MP3 Rebecca Bower Cherian & Rodrigo Ojeda - Water Awakening
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17 MP3 Songs in this album (70:39) !
Related styles: Classical: Chamber Music, Type: Instrumental
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Rebecca Bower Cherian was awarded the position of
Co-Principal Trombone with the Pittsburgh Symphony by
Lorin Maazel in 1989. She has been trombone instructor
at Carnegie Mellon University since 1993. Ms. Cherian was
a founding member of the International Womenâs Brass
Conference in 1994 and served as the IWBC Newsletter Editor
for five years.
As a California native Ms. Cherian began her professional
career at the age of sixteen as trombonist with the San Jose
Symphony under the direction of George Cleve. At the age of
seventeen she appeared as a soloist with the San Francisco
Symphony as a result of winning First Prize in their Young
Musiciansâ Awards. Ms. Cherian earned her Bachelor of Music
Degree from the California Institute of the Arts and her Master
of Music Degree from the Yale School of Music. While in
school she was awarded First Place in the Atwater Kent Brass
Competition and Outstanding Chamber Music Performer at
Yale. Cherian studied with Robert Szabo and Miles Anderson while in California and John Swallow
at the Yale School of Music.
Before becoming a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Ms. Cherian held the positions of
Principal Trombone with the Springfield Symphony in Massachusetts and The Rhode Island
Philharmonic. She was trombone instructor at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, the
Hartt School of Music and Wesleyan University. As a freelance artist she toured with the
Israel Philharmonic under the Direction of Leonard Bernstein, performed with the Boston Opera,
New York City Ballet, Hartford, New Haven and Vermont Symphonies and Goodspeed Opera House.
In September of 1993 Ms. Cherian enjoyed the honor of performing at the White House in
Washington, D.C. as part of a 15-woman ensemble of brass and percussion players for the opening
reception of the Annual International Womenâs Forum. The group performed the world premiere of
Joan Towerâs fanfare, âCelebrationâ which was dedicated to Hillary Clinton. Ms. Cherian appears
regularly as a soloist and Masterclass Clinician at the IWBC.
Ms. Cherian can be heard on recordings of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under the
direction of Lorin Maazel, Mariss Jansons and Manfred Honeck. She can also be heard on
the Pittsburgh Symphony Low Brass Sectionâs album, From The Back Row released by
Albany Records and available online.
Venezuelan born pianist Rodrigo Ojeda began his piano
studies at the age of ten. He completed his Bachelorâs
Degree in piano performance at the IUDEM (Institute of
Musical Studies) in 1997 under Arnaldo Pizzolante. In 1999
he went on to complete his graduate studies at Carnegie
Mellon University with Enrique Graf where he also remained
to complete his Artist Diploma certificate.
Mr. Ojeda has performed in master classes with such
notable pianists as Kasimierz Giesrod (former rector of the
Frederic Chopin Academy in Warsaw), Marek Joblonsky,
Georgy Sandor, Marta Gulyas, and Earl Wild. His solo
recitals include performances throughout Venezuela,
Ecuador and most recently in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival
in Charleston, South Carolina and in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania. He has performed concerti from an expansive
repertoire of Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Gershwin, Grieg,
Schumann, Mozart, Liszt (Totentanz), Franck and Prokofiev.
Mr. Ojedaâs most recent live television and radio broadcasts include Prokofievâs Piano Concerto
No. 3 with the Orquesta Sinfónica Municipal de Caracas, Venezuela.
Currently Mr. Ojeda is an Artist Lecturer in Piano in the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon
University as well as a piano faculty member in its Music Preparatory School. He has also
been performing regularly in the Pittsburgh Symphony since October 2006. A versatile pianist,
Mr. Ojeda frequently collaborates with chamber ensembles and string, brass and woodwind
soloists in a broad range of repertoire from classical to contemporary.
His wife, Giuseppina, and son, Sebastian, reside with him in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
After decades of dedication to the trombone and music it has been my longtime aspiration to record
a solo CD. I began some 20 years ago by commissioning several American composers to write works
for solo trombone and piano. It was not until January of 2011 that I was finally able to realize this dream
with this recording.
I am introducing two of the new works I commissioned, one by Martin Kennedy and the other by
Robert Elhai. Also on the recording are several underrepresented, yet excellent solos by Roger Boutry,
Vincent Persichetti and Georg Wilkenschildt. I chose and arranged six Gabriel Fauré Vocal âChansons.â
And finally I am including the Jacques Castérède Sonatine and one transcription for solo alto trombone,
Concerto in B-flat major, by Tomaso Albinoni.
1. Theme and Variations by Martin Kennedy (b. 1978)
The Theme and Variations for trombone and piano by Martin Kennedy was written while he was
a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow in composition at the Juilliard School of Music. Kennedy, equally
accomplished as a pianist, studied piano with Jeremy Denk, Evelyne Brancart and Pamela Penick among
others. His composition teachers were Samuel Adler, Milton Babbitt, Claude Baker, Davis Dzubay,
Don Freund and Sydney Hodkinson. He received his Bachelor of Music in both Composition and Piano
Performance at Indiana University as well as his Master of Music in Composition. Kennedy is currently
Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory at Washington University in St. Louis.
