Lowell Chamber Orchestra releases second album MINIATURE SYMPHONIES
The Lowell Chamber Orchestra has announced the release of its second album, “Miniature Symphonies”, a project launched at the height of the pandemic and designed to keep selected composers and musicians active during a time of insecurity in the performing arts.
The album is part of an initiative by Lowell Chamber Orchestra Music Director Orlando Cela called “Lowell Threads”, a way to pay homage to the textile history of the town of Lowell. The orchestra commissions a new way of presenting new composers alongside a body of works by a known composer, genre, style, etc., and programs them alongside each other, allowing a multidimensional experience close to a web of new works intersecting established masterpieces. In the case of this album, four living composers – Brittney Benton, Yoko Nakatani, Quinn Mason and Kevin L. Scott – were commissioned to write a piece corresponding to the instrumentation of one of Darius Milhaud’s five chamber symphonies .
“Orlando It’s creative ideas always inspire me, and this project was no exception,” says composer Yoko Nakatani. “I was honored to be a part of it and wish the Lowell Chamber Orchestra great success in the future with the excellent leadership of Orlando. I would also like to thank sound engineer Will Holland, who is a real professional and facilitated a difficult process.”
The production of this album kept a number of musicians active during the pandemic. The reduced instrumentation – no more than 10 and as few as seven players at a time – made it easier to find places; the shortness of the works, no more than 7 minutes, allowed more recording time to commission more composers.
“We started recording 10 feet apart and behind plexiglass screens,” says LCO Music Director Orlando Cela, “but we continued when the concert halls were closed. We had very lucky to be able to access the beautiful spaces at Middlesex Community College. Lowell Campus. Such great acoustics!”
The four commissioned works sometimes complement each other, sometimes conflict with the nature of the corresponding work. “The Sentinel” by Las Vegas composer Brittney Benton was written with the same instrumentation as Milhaud’s first chamber symphony: while Milhaud’s work (subtitled “Spring”) has a luminous and pastoral quality, the Benton’s work offers a dramatic story filled with foreboding. On the other hand, Dallas-based composer Quinn Mason wrote an orchestrated work for the exact instrumentation and draws heavily on the style of Milhaud’s fourth chamber symphony, as the title suggests – Petite Symphonie de Chambre Contemporaine (after Milhaud).
Composer Brittney Benton said, “‘The Sentinel’ has been a joy to write, and I’m thrilled to bring the story I’ve created through my music to CD and to the world.”
“I really enjoyed writing for the Lowell Chamber Orchestra and having a work recorded by them is an honour. The whole process involved me in one way or another, so it really felt like a fruitful collaboration” , says composer Quinn Mason.
The Lowell Chamber Orchestra is Lowell’s first and only professional orchestra. We provide the territory with an ensemble that presents very high-level music, of all styles and from all eras, completely free for the general public. Performances are held at Middlesex Community College, University of Massachusetts Lowell and other area venues, to provide students with easy access to concerts without leaving their respective campuses and to allow the general public to attend a concert during a good performance. space. The LCO is a member of Lowell City of Learning, which is working to make Lowell a UNESCO Learning City.
The album will be released this Friday, August 26 on the most popular digital platforms. For more information on the album, visit: https://www.navonarecords.com/catalog/nv6447/
Listen to the first track of the CD here: https://tinyurl.com/LCOMason
The Lowell Chamber Orchestra survives purely on donations, you can make a huge difference by donating here: https://tinyurl.com/LCOdonate