Crockett, from Los Angeles, was in residence at the Conference in 1999, and since 2002 has been the Conference's Senior Composer-in-Residence. The Ceiling of Heaven was commissioned by the Conference. Fans of contemporary American chamber music will recognize many of the performers from their recordings (cellist Maxine Neuman, a member of the Conference faculty, is a specialist in this material) and will greatly enjoy this significant release.
Donald Crockett, composer
Horn Quintet "La Barca"
Joseph Anderer, French horn, Elizabeth Wright, piano, Shem Guibbory, violin, Joseph Gottesman, viola, Maxine Neuman, cello

Allen Shawn, composer
Sleepless Night
Eriko Sato, Sheila Reinhold, violins, Masako Yanagita, viola, Michael Finckel, cello

Allen Shawn, composer
Wind Quintet No. 2
Sue Ann Kahn, flute, Jacqueline Leclair, oboe, Marianne Gythfeldt, clarinet, Joseph Anderer, French horn, Lauren Stuggs, bassoon

Donald Crockett, composer
The Ceiling of Heaven
David Oei, piano, RenŽe Jolles, violin, Nicholas Cords, viola, Edward Arron, cello

Review to come.
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