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Dreams of a New Day

Cedille Records announces new releases for 2021


Cedille Records, marking its thirty-first season as Chicago's independent classical record label, has announced its new releases through September 2021.

On tap are the following albums, listed chronologically. (Release dates are subject to change.)

  • Will Liverman: Dreams of a New Day - Songs by Black Composers. Coinciding with February Black History Month, operatic baritone Will Liverman's recital album, with pianist Paul Sánchez, highlights Black composers across generations, from early twentieth century pioneers Henry Burleigh, Margaret Bonds, and Thomas Kerr to Robert Owens, Leslie Adams, and contemporary composers Damien Sneed and Shawn E Okpebholo. The album offers the world-premiere recordings of Okpebholo's Two Black Churches, which Liverman commissioned, and the singer's own arrangement of Richard Fariña's Birmingham Sunday. This will be Liverman's first full-length recording for Cedille and the label's two-hundredth front-line album. (12 February)

    Dreams of a New Day - Songs by Black Composers. © 2021 Cedille Records

  • Third Coast Percussion, Sérgio and Clarice Assad: Archetypes. The Grammy Award-winning percussion quartet joins forces with celebrated Brazilian guitarist Sérgio Assad and his daughter the dynamic vocalist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Clarice Assad for a collaboratively written program conjuring a dozen universal archetypes. On this world-premiere recording, figures such as the Rebel, Lover, Magician, Jester, Hero, and Explorer come to life in twelve short works melding imaginative chamber music with Latin jazz rhythms. (12 March)
  • Ursula Oppens: Fantasy: Oppens Plays Kaminsky. Pianist Ursula Oppens, stalwart champion of twentieth and 21st century American music, celebrates her decades-long friendship and professional association with composer Laura Kaminsky on an album of world premieres that includes two recent works written for the much-honored pianist: the Piano Quintet, performed with the Cassatt String Quartet, and Reckoning: Five Miniatures for America for piano four-hands, with pianist Jerome Lowenthal, created expressly for the recording. The program also includes a large-scale Fantasy for solo piano and Kaminsky's Piano Concerto. (9 April)
  • Lincoln Trio: Trios from the Land of Lincoln. The Lincoln Trio, comprising violinist Desirée Ruhstrat, cellist David Cunliffe, and pianist Marta Aznavoorian, plays piano trios by twentieth-century Chicago composers Leo Sowerby, winner of the Rome Prize and Pulitzer Prize for music, and Ernst Bacon, recipient of three Guggenheim Fellowships and a Pulitzer Fellowship. Works include Sowerby's Trio for Violin, Violincello and Pianoforte (1953) and Bacon's Trio No 2 for Violin, Cello and Piano (1987). The Lincoln Trio was Grammy-nominated for its 2016 Cedille album, Trios from Our Homelands, with works by English, Armenian and Swiss composers. (11 June)
  • David Schrader: Organ Music by Frank Ferko and Leo Sowerby Versatile keyboard virtuoso David Schrader, heard on more than twenty Cedille recordings and one of the label's charter artists, performs solo organ works by two composers closely tied to Chicago and known for their mastery of the instrument. The Ferko works, all world-premiere recordings, include his 1987 Symphonie brève, dedicated to Schrader, Variations on 'Veni Creator Spiritus', Mass for Dedication and Tired Old Nun. Also: Angels (Chaconne for Organ), Missa O Ecclesia: Communion, Music for Elizabeth Chapel and Variations on a Hungarian Folk Theme. Sowerby repertoire includes Comes Autumn Time, Two Sketches (world-premiere recording), 'March' from Suite for Organ, Toccata, Pageant and Symphony in G. (9 July)
  • Andy Baker Band, Avalon String Quartet and Chicago Pro Musica: Leo Sowerby: The Paul Whiteman Commissions & Other Works. The album features world-premiere recordings of two Sowerby works originally commissioned by bandleader Paul Whiteman for his symphonic jazz concerts of the 1920s - Synconata and Symphony for Jazz Orchestra. Rounding out the program are chamber compositions from the same period, including Sowerby's String Quartet in D minor, Serenade for String Quartet, Woodwind Quintet, and Tramping Tune for piano and strings. (13 August)
  • Dover Quartet: Beethoven Complete String Quartets Volume 2. The quartet-in-residence at Washington DC's John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Curtis Institute of Music and Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music launches the second of three installments of their complete Beethoven quartets project with the composer's five 'Middle Quartets'. (10 September)

In other Cedille news ...

Grammy Award contenders. Two Cedille albums are in the running for 2021 Grammy Awards in the Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance category: the Pacifica Quartet's Contemporary Voices, with alto saxophonist Otis Murphy; and Devonté Hynes and Third Coast Percussion's Fields.

Fields was also nominated for Best Engineered Recording, Classical.

Since 2003, Cedille recordings have garnered twenty-one Grammy nominations and six Grammy Awards.

Classical Grammys will be awarded on Sunday 14 March 2021, during a live ceremony prior to the evening's CBS network telecast.

Emerging Artist Competition: Cedille has plans to resume its first-ever Emerging Artist Competition in May 2021, when semifinal and final rounds of judging will take place during public performances that will also be livestreamed. Dates and times have yet to be announced.

Individual young performers and ensembles from the Chicago area who have never headlined a full-length recording are competing for the opportunity to make a featured debut album produced and released by Cedille.

Nine semifinalists have been chosen from among thirty-five original contestants.

They are the vocal trio Artemisia, violinists Claire Bourg, Maya Anjali Buchanan, and Karisa Chiu, cellist Johannes Gray, pianist Clare Longendyke, harpsichordist Andrew Rosenblum, soprano Emily Birsan and saxophonist Julian Velasco.

Created to commemorate Cedille's thirtieth anniversary season, 2019–2020, the competition's semifinal and final rounds were postponed from May 2020 because of COVID-19 considerations.

Launched in November 1989 by James Ginsburg, award-winning Cedille Records is dedicated to showcasing and promoting the most noteworthy classical artists in and from the Chicago area.

Cedille has recorded more than 180 Chicago artists, with more than eighty making their professional recording debuts on the label. Its catalog includes the world premieres of more than three hundred classical compositions.

The audiophile-oriented label releases every new album in multiple formats - physical CD, 96 kHz, 24-bit, studio-quality FLAC download and 320 Kbps MP3 download - and on major streaming services.

An independent nonprofit enterprise, Cedille Records is the label of Cedille Chicago, NFP. Sales of physical CDs and digital downloads and streams cover only a small percentage of the label's costs. Tax-deductible donations from individual music-lovers and grants from charitable organizations account for most of its revenue.

Posted 11 January 2021 by Nat Silverman





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