ALIAS Chamber Ensemble and Portara Ensemble Release Album of Works by Paul Moravec
Recording includes New Work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Composer
December 7, 2015 (Nashville, TN)- On January 8, 2016 two of Nashville’s most adventurous musical ensembles, the GRAMMY-nominated ALIAS Chamber Ensemble and vocal group Portara Ensemble, will release an album of works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec. Recorded on the Delos label, tracks include the world-premiere recording of Amorisms and a new version of Sacred Love Songs, in addition to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tempest Fantasy.
Co-commissioned by ALIAS, Portara and the Nashville Ballet, Amorisms is a work for string quartet, clarinet and five voices (SSATB). Premiered in Nashville on May 7, 2014, and with choreography by the Ballet on May 29, 2014, Amorisms is musically set to five aphorisms on the subject of love from the works of Shakespeare.
“Amorisms is a dance piece, therefore I wanted to keep the texts short, simple and set repetitively so that once the listener gets the idea for each movement, they can envision more readily the dancing,” Moravec explained.
Also on the recording is Sacred Love Songs, a Renaissance-style work based on religious texts with the meditation “A Prayer of St. Francis.” Adapted for ALIAS and Portara from a small vocal ensemble and recorder quartet to an expanded choir and string quartet, the recording also includes a reworked fourth movement. Closing out the album is the 2004 Pulitzer-Prize winning Tempest Fantasy, an instrumental work for clarinet, violin, cello and piano, inspired by characters or moments in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
“The brilliance of Tempest Fantasy inspired us to choose Paul Moravec for our commission and the recording,” said ALIAS Artistic Director Zeneba Bowers. “Paul is one of the most exciting composers of our time, and it is an honor not only that he created Amorisms and reworked Sacred Love Songs for us, but also that we are able to make recordings of these works.”
“This album is cohesive, musically compelling and moves seamlessly between vocal, instrumental and dance music. That is what I find most exciting about this release,” said Lea Maitlen, Executive Director of Portara.
ALIAS and Moravec have enjoyed previous associations and collaborations prior to this project. In 2004, ALIAS hosted the composer for its performance of Tempest Fantasy in Nashville shortly before it won the Pulitzer Prize. Moravec also arranged one of his choral-orchestral works, “Always, Always,” from Songs of Love and War as a chamber version for ALIAS to perform for a Veteran’s Day program in 2009.