The fifth audio release on The Cleveland Orchestra’s own label once again showcases the ensemble’s unparalleled artistry and polished music-making, alongside as its longstanding commitment to perform and present new repertory under the direction of Music Director Franz Welser-Möst. This album features four works spanning half a century by pioneering American composer George Walker (1922-2018). Together, they demonstrate his wide-ranging musical vision and meticulously-crafted sound-worlds.
A trained concert pianist, George Walker later turned to composition, writing ninety pieces for orchestra, chamber orchestra, and a variety of other instruments and ensembles. The four works on this Cleveland Orchestra album were recorded in live performances in the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Concert Hall at Severance Music Center in Cleveland. Walker’s early lyrical work Antifonys (for string orchestra, 1968) was recorded in October 2020. Also featured is Walker's Lilacs (for voice and orchestra), which received the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Music and is a setting of lines from Walt Whitman’s poem “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.” The Cleveland performance is with soprano Latonia Moore from concerts in March 2022. Two one-movement symphonies are also included: Sinfonia No. 4, “Threads” (2012) and Sinfornia No. 5, “Visions” (2018), recorded at concerts in October 2021.
The album disc release will feature a booklet featuring insights about George Walker’s music and legacy, including program notes on all four pieces and a biographical overview of Walker’s life.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Latonia Moore, soprano
GEORGE WALKER (1922-2018)
1 – Antifonys (for string orchestra)
2 – Sinfonia No. 4, “Threads”
3-6 – Lilacs (for voice and orchestra)
7 – Sinfonia No. 5, “Visions”
Disc: Hybrid SACD Audio Disc (with booklet and digital download access)