Triple Concerto for Meadowmount
Kenneth Frazelle's new Triple Concerto, commissioned by the renowned Meadowmount School of Music in Westport, NY, was premiered by the Meadowmount String Orchestra at the school's 70th Anniversary Gala on August 4. Soloists were the esteemed Meadowmount alumni James Ehnes, violin, and Robert deMaine, cello, along with Meadowmount director, Eric Larsen, piano.James Albritten conducted.
Psalm 18 Receives First Performance
Rave for A Book of Days and Strata
Kenneth Frazelle's A Book of Days was premiered in March by the trio Strata, who commissioned the piece. The work and its performance earned a rave from reviewer Tom Moore:
This music...was simply sublime, in the deepest sense of the word, a sublimity that one rarely experiences in concert. Indeed, I think the word 'masterpiece' is not too strong for this work. It was beautifully and sensitively rendered by Strata. I hope they will soon record and release it on CD. It deserves to join the core repertoire of the chamber literature.
See the entire review here.
'Year's Best Album'
Kenneth Frazelle's Worldly Hopes is included on an album that tops a short list of 2011's best classical recordings: the Bridge Records release Jan DeGaetani and Gilbert Kalish In Concert. "Tellingly expressive, DeGaetani, the late mezzo-soprano, didn't perform music so much as experience it," writes reviewer Richard Scheinin in the San Jose Mercury News. "Her warm genius shines through this recording of a 1987 recital with pianist Kalish." Read on for more on the CD.
Opera News Likes It, Too
From a review of the CD Jan DeGaetani and Gilbert Kalish In Concert in February's Opera News: "To Kenneth Frazelle's Wordly Hopes, a careful, atmospheric setting of poems by A. R. Ammons, DeGaetani brings such old-fashioned musical values as beauty of tone, cultivated legato and clarity of utterance to the difficult score. (Frazelle was a pupil of Roger Sessions.) The artists approach the work, written for DeGaetani and Kalish in 1985, as both logical and lyrical, and the mezzo-soprano manages some gorgeous high pianissimo effects. As elsewhere, tuning is impeccable."
'A Spectacular Major Piece'; 'Robust and Expansive'
Reviewing Jan DeGaetani and Gilbert Kalish In Concert, Steven Ritter writes in the web magazine Audiophile Audition that Kenneth Frazelle's Worldly Hopes is "a real find, a spectacular major piece that needs to be heard by all lovers of art song." On MusicWeb International, Jonathan Woolf writes that the work is "a sensitive and successful set of five songs, robust and notably expansive in the last, long setting of Rainy Morning." See the article below for more on this wonderful Bridge Records release.
DeGaetani’s Performance of Worldly Hopes
Bridge Records has released an archival recording of mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani’s world premiere performance of Kenneth Frazelle’s Worldy Hopes. Recorded in 1987 from a live performance at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, NC, the concert also includes works by Crumb, Strauss, Debussy and Beethoven. DeGaetani is accompanied by the esteemed pianist Gilbert Kalish, who shepherded this release. DeGaetani, who died in 1989, is well remembered both for her mastery as a vocalist and her advocacy of new music. Available at bridgerecords.com.
Bennington Music Conference
Kenneth Frazelle was composer in residence at the Chamber Music Conference and Composers Forum of the East at Bennington College this summer. Frazelle's residency include the commission and premiere performance of a new work, Winter Turns, for clarinet, viola and piano, by conference participants, as well as the performance of his Piano Trio by conference faculty. See cmceast.org for more information.
Griffey Sings Frazelle in San Francisco
Anthony Dean Griffey’s concert on the prestigious San Francisco Performances series on May 4 included Kenneth Frazelle’s Songs in the Rear View Mirror. Frazelle's work was favorably reviewed at San Francisco Classical Voice. The program was a repeat of Griffey's successful recital at the Kennedy Center last May. He was accompanied by pianist Warren Jones and fiddler Paul Brown.
Wildflowers Hits YouTube
Mikael Darmanie's performance of Kenneth Frazelle's solo piano work, "Wildflowers," can be viewed on YouTube here. The video is of an April 17 performance at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, as part of the "Piano Alive: Music of Living Composers Recital." Darmanie is a 2009 graduate of UNCSA now studying at Cincinatti Conservatory with pianist Awadagin Pratt.
Major Frazelle Work at UNCSA
Kennedy Center Honors
The Kennedy Center Honors Gala, broadcast on December 28, included Kenneth Frazelle's music from Still/Here, the acclaimed dance theater work for choreographer Bill T. Jones, who received one of the Honors. Awards were also given to Paul McCartney and Oprah Winfrey, with President and First Lady Obama in attendance.
Kenneth Frazelle's music for Jones was also broadcast on the CBS Early Morning Show the same week.
Frazelle's score for Still/Here was written in 1994 for the folksinger Odetta. The controversial piece toured the world for two years, and was seen by several million viewers. The work was also the subject of a PBS documentary by Bill Moyers.