A special eight-page section focusing on recent recordings from the US and Canada

Crozier ‘East of the Sun & West of the Moon’ Symphony No 1, ‘Triptych for Orchestra’a. Ballade: A Tale after the Brothers Grimmb a Seattle Symphony Orchestra / Gerard Schwarz; b Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra / Stanislav Vavřínek Navona F NV6137 (46’ • DDD)

talks to ... Giselle Wyers The conductor of the University of Washington Chorale discusses their latest disc, Resonant Streams

Daniel Crozier (b1965) has composed three one-act operas – the most recent, With

Blood, With Ink (1993), issued by Albany in 2014 – as well as orchestral, chamber and vocal works, but few in the standard large instrumental genres: no concertos or string quartets, a single sonata (cello and piano, 1986), a trio (oboe, clarinet and bassoon, 1988) and a prelude and fugue (organ, 1985). Although the forms into which he casts his works might therefore seem unorthodox, his musical language is solidly based (as befits a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins), harmonically tonal and imaginatively scored.

Symphony No 1, subtitled Triptych for Orchestra, is not listed on the composer’s website (danielcrozier.com) under either title. Its three constituent movements are listed individually, as they were composed: ‘Ceremonies’ in 1998, the exuberant ‘Capriccio’ in 2002 and ‘Fairy Tale: East of the Sun & West of the Moon’ in 2003. They were also not recorded together: ‘Ceremonies’ was set down in June 2001 as part of a project with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, who returned with Schwarz to record the rest in September 2007. There is no disguising the differences in production; ‘Capriccio’ and ‘Fairy Tale’ sound brighter and better focused than ‘Ceremonies’. Despite this, the performance holds together overall and there is a clear, satisfying symphonic progression throughout, albeit manifestly narrative in character.

Crozier’s musical language in the symphony has resonances of earlier

This disc has a very varied programme. How did you put it together? Varied, indeed! This disc features the choir’s favourite works we’ve sung over the past three years. We wanted to explore a wide spectrum of what it means to be human, creating a sonic representation of life’s many paths and encompassing a range from bliss to tragedy, from our emotional inner lives to the environment around us. I felt it was important to show that music isn’t an abstraction. It comes from real experiences and it helps us to understand the world.

So would you say this disc is an extension of your choir’s educational mission? Absolutely, yes. University of Washington Chorale is an undergraduate auditioned chorus consisting of students engaged in disciplines across the university, including music. The students are passionate about world affairs, and they love singing in many languages and styles. This CD features works

American composerly forebears as well as late Walton and early Tippett in places. It makes for an appealing blend, carried over into the attractive, dramatic Ballade: A Tale after the Brothers Grimm (2006 – Crozier remains coy as to which tale), beautifully played and recorded in Olomouc, Czech Republic, in 2016. At 46 minutes, however, the disc is short measure. Guy Rickards

Del Tredici Child Alice Courtenay Budd sop Boston Modern Orchestra Project / Gil Rose BMOP/sound F b Í 1056 (134’ • DDD/DSD • S/T)

in seven languages, ranging from the Renaissance to the contemporary era.

Quite a few tracks feature instruments. How did you bring all of that together? We are fortunate to have access to many talented musicians via the school’s instrumental studios. It was thrilling to collaborate with current and former students in performing works for harp, strings, percussion and chorus.

What are the choir’s future plans? We’ll begin making a fourth album this spring, including choral music from the Baltic states, and are planning to tour Estonia in 2019.

Alice isn’t the only one who finds herself immersed in enchanting and wild escapades in David Del Tredici’s Child Alice. So do a soprano and especially an orchestra, who engage in glittering, bizarre and clamorous episodes that might prompt Mahler and Strauss to sit up and take notice. The Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s superlative recording of this massive work – six movements and more than two hours of music – certifies the piece’s status as sonic wonderland.