Godfrey Winham | Roger Sessions: Orchestral Works
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Major orchestral works by Godfrey Winham coupled with Roger Sessions' Piano Concerto.

Sonata for Orchestra is a large, unfinished tonal work that Godfrey Winham was working on just before he died in 1975 at the age of 40. The first two movements were completed but the third had just been begun at the time of his death. This is a world premiere recording. The Composition for Orchestra was written in 1953 as a musical example of his thesis, Composition with Arrays. Winham was studying with Roger Sessions at the time of this work. The Piano Concerto by Roger Sessions is one of three he concertos he wrote and exemplifies the qualities that have made Sessions one of America's foremost composers: rhythmic vitality, orchestral brillance, dramatic power, and great melodic beauty. Pianist Barry David Salwen enjoys an international career as a concert pianist. Additionally he is a long time faculty member of the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He was the first to record the complete solo piano music of Roger Sessions, which appears on Albany Records. Conductor Joel Suben is known for championing new works by American and European composers, having led first performances and commercial recordings of some 500 works. His discography is extensive and appears on the Naxos, Albany, New World, Centaur, CRI, and Parnassus labels.
Godfrey Winham, composer
Sonata for Orchestra
Orchestra of the West; Joel Suben (conductor)

Godfrey Winham, composer
Composition for Orchestra
Orchestra of the West; Joel Suben (conductor)

Roger Sessions, composer
Piano Concerto
Barry David Salwen (piano); Polish Radio National Symphony; Joel Suben (conductor)

"This all-too-brief release demonstrates both the incredible range of compositional possibility in 12-tone music s well as the continuing need for writing that gives it the justice it deserves. First, the music. Godfrey Winham (193401975) was born in the UK, studied with Hans Keller, and eventually moved to the US to take a doctorate Princeton…his dissertation consists of an essay and the Composition for Orchestra (1963). It uses 12-tone arrays, which are networks of 12-tone lines whose verticals also contain sonorities of all 12 tones…Winham's Composition, however, is anything but forbidding; although it is often dissonant, there are just as often passages where the presentation of all 12 tones is spread farther out or contains repetitions, with the result that the music often sounds like late romantic music. A German predilection is present, but the result is never as dense as Schoenberg or as sickly sweet as Berg. It is an astonishing piece. We also get a fine performance of Roger Sessions's only piano concerto (1956).…Unlike the Winham Composition, the listener will not find it surprising that this is a 12-tone work. Still, I think it rewards repeated hearings.…" (American Record Guide)
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