Mark O'connor: The American Seasons / Yoo, O'connor, Et Al
Bluegrass violin virtuoso and composer Mark O'Connor has devoted a great deal of time to exploring classical forms in an effort to effectively meld them with American vernacular styles. THE AMERICAN SEASONS features three of his compositions that put a down-home spin on traditional classical structures. In the album's titular work, O'Connor gives a nod and a wink to Vivaldi and thematically fashions a violin concerto around the four seasons. The result is an ambitious orchestral extravaganza that blends folk, blues, and jazz with classical and gives O'Connor abundant opportunities to showcase his dazzling technique.
Unlike the Baroque master's famous ode to the natural divisions of the year, though, O'Connor's is not an evocation of climatic activity. Rather, it's a musical journey through the cycles of an American life, loaded with plenty of Texas-style fiddling. The 'Strings & Threads Suite' is O'Connor's take on the evolution of folk music on the violin in America, from jigs, reels, and waltzes, through blues, spirituals, swing, and bebop. The plaintive melody of 'Appalachia Waltz' is expanded to Coplandesque proportions in a moody arrangement for string orchestra. Scott Yoo and the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra ably assist O'Connor in his adventurous quest to merge traditions.
Catalog Number: SK89660
Composer: Mark O'Connor
Conductor: Scott Yoo
Orchestra/Ensemble: Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra
Performer: Mark O'Connor