Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Sergio A. Mims: Trevor Weston Choral Works, Acis album performed by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street with its famed director, conductor and composer Julian Wachner

Trevor Weston Choral Works
Choir of Trinity Wall Street
Julian Wachner
Acis APL72290 (2016) (76:58)

Sergio A. Mims alerts us to the above new CD Trevor Weston Choral Works

Dr. Trevor Weston is Associate Professor of Music at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.   He came to our attention when he reconstructed the Concerto in One Movement of Florence B. Price (1887-1953), the first African American woman composer to have a symphony performed by a major symphony orchestra.  Pianist Karen Walwyn and the New Black Music Repertory Ensemble performed the work under the direction of Leslie B. Dunner, conductor, on Albany Records Troy 1295 (2011).

Trinity Wall Street | Julian Wachner | APL72290 | DDD  76:58 


Today, Acis releases an album of choral works by acclaimed composer Trevor Weston performed by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street with its famed director, conductor and composer Julian Wachner, On this recording, the Choir is joined by The Trinity Youth Chorus and NOVUS NY (Trinity’s resident contemporary music orchestra) in order to fully embrace the breadth of styles contained in Weston’s eclectic and diverse music. This is the first album dedicated entirely to Weston’s music.

Acis’s Founder and CEO Geoffrey Silver says, “Trinity is simply an incredible talent, and a versatile and veritable stable of ensembles under the thrilling and singular artistic vision of Julian Wachner. Everything really came together superbly for this project, and in terms of honouring the intentions of the composer, Julian and Trevor have known each other since singing together as boy choristers under Gerre Hancock at St Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, so the whole process was beautifully seamless. It was an amazing collaborative experience and I’m excited at the album’s potential.”

As peerless interpreters of both early and new music, the GRAMMY®-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street has changed the realm of 21st-century vocal music, breaking new ground with its artistry described as “blazing with vigour…a choir from heaven” (The Times, London). This premiere ensemble can be heard in New York City and around the world in performances alternately described as “thrilling” (The New Yorker), “musically top-notch” (The Wall Street Journal), and “simply superb” (New York Times). The choir leads the liturgical music on Sundays at Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, and also performs in Bach at One, Compline by Candlelight, and many other concerts and festivals throughout the year, often with the Trinity Baroque Orchestra and NOVUS NY. Critically acclaimed annual performances of Handel’s Messiah are part of its long and storied tradition, and attending the Choir’s performances at Trinity’s annual Twelfth Night Festival has quickly become the holiday tradition of many New Yorkers as well. The Choir has toured extensively throughout the United States, making appearances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Berkeley Early Music Festival, BAM Next Wave Festival, and the Prototype Festival. The choir is also increasingly in demand internationally, and recent seasons have seen performances at Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and London’s Barbican Theatre. The Choir has been featured with the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the New York Philharmonic, and with the Rolling Stones on their 50th anniversary tour. In addition to their GRAMMY®-nominated Israel in Egypt CD, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street has released several recordings with Naxos, Musica Omnia, VIA Recordings, and Avie Records. This is the Choir’s Acis debut.

With multiple GRAMMY® nominations to his credit, conductor Julian Wachner’s recordings are with Chandos, Naxos, Atma Classique, Erato, Cantaloupe Music, Arsis, Dorian, Acis, and Musica Omnia. He is published exclusively by E. C. Schirmer and is represented worldwide by Opus 3 Artists. As Director of Music and the Arts at Trinity Church Wall Street, Wachner oversees an annual season of hundreds of events, with duties that include conducting Trinity’s flagship weekly series, Bach at One, which canvasses the entire choral-orchestral output of J. S. Bach; and leading Compline by Candlelight, Trinity’s innovative fully improvised variation on the ancient monastic ritual. He serves as the Principal Conductor of NOVUS NY, The Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street. Wachner also enjoys an active guest conducting schedule, including performances with the San Francisco Opera; the Philadelphia Orchestra; Glimmerglass Opera; Hawaii Opera Theater; the Montreal, Pacific, Calgary, and Pittsburgh Symphonies; The New York Philharmonic; Carnegie Hall Presents; Seraphic Fire; National Sawdust; The National Arts Centre Orchestra; Juilliard Opera Theater; Lincoln Center Festival; Philharmonia Baroque; Hong Kong Philharmonic; Bang on a Can All-Stars; New York City Opera; and Apollo’s Fire. Wachner’s long-term commitment to new music is evident in Trinity’s collaborations with living composers alongside Trevor Weston, such as Du Yun, Paola Prestini, Ralf Gawlick, Elena Ruehr, and Julia Wolfe, whose 2015 Pulitzer Prize–winning and GRAMMY®-nominated work Anthracite Fields was recorded with the choir.

