October 6, 2010
Four works by Jack Gallagher, the Olive Williams Kettering Professor of Music at The College of Wooster, are featured on a new American Classics CD.
WOOSTER, Ohio — A CD of four orchestral works by Jack Gallagher, the Olive Williams Kettering Professor of Music at The College of Wooster, has just been released internationally on the “American Classics” series, published by the Naxos label.
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta, the compositions include Gallagher's “Diversions Overture,” “Berceuse,” “Sinfonietta for String Orchestra,” and “Symphony in One Movement: Threnody.” Each work was premiered or previously performed by the Wooster Symphony Orchestra, Jeffrey Lindberg, Music Director.
The recording, made possible in part by a research leave from The College of Wooster, was produced and edited by Michael Fine, Grammy-Award winning producer and vice president of artistic affairs at the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. The disc was engineered by Wolf-Dieter Karwatky of BKL Recording Group, Lüneburg, Germany.
JoAnn Falletta, conductor for the disc, is music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic and Virginia Symphony Orchestras. Acclaimed by The New York Times as “one of the finest conductors of her generation,” Falletta has guest-conducted more than 100 orchestras in North America and was the winner of two Grammy awards in 2009.
Gallagher, a member of the Wooster faculty since 1977, has composed more than 45 works for
orchestra, chorus, symphonic band, chamber ensembles, and solo instruments. His compositions are included on 14 published compact discs on the Musical Heritage Society, Capstone, Vienna Modern Masters, Summit Records, Altissimo!, Promuse, Naxos, and ERM labels.
As a producer, Gallagher's recording for TNC Records of Messiaen's “Oiseaux exotiques,” with pianist Angelin Chang, conductor John McLaughlin Williams, and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, won a
2006 Grammy Award in the classical category "Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra." In April 2010, Gallagher's solo work, “Aflame,” was premiered by Cleveland Orchestra violist Mark Jackobs.
Advance reviews in Fanfare magazine, a leading classical review journal, have described the new CD as “exceptionally beautiful and moving. Gallagher writes beautiful music and he is very, very good at it. I was thoroughly captivated and more than once genuinely moved by this music. I can’t imagine anyone who loves music not liking it. My very strongest recommendation.”
A second Fanfare critic found the new recording to be “a most welcome release of some absolutely fantastic music. There is poignancy, explosive energy, good-natured humor . . . and a warm-hearted directness that is tremendously engaging. The “Berceuse” is so beautiful it could make you cry. These [are] four major works by a composer who richly deserves to be better known. Urgently recommended.”
AbeilleMusique.com in Paris, France, noted, ”a style clear and chiseled in the extreme, in an essentially tonal language — without ever falling into the simplistic.” It further cited the “contrapuntal intricacies in his consummate art of writing for strings, as in the ‘Sinfonietta’” and described the “Symphony in One Movement” as “a marvel of invention and orchestration,” noting “this recording with the London Symphony Orchestra is a true consecration.”
Jack Gallagher: Orchestral Music, on Naxos 8.559652, has been broadcast in its entirety over WCLV-FM, Cleveland's classical music station. It is available through Amazon.com, ArkivMusic.com, Naxos.com, and itunes.
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