Music of Peter Lieberson, Vol. 1
2007 Grammy Winner: Best Classical Vocal Performance
2007 Grammy Nominee: Best Classical Recording
Peter Lieberson’s is certainly one of the most refreshing compositional voices to have entered the repertoire of the world’s leading orchestras during the past several decades. Lieberson’s music ranges broadly: his compositions address the listener with a generous variety of character, while his harmonic palette expresses richly developed hues of both tonality and atonality. This CD features premiere recordings of three major works, opening with a setting of five Rilke poems written for the composer’s wife, the much admired mezzo-soprano, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Ms. Hunt Lieberson performs along side one of Peter Lieberson’s most devoted champions, the estimable pianist, Peter Serkin. Their impassioned account of Lieberson's Rilke Songs was recorded in concert at the Ravinia Festival. The Horn Concerto was composed for horn and a chamber orchestra, and is played by its dedicatee, the horn virtuoso William Purvis. The eighteen minute composition is in two movements that emphasize the lyrical nature of the horn, but also in the composer’s words, “its feisty, dance-like and humorous” side. The largest work on this disc is The Six Realms, a twenty-seven minute cello concerto in six movements, originally composed for Yo Yo Ma. Based on the composer’s long standing practice of Tibetan Buddhism, The Six Realms reflect the Buddhist realms, which offer a detailed portrait of human consciousness. The music of this utterly original concerto ranges from sensuously lyrical to humorous, and gives full voice to the cello’s ability to sing long lyric lines throughout its range. The cello soloist is Tchaikovsky Competition prize-winner Michaela Fukacova.
“Mr. Lieberson’s Rilke Songs, three of five written for his wife, were a highlight of the evening. Lieberson has created some beautiful contemporary German lieder. Although the poetry is not conventionally romantic, they certainly sound like love songs...Respecting the words’ profundity, intricacy and natural rhythm, his music here is also tinged with a German romantic tonality, and shades of Strauss and Wagner.” - The New York Times
“Every one of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson’s recordings is a treasure. Every Peter Lieberson disc ought to be treasured; Oliver Knussen called his music ‘the real thing.’” - Fanfare
“William Purvis’s superb performance is undoubtedly authoritative and the orchestra accompanies well. The recorded sound, both for the live performance and those in the studio is consistently excellent.” - MusicWeb International