The Trinity Youth Chorus brings together talented youth ages 5—18 from the five boroughs of New York City under Melissa Attebury, Trinity Wall Street’s Associate Director of Music and the Arts. The Chorus performs alongside The Choir of Trinity Wall Street at worship services and concerts. Recent successes include participation in the Prototype Festival, Ginastera’s Turbae ad Passionem Gregorianam at Carnegie Hall, a performance with Bobby McFerrin, music for the films Love is Strange and Doubt, and as part of Fashion Week 2014. The Trinity Youth Chorus also sang backup for Josh Groban and for The Rolling Stones, and has appeared on CBS’s The Early Show and Public Radio International.

Trinity Wall Street’s contemporary music orchestra, NOVUS NY, hailed by The New Yorker as “expert and versatile musicians,” conquers a variety of new music repertoire meeting “every challenge with an impressive combination of discipline and imagination” (New York Classical Review). In its first season, NOVUS NY was featured in Trinity’s observance of the 10th anniversary of the events of 9/11. Of the week-long tribute the New York Times wrote, “If there is such a thing as a musical blessing, Trinity Church conferred it on a neighborhood and a city still in need of one.”  The orchestra is an integral part of Trinity’s musical outreach, which has included such critically acclaimed series as Twelve in ’12, the Stravinsky Festival, Celebrating Britten, and Lamentatio. NOVUS NY recently made its milestone Carnegie Hall debut alongside The Washington Chorus and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street with Charles Ives’ Symphony No. 4 and Ginastera’s epic Turbae ad Passionem Gregorianam.

Trevor Weston’s music has been called a “gently syncopated marriage of intellect and feeling.” (Detroit Free Press).  Weston’s honors include the George Ladd Prix de Paris from the University of California, Berkeley; a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; and residencies from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the MacDowell Colony. He has received performances from The Boston Children’s Chorus, St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue Choir, The Starling Chamber Orchestra, Mallarme Chamber Players, The Providence Singers, The Tufts Chamber Chorus, The UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus, The Washington Chorus, Trilogy: An Opera Company, and The Manhattan Choral Ensemble. Weston completed the re-orchestration of Florence Price’s Piano Concerto for the Center for Black Music Research. Weston’s Griot Legacies, for choir and orchestra, premiered in Boston, August 2014, after he completed a short residency for the Boston Landmarks Orchestra. Griot Legacies presents new, innovative versions of four African American Spirituals and demonstrates Weston’s “knack for piquant harmonies, evocative textures, and effective vocal writing.” (The Boston Globe). Weston is currently an Associate Professor of Music at Drew University, where he served as the department chair from 2011 to 2014. His primary composition teachers were T. J. Anderson, Olly Wilson, Andrew Imbrie, and Richard Felciano. This is the first album dedicated to his choral works.​
Named after Handel’s opera, Acis and Galatea, Acis is a boutique label with a roster that boasts emerging and GRAMMY®-nominated  and GRAMMY®-winning  classical artists. Acis receives consistent praise for capturing these artists with all the energy and flair of a live performance. The label recently attracted the attention of The New York Times and The New Yorker for their “best-of-2014” lists.

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