Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony Celebrate a GRAMMY Win

January 29, 2018

Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony Celebrate a GRAMMY Win for their Naxos recording of Jennifer Higdon’s All Things Majestic as they Announce the Release of Their Latest Album of World Premiere Recordings of Contemporary Masters

Featuring three of the orchestra’s principal musicians, new recording includes Wind Concertos by Behzad Ranjbaran, Frank Ticheli and Brad Warnaar

“Both onstage and on disc the [Nashville Symphony] has developed a considerable reputation for specializing in American music, appropriate to a stellar representative of America’s self- proclaimedMusic City.” – The New York Times

As they celebrate their latest GRAMMY win for Best Classical Compendium for their Naxos recording of Jennifer Higdon’s All Things Majestic, the Nashville Symphony and Giancarlo Guerrero announce the release of their latest Naxos recording, which continues to advance the Symphony’s mission to promote contemporary American orchestral music. On February 9th, 2018, Naxos will release world premiere recordings of three concertos for wind instruments, each featuring Nashville Symphony principal players. The new album highlights the work of three very distinct composers: Arts & Letters Award recipient Frank Ticheli’s Clarinet Concerto, featuring James Zimmermann; Los Angeles-based film composer and orchestrator Brad Warnaar’s Horn Concerto, featuring Leslie Norton; and Iranian-born Behzad Ranjbaran’s Flute Concerto, featuring Érik Gratton.

While these three pieces are all cast in the traditional three-movement concerto form, each reveals the unique voice of its creator and the interpretive sensitivities of its soloist.

Ticheli’s Clarinet Concerto pays homage to three American musical icons. In the opening movement, “Rhapsody for George,” the composer – with the permission of the Gershwin Estate – makes good hay of the famous opening riff of Rhapsody in Blue before launching into a jazzy, virtuosic exchange between soloist and orchestra. “Song for Aaron” pays a lilting tribute to Aaron Copland’s slower, more pastoral moods, and the piece closes with “Riffs for Lenny,” a jazzy evocation of the iconic Leonard Bernstein’s fiery passion.

Brad Warnaar has a firmly established career in the entertainment industry, having worked on numerous film scores, but his roots are in orchestral music. A horn player himself, he decided to compose his Horn Concertoas a way of exploring a diverse array of styles, including Minimalism, jazz and rock. What makes this work even more unique is his decision to limit himself to using a pure diatonic scale. In the first movement “Tintinnabulations,” the concerto invokes Edgar Allan Poe’s notion of bells, proceeding to the freer, more declamatory movement “Elegies; Lamentations,” and concluding with a searing yet playful “Tarantella.” All three of these movements coalesce into a powerful essay on the original and evocative music that can be wrought from self-imposed creative limitations.

Trained as a classical composer in his native Tehran, Behzad Ranjabaran also studied Persian classical and folk music traditions, which have strongly influenced his composition style. A case in point, his Flute Concerto was shaped in part by his interest in the Ney, a Persian bamboo flute. “In Persian literature, Ney is considered a mystic instrument capable of expressing deep human emotions,” the composer explains. “In writing my flute concerto, I aimed not only to highlight the modern flautist’s ability to play agile and brilliant passages, but also to emulate the delicate sound of Ney.”

Nashville Symphony Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero says, “From its very beginnings, the Nashville Symphony has demonstrated a commitment to showcasing the music of our time and place through live performances, commissions and recordings. Though on the surface this latest release is unified through its focus on wind players, it also has something even greater to tell us about the sheer breadth and vitality of orchestral music in America today.”