Performers: Bohuslav Martinu String Quartet and
Electric Symphony Soloists
MUSIC OF JAMES FORTE
WILDFLOWER RECORDINGS WFR0211CD
Quartet of the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic
Miroslav Køivánek, Violin 1; Jitka Hanáková, Violin 2;
Oldøich Šebestik, Viola; Martina Pášmová, Violoncello
Electric Symphony Soloists
Raymond Herbert, Electronic Piano;
Hilliard Greene, Doublebass;
Nancy Mosehauer Forte, Soprano;
James Forte, Synthesizers
About the Music
The early work, Quartet No. 3, stands as a portal to the composer’s artistic life and opens with explosive force and dramatic effort full of determination and longing. I had not looked at this work for many years and when reviewing it instinctively continued where it left off, but now many years later. Numbered as a separate Quartet (No. 4), the first movement includes a paraphrase of the aria, “Welcome Home Love” from the composer’s musical drama, Hidden Mountain. A large stretch of the aria’s paraphrase towards the end of the movement, exquisitely performed here by the Bohuslav Martinu Quartet. Earlier in the work there is a borrowing the of the Old One Hundredth hymn tune which my wife, Nancy, sings with such deep effect. She also premiered the aria. The second movement continues something of the mood of the third quartet, with continued vigor and intense longing. The last movement is a duet between the violin and cello weaving in and out of meter and singing a song of beauty and repose. Quartet No 3 was composed in a 24 hour period and Quartet No 4 was composed in less than a week.
The two smaller pieces for piano, Sometime for Piano and V, are pieces of deep and tender mood. Cool Dawn, for synthesizers and double bass, is a bit of carving music out of the thin air. It is a very happy collaboration between performers. I have known Hill for many years and enjoyed his friendship and musical support. He is an amazing bassist and jazz musician who seems to grow every time I hear him. This work has precious few notes on the page. Some of the bass notes and the beginning of its solo were given, but the solo, in good jazz musician fashion, is the bassist’s own creation. Hence the designation, that I have put for the creators of this work: Forte and Greene.
Piano Sonata No. 3, In Memoriam, was written in two or three days. Even after completing the work, I did not realize what it was about. A short time afterwards, I realized it and added the titles. I was surprised because I had only a little experience of funerals of loved ones. Since that time, with the progress of the years, I have had that experience all too often. In Winter’s Sky is a song about love, beautifully performed by Nancy and Ray.
Track 01 String Quartet No. 3 6:39
String Quartet No. 4
Track 02 Movement 1 3:35
Track 03 Movement 2 3:07
Track 04 Movement 3 3:37
Track 05 Sometime for Piano 4:27
Track 06 V 2:50
Track 07 Cool Dawn (Forte-Greene) 4:36
Synthesizers and Doublebass
Piano Sonata No. 3 - “In Memoriam”
Part I: Bereavement:
Track 08 1) Announcement, 1:40
Track 09 2) Recollections, 0:49
Track 10 3) Dirge, 1:22
Part II: Resolution:
Track 11 1) Recollections and Rededication 4:25
Track 12 Winter’s Sky 2:17
Voice and Electronic Piano
Music of James Forte
Performed by: Quartet of the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic: Miroslav Køivánek, Violin 1; Jitka Hanáková, Violin 2; Oldøich Šebestik, Viola; Martina Pášmová, Violoncello
Electric Symphony Soloists: Raymond Herbert, Electronic Piano; Hilliard Greene, Doublebass; Nancy Mosehauer Forte, Soprano; James Forte, Synthesizers
Composer, keyboardist, author, poet and Spiritual Being James Forte has long been a hero to this reviewer. The reasons why become even more apparent in his latest album, Music of James Forte. Here is an assemblage of music that traces his creative life from 1967 to the present. Here is music that puts new meaning into the word, "heartfelt".
There are seven magnificent works done on twelve tracks on Music of James Forte, totaling over forty minutes of musical emotion and Spirit. It all begins with Mr. Forte's String Quartet Number 3 which he composed in 1967, as a young man. It is filled with instrumental techniques that serve to highlight the beauty and love of his compositions.
Thirty-four years later, in 2002, String Quartet Number 4 was composed by an older and wiser James Forte. The emotion is the same---Mr. Forte's heart is constant. Number 4 soars while Number 3 seems to scamper. Both pieces are beautiful and played perfectly by the Quartet of the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic.
Showing his unlimited versatility, Mr. Forte's seventh track, Cool Dawn, is a moving, elegant and, in this reviewer's opinion, very far-reaching piece for synthesizer and double bass. To listen to Cool Dawn is to voyage to the heavens.
Piano Sonata Number 3, In Memoriam, is a somber, thoughtful and evocative piece that musically honors a life and a death. It is a wonderful tribute that leads the listener through bereavement to understanding, and then on to resolution.
Finally, this reviewer was privileged to hear Nancy Mosehauer Forte perform In Winter's Sky. Mr. Forte's composition (and electronic piano) are enhanced by Nancy's superb voice. Music of James Forte is part of a musical autobiography of a star. James Forte has enhanced our lives with a gift that surely emanates from a higher power!
Music: classical, new age, electronic
Original classical music from a master composer and musician. Poetry in music that is heroic, beautiful, meaningful and grand!
Metaphysical reviews; Richard Fuller, Senior Editor
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Performers: Bulgarian National Philharmonic Choir “Svetoslav Obretenov”
Luba Ivanova Pesheva and
Valeri Vatchev, conductors
AND THE DAY AFTER I DIE
Bulgarian National Philharmonic Choir
Luba Ivanova Pesheva and Valeri Vatchev, conductors
Valentina Hristova soprano
Nina Krasteva soprano
Feodor Katranov tenor
Stanimir Baleev vibraphone
Ivo Lulchev doublebass
Borislav Simeonov doublebass
Kristian Kosev doublebass
WILDFLOWER RECORDINGS WFR0212CD
Madrigals for a New Age
4:22 1. Blow Winds
3:58 2. They That Dwell in the Fields of Rushes
2:53 3. And the Day After I Die
5:04 4. We Meet But to Part
1:11 5. Angel Chorus: In Moonlight
0:50 8. Angel Wings, for chorus and vibraphone
2:38 9. Out of Love, for chorus with doublebass
Tracks 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11, Luba Ivanova Pesheva, conductor; Tracks 2, 3, 4, and 10, Valeri Vatchev, conductor.
Performers: Philharmonia Bulgarica
Valeri Vatchev, conductor
SUITE FOR STRINGS
by James Forte
Philharmonia Bulgarica Valeri Vatchev, conductor
Suite for Strings:1. Adagio for Strings; 2. Sad Valley; 3. Angel Voices - Wendy’s Flowers
“Angel Voices - Wendy’s Flowers, might just qualify as
the most beautiful written by a modern composer ... “
Metaphysical Reviews; Richard Fuller.
Each movement of Suite for Strings is borrowed from one or another of the composer's works united here in being music for the string ensemble (movements 1 and 3 include harp) and in a natural continuity of mood and event. Angel Voices is dedicated to Jim and Wendy, both naturalists and teachers who are dear friends of the composer and his wife.
James Forte, composer, has won praise for his music from listeners, radio program hosts and reviewers across much of the world. With his art steeped in the rich cultures of human history, he has composed in the major forms plus using electronic instruments in a new and creative way.
Valeri Vatchev, conductor, has earned high praise for his performances and recordings with the many orchestras he has conducted throughout Europe.
Philharmonia Bulgarica is an established ensemble, comprised of the finest musicians from Bulgaria, which records and concertizes throughout Europe.