Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Release: Mark O'Connor

The latest from OMAC is Mark O'Connor's Americana Symphony. The release has O'Connor's Symphony No. 1 "Variations on Appalachia Waltz" and his Concerto No. 6 "Old Brass." Simply put, it is music that reflects the hope of our nation and times.

O'Connor brilliantly builds on his own music in his symphony. Each movement embraces a different aspect of our country, from dances and jigs to scenes of the sky, sun and open spaces. After numerous performances around the country (and I expect there to be many more as this release is heard by managers and audiences alike) the Baltimore Symphony recorded the Americana Symphony with director Marin Alsop. Let's hope Mark pens at least eight more of them!
The other work featured is O'Connor's sixth concerto. It was inspired by a Frank Lloyd Wright plantation in South Carolina. If there is one thing that can out shine Mark O'Connor's composition, it is Mark O'Connor's violin playing. O'Connor fiddles, twangs and charms his melodies in brilliant orchestrations with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. Set as a traditional concerto as fast-slow-fast, there is nothing formulaic about it.
Take a listen to an interview with Mark O'Connor from this last December. [mp3 file] Afternoon Host John Clare

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