Schultz • Carollo • Ulrich
Winter’s Warmth
Moravian Philharmonic & St Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra
Navona Records NV6091

The music of Winter’s Warmth attempts to connect us to the experience of our seasons. The first track – Infinity Jinx from Andrew Schultz’s Falling Man/Dancing Man for Solo Organ and Orchestra, Op. 68, features quirky instrumentation – from brassy bends to organ jitters – surrounded by a bed of winds, evoking a playful shelter from winter’s storms. The use of space between notes adds an element of randomness throughout the opening movement, while the strings of Deep Crossing creep and linger like storm clouds.

The Laughing Man opens with a chuckling flute echoed by other musicians before a ‘cuckoo’ motive heralds a thunderous organ entry. John A Carollo’s Let Freedom Ring feels tame but for interjecting cymbals and a disturbing clash of rhythms. We’re offered a suspenseful opening in The Transfiguration of Giovanni Baudino, which is quick to unleash an aggressive piano and Psycho-like jabs from the brass. In contrast, R Barry Ulrich’s Russian Winter strikes with a dark and metronomic beat before thick strings take over. Though a highlight, this work is ill-fitting simply because of its vast presence in comparison to the lighter works – all movingly presented.

While the Moravian Philharmonic perform the earlier works, the St. Petersburg State Symphony presents Episodes by JA Kawarsky. Its warmth questionable, it closes the album with a wilder winter.