Grammy winner, 5-time Grammy nominee and seven-time Emmy nominee Nan Schwartz, is unquestionably America’s most renowned woman composer except for one notable exception – her own symphonic works for the concert stage had, until now, previously never been recorded. This remarkable omission from the classical music-recording catalogue has finally been rectified with this extraordinary album, conducted by the eminent New York-based Australian conductor, Kevin Purcell.
This much anticipated and extraordinary record was released by Divine Art Records in March 2018 in both CD and digital formats. Kevin Purcell conducts The Synchron Stage Orchestra, Wien and the Bratislava Studio Symphony Orchestra.
Taking two years to produce, across three continents, the 83-piece orchestra Vienna sessions are augmented by the crème-de-la-crème of New York’s finest Jazz musicians and two brilliant Australian soloists combining to create the orchestral masterpieces Aspirations and Perspectives.
The four works by Nan Schwartz on this album are ingeniously coupled with the premiere recording of Australian composer Brenton Broadstock’s evocative Concerto For Orchestra: an homage to the iconic Miles Davis album ‘Kind of Blue’.
Full Track List
Angels Among Us (15:42)
Concerto for Orchestra (Made in Heaven) (25:30)
Evocative and tuneful – top drawer reading.” —Michael Beek
Schwartz’s sound has a lithe, film-score clarity, showcased in lucid performances. [The Broadstock piece] is a work of glittering colour and gleaming brass – a perfect companion to the Schwartz.” —Angus McPherson
There is a Ravelian lushness (and expertise) to [Schwartz’s] scoring. The performance is magnificent… and supporting that, the recording is demonstration standard, with great perspective. There is also, it should be noted, a lot of fun to be had here.” —Colin Clarke
It’s neither completely jazz nor classical, but a very pleasing synthesis of the two worlds, and is absolutely gorgeous to my ears. All of [the works] could hardly be better and more idiomatically performed.” —David deBoor Canfield
To say that Nan Schwartz is one of America’s significant gifted composers is an understatement. Nan Schwartz is one of our great treasures to be heard and relished.” —Peter Cobbin, Senior recording engineer, Abbey Road Studios
Brenton Broadstock has something to say (or hear) and he makes the four sections of the concerto melodic and listenable. I found the concerto thoroughly enjoyable. The orchestra plays very well for conductor Purcell. Excellent sound.” —Elliot Fisch
This is music with gravitas, but melodic and made easy on the ear by the skill of the composer. It’s (mostly) a long way from the jazz/easy listening music of Henry Mancini. Serious music (it’s not lightweight classical film fare) but listenable and with a spring in its step.” —Jeremy Condliffe
These highly approachable, thoroughly tonal works make up a most appealing programme… finely crafted concert works, enjoyable by anyone with a taste for lush neo-romanticism.”
Brenton Broadstock’s superb Made in Heaven: Concerto for orchestra is a sheer delight to listen to… simply outstanding from end to end. The four works by Nan Schwarz…[are] a subtle balance of jazz and classical. It is a sheer pleasure to listen to this ‘cool’ music. I cannot fault the vibrant recording.. The balance of jazz soloists and symphony orchestra is ideal.” —John France
A handsomely designed and annotated CD of original works for symphony orchestra. A juxtaposing of tempi, dynamics, tonality, and the alternating of soloist and ensemble give much of Nan Schwartz’s appealing music a uniquely sui generis sound. The music of Brenton Broadstock is most … this composer is a true original. Eminently tonal, richly melodic music… Hats off to the composers, the conductor, and the musicians of both orchestras!” —Rafael de Acha