The Theme and Variations begins with a very powerful and driving theme in the trombone,
supported by blocks of chords from the piano. There are moments of lyricism which are fully developed
later in several of the variations. From the beginning he introduces offset rhythms, syncopations and
juxtaposition and ambiguity of duple and triple meter which drive the piece. Kennedy incorporates both
harmonic and rhythmic jazz elements throughout his writing. Each variation has its own mood and style.
The first variation has almost a pointillistic characteristic yet never loses sight of its lyricism. Variation
IV fully explores the jazz influence before moving into Variation V where he develops his lyrical ideas to
a climax. It is a beautiful and challenging work which I hope becomes a new standard in the solo
2. â 7. Chansons: Aurore, En Prière, Toujour, Nell, Lydia, Fleur Jetée,
by Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924), arranged by Rebecca Bower Cherian
Tiring of Bordogni Etudes and being an ardent fan of lieder and chanson, I acquired several books
of lieder by various composers including Schumann, Schubert, Brahms and Mozart. But over the years
I have continually returned to my book of Fauré Songs. Their unique, subtle beauty is a consistent
source of inspiration for me.
Fauré developed his own unique and innovative style of songwriting, which was influenced by both
the impressionist and romantic composers. However, he used modality, harmonic nuance, and melody
in ways unlike his contemporaries. He pursued song writing throughout most of his career. The songs
I have chosen are from different periods in his life. By the end of his life, Fauré was recognized as the
leading French composer of his day. Although sometimes criticized for using the text of lesser poets
for his Chansons, I find Fauréâs music always tells its own very sensitive and sophisticated story in
which words are not necessary.
8. Concerto by Roger Boutry (b.1932)
Roger Boutry is an enormously talented pianist, composer, conductor and pedagogue. He studied
at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris with Nadia Boulanger among others.
He has won innumerable, prestigious prizes throughout his schooling and life. He has more than
60 published works and is of course greatly influenced by his fellow countrymen, Ravel and Debussy.
Boutryâs Concerto for trombone and piano consists of four clearly contrasting sections. The
introduction begins with a very uncharacteristic, dark, moody, almost Shostakovich-like introduction.
The trombone soars in the upper register against offbeat, very dense low chords in the piano. The
second section, a jazzy Allegretto still reflects the moodiness of the introduction with its chromaticism
but is more reminiscent of Darius Milhaud. In the calm, at the center of the storm, so to speak, is a
solo cadenza first by the piano and then the trombone. The piece ends in a mixed-meter feel with an
exciting, frenetic Presto/Scherzando.
9. Water Awakening by Robert Elhai (b. 1959)
Robert Elhai is a very talented, successful and busy composer, orchestrator, arranger, pianist, and
accordionist. He has been working on Broadway musicals and Hollywood movies for many years. He
and his colleagues were nominated for Broadwayâs 1998 Tony Award for Best Orchestrations for âThe
Lion King.â He has served as orchestrator for dozens of movies such as âPirates of The Caribbean:
The Curse of the Black Pearl,â âThe Count of Monty Cristo,â âThe Sixth Senseâ and âBattle Los
Angeles.â So how does a composer like this come to write a piece for solo trombone and piano?
I actually commissioned him to write Water Awakening about 20 years ago, before, I am assuming,
he became so busy and well compensated! As a fellow alumna of the Yale School of Music, I had
played a trombone quartet he had written and was very impressed with his writing. I feel fortunate
that I caught him before his Broadway and movie career took off.
As the title suggests, Water Awakening is very evocative of a river; still water, swirling eddies,
rocky obstructions, rapids, undercurrents and dark mysterious depths. The title, as well as the music
is an âawakeningâ or transformation, a metaphoric reference of water as consciousness. Water, being
the source of life includes many disparate elements such as reflection, movement, growth, power,
destruction, erosion and renewal. It is in following this river that we follow our own internal path to
realization. It is through chromaticism and dissonance that Elhai moves us through seemingly calm
waters into the depths. However, like Martin Kennedy he never loses sight of tonality. At the end of the
journey we return to calm waters, but under the surface there still lies a tritone dissonance leaving us
with unanswered questions.
10. â 12. Concerto in B-flat Major by Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni (1671-1751 )
arranged by Branimir Slokar, continuo by Urs Flück
Concerto in B-flat major, Op.7, No.3 was part of a collection of oboe concerti that Albinoni
composed between the years of 1705-1719. He was the first Italian Baroque composer to write concerti
for solo oboe. Iâd like to think that, had he been more familiar with the alto trombone, he would have
written a collection of solo works such as this for the instrument. Albinoni was a prolific and popular
composer in his time, better known for his fifty or so operas than his instrumental music.
