String Cosmology
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Highlighting this recording are works by Karel Husa and Steven Stucky.

This recording is taken from live performances of the distinguished Sinfonietta of Riverdale and includes works by American composers Karel Husa and Steven Stucky as well as works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Edward Elgar, and Anton Bruckner. Large enough to perform chamber symphonies, it is also small enough that each of its world class musicians is a featured soloist. Their recordings are on the Arabesque and Albany labels. Conductor Mark Mandarano enjoys an international career as a conductor that has included performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and other major venues in the U.S. and abroad. He has served as principal guest conductor of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, and is now director of the Macalester Symphony Orchestra and artistic director of the Minnesota Youth Symphonies.
Karel Husa, composer
Divertimento for String Orchestra
Sinfonietta of Riverdale; Mark Mandarano (conductor)

Steven Stucky, composer
Colburn Variations
Sinfonietta of Riverdale; Mark Mandarano (conductor)

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, composer
Novelette in C Major, Op. 52, No. 2
Sinfonietta of Riverdale; Mark Mandarano (conductor)

Edward Elgar, composer
Serenade for Strings, Op. 20
Sinfonietta of Riverdale; Mark Mandarano (conductor)

Anton Bruckner, composer
Adagio from Quintet in F Major
Sinfonietta of Riverdale; Mark Mandarano (conductor)

…The five selections on this release were recorded in concert at two different venues in Riverdale from 2014 to 2021. The Stucky and Bruckner works were recorded at the Riverdale Temple in 2014 and 2015 respectively. The remaining selections were recorded at Wave Hill (an estate where Toscanini once resided) in 2016 (Husa) and 2021 (Coleridge-Taylor, Elgar). The sound is vivid and detailed throughout, but the selections recorded at Wave Hill have an edge in spaciousness and transparency. On the evidence of these performances, the Sinfonietta of Riverdale is a fine ensemble, and Mark Mandarano is a very capable conductor. This CD offers a diverse and entertaining program of works for string orchestra in excellent performances, and I have been unable to locate any other recordings of the Husa, Stucky, and Coleridge-Taylor selections, all of which are worth hearing. This release consequently deserves an unequivocal recommendation. Five stars: A diverse and entertaining program of works for string orchestra. (Fanfare)
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