The new Margaret Brouwer recording
The latest audio CD containing work by Cleveland composer Margaret Brouwer is an enjoyable CD called "CityMusic Cleveland Live," issued a few weeks ago by CityMusic Cleveland, an orchestra which plays free concerts in the Cleveland area.
The Brouwer work is her "Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra," about 24 minutes long, featuring the orchestra and soloist Michi Wiancko. When I heard the piece last year, I thought it was one of Brouwer's best, and still think so after listening to the CD several times. The interplay between percussion instruments and the solo violin is particularly interesting. Press reports on the concerto said that Brouwer was influenced by trip hop, and indeed there are moments in the second movement that sound a bit like Portishead. It's clear the orchestra, conductor and soloist worked hard to give Brouwer's work a good introduction.
Also on the CD are Stravinsky's "Danses Concertantes," which gets a warm, melodic reading that brings out the charm of the piece, and Mozart's 39th Symphony. The Mozart is one of my favorites, and I'm glad they did the 39th rather than the more familiar 40th or 41st, but the performance did not strike me as particularly crisp.
The CD is just $10. In Cleveland, it's available at CityMusic Cleveland concerts, at the Borders bookstore chain and probably some other locations; Barnes and Noble isn't bothering to carry it. It's available online from Amazon.
Michi Wiancko's thoughts on the concerto are here.
The CD doesn't say when the music was recorded, but it would have been during a series of concerts from March 28 through April 1 2007. My article about Brouwer and those concerts is here.