Friday, October 16, 2009

Pianist Terrence Wilson Performs Michael Daugherty's 'Deus ex Machina' On Naxos CD

[Above: Terrence Wilson. Below: "Michael Daugherty Metropolis Symphony"; Terrence Wilson, pianist; Nashville Symphony; Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Naxos 8.559635 (2009)]

The new recording of composer Michael Daugherty's “Metropolis Symphony” (42:36), and his piano concerto “Deus ex Machina” (33:19), is Naxos 8.559635 (2009). The CD comes in a cardboard sleeve devoted to cover art for the symphony. An inner cover is shown above, listing the African American pianist Terrence Wilson and the piano concerto as well as the symphony. Both works are performed by the Nashville Symphony, which is conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero, who is from Costa Rica. We conducted an interview of Terrence Wilson in advance of the release. The liner notes are by the composer Michael Daugherty:

Deus ex Machina (2007) for Piano and Orchestra was commissioned by a consortium of the Charlotte, Nashville, New Jersey, and Syracuse Symphony Orchestras and the Rochester Philharmonic. The title Deus ex Machina refers to the Latin phrase, 'god from the machine' . Each of the three movements of the piano concerto is a musical response to the world of trains."

Fast forward (Di andata veloce)
The first movement departs from the Manifesto of Futurism (1909), in which the Italian futurist F.T. Marinetti declared that machine technologies would propel the world toward a universal culture. The image of a speeding locomotive became an icon in modernist art of European painters in the early twentieth century.”

Train of Tears
From April to May of 1865, a 'lonesome train on a lonesome track' with 'seven coaches painted black' carried the body of the assassinated American Civil War President Abraham Lincoln from Washington, D.C. To his home in Springfield, Illinois for burial. During the 1,650-mile journey through seven states, this slow-moving funeral train passed through American cities and towns where memorials were held for millions of mourners who lined the railroad track to give their final farewell to 'Abe' Lincoln.”

“III. Night Steam
By the 1950s, trains in America were powered by electricity or diesel fuel. The only remaining coal-burning steam locomotives were those of the Norfolk and Western railroad line, operating in the states of Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland, where coal was still plentiful.” “In Night Steam, we hear majestic fire-eating steam locomotives rumble and whistle their way through the small towns and lonely back roads of the Shenandoah Valley into extinction.”

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