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The Oberlin Concertos Come to Ovations

Released on the Oberlin Music label in April 2021,  The Oberlin Concertos is a showcase of music by Oberlin Conservatory-associated composers Jesse Jones, Stephen Hartke and Elizabeth Ogonek, all of whom have written works for varied ensembles in which the piano occupies a principal role. All three concertos feature pianist Xak Bjerkin and the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble conducted by Timothy Weiss. It's featured in its entirety on Ovations Wednesday November 17 at 8 pm on WCLV.

Persona Mechanica Op 57 by Jesse Jones, for chamber orchestra and solo piano, "envisions a piano coming to life in a workshop, gradually rising above its cold mechanical sophisticaton to conjure an expansive range of human emotions." Stephen Hartke's  Ship of State, for piano and 20 players, takes its inspiration from poetry by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, comparing a government to a storm-tossed vessel at sea. Elizabeth Ogonek's love of Medieval and Renaissance music provides the focus for  where are we now, scored for six male voices, four percussionists and piano, and setting to music words by the eminent music critic, writer and librettist Paul Griffiths.

This adventurous edition of Ovations is rounded out by a performance recorded in Finney Chapel of Stephen Hartke's Symphony No. 4 for Organ, Orchestra and Soprano, with soprano Amber Monroe, organist Jonathan Moyer and the Oberlin Orchestra conducted by Raphael Jimenez, from February 2016.


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