Finding Home with Philip Mann Conducting Released on SONY Classics
Ensemble Bravura’s debut album features Grammy Winner Jason Vieaux, renowned flutist Alexa Still, three world premieres and works of Aaron Copland, Michael Fine, Aaron Jay Kernis and Sergei Prokofiev.
SONY Classics announces the debut release of Philip Mann conducting Ensemble Bravura on the storied label. Mann, who has previously recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra and Roayal Scottish National Orchestra, created 'Finding Home' with a vision of illustrating and celebrating the music of the composers who unexpectedly found homes - musical and otherwise - in unexpected places. Central to his endeavor were the connections shared by American composers Aaron Copland, Michael Fine and Aaron Jay Kernis in their Jewish American residency at the behest of Russian Jewish immigrants to the United States. The result is an evocative album of music that spans more than a century but reveals timeless, shared inner bonds and immutable common inspirations.
Maestro Mann commissioned Fine's "Concierto del Luna" for flute and guitar specifically for this recording. Flutist, Alexa Still and guitarist Jason Vieaux appear in the world premiere as soloists. Utilizing a common and favored pairing, flute and guitar, Michael Fine scored a first-of-its-kind concerto for chamber orchestra.
“A Time for Uncertainties,” a selection from composer Michael Fine’s “Three Orchestral Essays” also receives its world premiere. Acclaimed pianist Tatiana Roitman Mann joins Alexa Still in the first recording of the flute and piano version of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Air, previously popularized in its violin and piano/orchestra versions.
Ensemble Bravura is, as its name suggests, a group of soloists. Leading the ensemble for this recording was Naumberg laureate and violin virtuoso, Grace Park. Noted clarinetist, Alexander Bedenko, is featured on Sergei Prokofiev’s Overture on Hebrew Themes.
The album’s largest and most celebrated work, Copland’s Appalachian Spring Suite (Ballet for Martha), receives a performance with Mo. Mann in its original 13-piece version, with slightly expanded string section.
In addition to appearing as composer, Grammy Award winner, Michael Fine, produced this recording at Hemmle Recital Hall, at Texas Tech University in the USA. Hideki Isoda was tonmeister.
Making its recording debut on SONY Classics, Ensemble Bravura, is an innovative group of soloists and versatile artists committed to exceptional performances of masterworks, championing the music of living composers, and collaborating with leading artists. Conducted by founding artistic director, Philip Mann, Ensemble Bravura is led by Naumberg laureate and concert artist, Grace Park. Members appear regularly on the world’s stages as soloists, are winners of numerous international competitions, and perform as principal musicians in great orchestras such as the London and Chicago Symphonies, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, and organizations like the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, NY.
Phillip Mann on the Title Track:
"The title 'Finding Home' is a direct reference to the Fourth Movement of Michael Fine’s Suite for Strings. It is a work of sumptuous beauty that conjures a longing to arrive in a place of comfort and belonging. This sentiment was something experienced by all four composers on this album, and indeed what so many solo musicians yearn for in our transient, international lives. This unspoken common experience of Ensemble Bravura members was laid bare during an intensely moving recording session of Finding Home, and our album title was immediately evident."
Jason Vieaux on the Concierto del Luna recording:
"Collaborating with Philip Mann many times over the years has always been a great pleasure, so when he asked me to be a part of this bold new work by Michael Fine with Ensemble Bravura, I was especially excited to hear that the flutist was to be Alexa Still. It was a fantastic collaboration."
Alexa Still on Kernis’ Air, and Fine’s Concierto del Luna:
"'Air' is a heartfelt prayer perfect for the times we live in, and Michael Fine’s stunning concerto, withJason Vieaux and Philip Mann’s inspired guidance, is a treasure I am thrilled to share."
Philip Mann on the commission of the Concierto del Luna:
"The commission of Concierto del Luna came from my previous memorable experiences in working with Jason Vieaux and Alexa Still, and our desires to add a meaningful and versatile work to the concerto repertoire with a previously unexplored concerto instrument pairing. Michael Fine creatively and skillfully scored the solo instruments into a dynamic relationship with the orchestra evocative of a modern concerto grosso."
Alexander Bedenko, on Prokofiev’s Hebrew Themes and Ensemble Bravura’s recording:
"I am thrilled to be a part of this incredible recording and excited to make my SONY debut with a signature piece in the Prokofiev. It was one of my most memorable and remarkable experiences working with Philip Mann, whose musical ideas and passion are absolutely unique."
Philp Mann on the album Finding Home:
"This project was a labor of love—bringing music of uncommon beauty and profound poignance to life with esteemed musicians similarly interested in exploring this repertoire’s myriad connections. As is the case in the greatest of chamber music performances, the most profound of connections uncovered was that experienced among the musicians in performance. Listeners will sense this in the performances; I hope they will also hear the premiere works played with passion while experiencing beloved works anew."
Alexa Still on the album Finding Home:
This project is an intensely gratifying convergence of working with musicians I have admired from afar, guitarist Jason Vieaux and pianist Tatiana Roitman, as well as musicians I consider long term friends from all over the world; conductor Philip Mann, composer/producer Michael Fine, and pieces I adore.