Unfortunately, much of this opera music was lost or destroyed during WWII and he became more
widely known through his instrumental music. In spite of his music enjoying some eminence today,
I feel Albinoni is generally underrated.
13. Caprice by Georg Wilkenschildt (1918-1996)
Wikenschildt studied trombone at The Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen with the Principal
Trombonist of the Royal Ballet and Opera Orchestra, Anton Hansen (1877-1947). Hansen, a great
trombone soloist, was considered the Trombone King of Scandinavia of his time. He was also
responsible for reintroducing the slide trombone to the orchestras in Denmark again, after many
years of valve trombones.
Georg Wilkenschildt was not only an outstanding trombonist but a fine pianist as well. However, he
never performed on piano in public. During his lifetime, he became one of the leading trombone players
in Denmark. As a young man, he performed jazz and worked in the recording studios. He can be heard
on several important recordings from the 1940âs with Danish jazz orchestras and leaders such as
Leo Mathisen, Kai Ewans, Erik Tuxen, Bruno Henrichsen, Borge Roger Henriksen and others. He can
also be heard on several Danish films and videos. One can be found on YouTube at âSwing from
Denmark â 1943: Bruno Henriksenâs Orchestra playing Idaho.â
Wilkenschildt won a trombone position with The Royal Ballet and Opera Orchestra and later became
Co-Principal, sharing the solo position with Palmer Traulsen who was the premier trombonist of his
time in Denmark. Recognizing Wilkenschildtâs talent also as a composer, Traulsen encouraged,
motivated and possibly pressured him to compose music for the trombone in all the different keys, the
Caprice being one of them. Traulsen also included 24 small solo pieces in all keys by Wilkenschildt in
the upgraded version of âAnton Hansenâs Trombone Method.â Most of these compositions were
published by Edition Wilhelm Hansen, Copenhagen.
Biography notes on Georg Wilkenschildt by trombone professor Per Gade, Denmark ©2011
The Caprice is a reflection of Wilkenschildtâs prowess on the instrument as it is difficult yet
intrinsically well-written for the trombone. Stylistically, his experience in both the Ballet and Opera
Orchestra and in jazz bands clearly influenced his composition. The introduction to Caprice is bold,
broad and orchestral. The recurring theme that appears in the Andante con affetto is a beautiful lyrical
melody with capricious flourishes. His written cadenza sounds truly improvised, in a perfect blend of
jazz and classical traditions. The middle section to the piece, the Adagietto, amoroso is very
sentimental and is followed by a surprisingly simple, distilled piano solo. He returns to the theme in
the Andante con affetto and concludes the work with some impressive riffs.
14. Parable XVIII, Op. 133 for unaccompanied trombone solo by
Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987)
Vincent Persichetti was born and raised in Philadelphia. A virtuoso pianist and organist he also
studied conducting with Fritz Reiner at the Curtis Institute. The Parable XVIII was one of twenty-five
Parables Persichetti wrote for either solo instruments or small ensembles. He also wrote another
unique set of works entitled Serenade one of which is for trombone, viola and cello.
The Parable for solo trombone has three distinctive sections with two transitions in between. It is
like a Shakespearean monologue. The opening is played in cup mute in a slow, reflective and private
mood. When the mute comes out of the horn the voice moves forward into the world at large. The
fragmented phrases of the middle section are a 20th Century stream of consciousness. The third and
final section returns to looking inward in serious, sorrowful, regretful reflection.
15. â 17. Sonatine by Jacques Castérède (b. 1926)
I have always gravitated toward French trombone literature and the 20th Century Parisian school of
trombone playing. I chose Castérèdeâs work to close the CD because it has been one of my favorites in
the standard trombone repertoire. It is the only piece on the CD that has already been recorded far too
many times, but like a delicious Parisian bon bon, I could not resist.
Jacques Castérède, like several of the other composers I have chosen on this CD, has found his own
unique style incorporating jazz harmonies and rhythms. Interestingly, he was in the same composition
class as Roger Boutry in 1953 at the National Conservatory of Music in Paris. He broadened the
concept of tonality by his use of chromaticism, modalities and diatonic movement. Castérède was
a virtuoso pianist and toured internationally in the 1960âs and 1970âs. In 1953 he was awarded the
Grand Prix de Rome in music composition. He has devoted much of his career to teaching at the
National Conservatory of Music in Paris as well as composing.
This album showcases composers from Denmark, France, Italy and America, from the Baroque
Period through the 21st century. Each work holds a special meaning for me and each I have chosen
for its unique expressive qualities. I hope all of these works will find their way into the standard solo
I would like to thank the following people for their contributions: Rodrigo Ojeda, Erica Brenner,
Thomas Knab, Martin Kennedy, Robert Elhai, Michael Sahaida, Jennifer Habetler, Craig Knox,
Peter Stumpf, Ross Garin, Rob Skavronski, Per Gade, Linda Martin and of course my family, Sujoe,
Rachel and Ben Cherian. I dedicate this CD to the memory of my dear friend and colleague Ted Toupin.
Rebecca Bower Cherian ©2011
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