Soul of a Nation: Four Portraits of Presidential Character
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Four stunning concertos composed by Victoria Bond in collaboration with librettist Myles Lee.

The presidents honored in this album fundamentally altered the structure and development of the United States. Composer Victoria Bond, in collaboration with librettist Myles Lee, MD, has written four concertos for soloist and narrator: “Soul of a Nation” (from which the title of the album was derived) is a portrait of Thomas Jefferson; “The Indispensable Man” illuminates Franklin Roosevelt; “The Crowded Hours” presents Theodore Roosevelt; and “Pater Patriae” honors George Washington. As portraits of personal character, each piece illustrates the inner turmoil each man endured on his journey to immortality. Soloists from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (Frank Almond, Concertmaster), and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (John Bruce Yeh, assistant principal clarinet and Mark Ridenour, assistant principal trumpet), and Gabriela Vargas (flute) join narrators Adrian Dunn, Henry Fogel, Ray Frewen, and David Holloway. Emanuele Andrizzi and Stephen Squires conduct the chamber orchestra and wind ensemble from the Chicago College of performing Arts at Roosevelt University.
Contents:
Victoria Bond, composer
Soul of a Nation: Concerto for Violin and String Ensemble
Frank Almond, violin; Henry Fogel, narrator; Roosevelt University Chamber Orchestra; Emanuele Andrizzi, conductor

Victoria Bond, composer
The Indispensable Man: Concerto for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble
John Bruce Yeh, clarinet; David Holloway, narrator; Chicago College of Performing Arts Wind Ensemble; Stephen Squires, conductor

Victoria Bond, composer
The Crowded Hours: Concerto for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble
Mark Ridenour, trumpet; Ray Frewen, narrator; Chicago College of Performing Arts Wind Ensemble; Stephen Squires, conductor

Victoria Bond, composer
Pater Patriae: Concerto for Flute and Wind Ensemble
Gabriela Vargas, flute; Adrian Dunn, narrator; Chicago College of Performing Arts Wind Ensemble; Stephen Squires, conductor

Review:
"At a time when presidential matters seem continually to dominate the news headlines, it is salutary to look back at previous incumbents of the American presidency who are considered to be game-changes. Composer Victoria Bond has stepped up to the plate with this fascinating concept: In conjunction with librettist Myles Lee, MD, she has produced a set of four works, all with narrator and each spotlighting a solo instrument, to honor four presidents who played decisive roles in American history…Four beautifully contrasted pieces, then, with four contrasted narrators and four equally brilliant soloists. A previous all-Bond disc on Albany was well received in these pages in Fanfare 33:5. Soul of a Nation takes things to an altogether different level in the sheer scope of its ambition. That ambition is a testament to Bond's remarkable depth and versatility. The primary impression left is oa a composer of dignity who has all the elements at her disposal to realize her visions." (Fanfare)

"Oh my, this album -- "Portraits of Presidential Character" -- comes at quite a time, doesn't it? The four works, with music by Victoria Bond and texts by Myles Lee, are tributes to presidents who "fundamentally altered the structure and development of our nation."Most of the people involved in this album are affiliated with the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.…All the works are enjoyable. The music is always interesting, the texts stirring, the playing by soloists and university ensembles excellent, and the narrating resolute and easily understood." (American Record Guide)
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