Release Date: October 14, 2016

Catalog #: AR0002

 

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TRACK LISTING

 

Awakening for Piano and Orchestra  Jeffrey Jacob

National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba  |  Enrique Pérez Mesa, conductor

Jeffrey Jacob, piano

 

untouched by morning and untouched by noon  Heidi Jacob

Alden Ortuño Cabezas, bass clarinet; Yasek Manzano Silva, trumpet;

Marisel González Valdés, trombone; Brian Church, baritone;

Charles Abramovic, piano

2 ingenuous

wild and raucous

sultry, languorous

5 liquido

l’escalier

7 semplice

ßige

distratta

 

10  Puttin’ It Together Steven Block

Abiel Chea Guerra, drums; Jorge Sergio Ramírez Prieto, alto saxophone;

Carlos Alejandro Gonzales Guerra, tenor/soprano saxophone; Rubén Gonzales

López,double bass; Liset Toppe Benítez, double bass; Enrique Pérez Mesa,

conductor

 

And the Huddled Masses  Sergio Cervetti

Alden Ortuño Cabezas, clarinet; Leonardo Pérez Baster, violin I;

Luis Alberto Mariño Fernández, violin II; Yamed Aguillón Santa Cruz, viola;

Lester Monier Serrano, cello; Enrique Pérez Mesa, conductor

11  The Tired, the Poor, and the Huddled Masses

12  Hâves, déguenillés

13  Noemí Alvarez Quillay

 

14  Dearly Beloved  Christina Rusnak

Ensemble Vocal Luna  |  Sandra Santos González, conductor

 

15  Dearly Departed  Christina Rusnak

Ensemble Vocal Luna  |  Sandra Santos González, conductor

 

 

CREDITS

 

Recorded April 19-22, 2016 at Abdala 1, in Havana, Cuba

Recording Session Producer Dayron Ortega

Recording Session Engineer José Raúl Varona

 

Photography Michael Labrie

 

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw

A&R Alex Bourne

Audio Director Jeff LeRoy

Art & Production Director Brett Picknell

Graphic Design Ryan Harrison

Marketing Mike Mahn

 

 

 

INTERSECTIONS

CROSS-CULTURAL COLLABORATIONS IN SOUND

 

Jeffrey Jacob  |  Heidi Jacob  |  Steven Block

SeRgio Cervetti  |  CHristina Rusnak

 

 

OVERVIEW

 

This exquisitely produced album embodies the beautiful art whose creation has been enabled by the newly opened cultural exchange between the United States and Cuba. Through a collection of intriguing compositions by American and American-based composers, INTERSECTIONS showcases the talents of Cuban musicians in a variety of large ensemble and chamber settings. Moreover, the pieces in the album’s contents are replete with symbols that touch on the promise of this new beginning in American-Cuban relations, and suggest some of the darkness that preceded it.

 

This imagery begins with Jeffrey Jacob’s Awakening, an undulating work for piano and orchestra, which is performed by the composer and the Havana National Symphony. Jacob’s composition is built around two main ideas, the most salient of which is a lyrical melodic idea that opens in the low strings, and is passed through the orchestra and modified in other ways over the course of the piece. The second building block in Awakening is the gesture of a peeling bell, which first appears in the orchestral chimes before being transformed as a gesture in the piano and, eventually, as the abrupt attack of percussion that signals the work’s conclusion.

 

Awakening is hopeful and grand, yet ends ambiguously. In this way, Awakening seems to signal the highest aspirations the Cuban and American people may have for their new relationship, while also reminding us that the process of restoring normality remains unfinished. Two other works on INTERSECTIONS – Heidi Jacob’s untouched by morning, untouched by noon and Christina Rusnak’s choral composition Dearly Beloved – convey similarly hopeful symbolism to that in Awakening. For example, Heidi Jacob’s work, which is composed for a small chamber ensemble, begins desolately, marked by the ominous echoes of a strummed piano. Over time, however, untouched by morning, untouched by noon becomes much more joyful, a transition made clear by the reappearance of the piano, now played in the traditional manner.

 

Complementarily, Sergio Cervetti’s And The Huddled Masses, for clarinet quintet, and Steven Block’s Puttin’ It Together, for two saxophones, two double basses, and drum set, make more direct references to Cuba, its culture, and its history with the United States. Puttin’ It Together, with its deep and compelling jazz allusions, may be the most remarkable, as one of the saxophone parts imitates the tone and performance style of a classic double reed instrument in Cuban jazz repertoire: the corneta china. On the other hand, And The Huddled Masses speaks to the legacy of immigration from Central and South America to the United States. Cervetti, who immigrated to America from Uruguay in 1962, crafts a beautiful rendering of the hope and desperation that motivates so many to leave their homelands, including Cuba, for refuge in the United States.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

This album symbolizes the newly normalized relations between Cuba and the United States

 

The allusions to Cuban jazz are evident in Steven Block’s Puttin’ it Together and the subject matter of Sergio Cervetti’s programmatic And The Huddled Masses, specifically its third movement, “Noemi Alvarez Quillay”

 

Christina Rusnak passionately composes about place and the human experience. With a graduate degree from the University of North Texas, she also works with communities to bring music and culture into public spaces. Her jazz album CHAT CHILL HIGHLINE was released on Big Round Records in 2014

 

Composer, cellist, and conductor, Heidi Jacob is Associate Professor of Music at Haverford College. Her album BENEATH WINTER LIGHT was released on Navona Records in 2015

 

Jeffrey Jacob received his education from the Juilliard School (Master of Music) and the Peabody Conservatory (Doctorate). He was recently named “Musician of the Year” by the International New Music Consortium at New York University for his work as pianist, composer, and educator. His album DARKNESS TO LIGHT was released on Navona Records in 2014

 

Steven Block is currently Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley after having served as Chair of the Department of Music at the University of New Mexico.  His piece Fire Tiger was released on Navona Records’ ELEMENTS RISING in 2015

 

A graduate from the Peabody Conservatory, Sergio Cervetti has been composing, teaching, and mentoring for nearly 5 decades, including teaching for 25 years at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. He has five full releases on Navona Records: UNBRIDLED (2014), WIND DEVIL & CO. (2013), KEYBOARD3 (2013), NAZCA AND OTHER WORKS (2012) and TRANSITS (2015). Cervetti’s works are featured on Navona compilations FOUNDATIONS (2014), FINE MUSIC, VOL. 3 (2012), and DESTINATIONS (2009)

 

ALSO ON ANSONICA RECORDS

 

ABRAZO

THE HAVANA SESSIONS (AR0001)

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