Arts & Culture

New CD Release of Music by Rice University's Richard Lavenda

Chiaroscuro is the newly-released CD of chamber music by Shepherd School of Music faculty composer Richard Lavenda.  The five pieces on the album, including a string quintet titled thoughts fly, were all written for friends, many at Rice.  Listen to the composer talking about, and hear a movement from, thoughts fly, from an interview earlier this year with St.John Flynn.


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The music on Chiaroscuro, released on the Ravello Records label, was written for various, sometimes unusual, instrument ensembles.  The title track features flute, bassoon, vibraphone and double bass; Rhapsody (at the center, stillness) is for viola and piano; Rhapsody Tropes for solo tenor saxophone; Heat of the Moment for clarinet, viola and piano; and thoughts fly (string quintet) for two violins, viola and two cellos.

The musicians featured on the recordings include: Leone Buyse, alto flute; Benjamin Kamins, bassoon; Matthew Strauss, vibraphone; Timothy Pitts, double bass; Richard Nunemaker, tenor saxophone; Texas Christian University’s Trio con Brio (Gary Whitman, clarinet; Misha Galaganov, viola; John Owings, piano); the Chiara String Quartet (Rebecca Fischer, violin; Hyeyung Yoon, violin; Jonah Sirota, viola; Gregory Beaver, cello); and Norman Fischer, cello (father of Chiara violinist Rebecca).

Earlier this year, Richard Lavenda’s latest string quintet, Afterimages, (for string quartet and viola) commissioned by Da Camera of Houston, received its world première on a recital given by the Diotima String Quartet with Shepherd School violist James Dunham.  On that occasion, Richard Lavenda spoke with St.John Flynn about both quintets, thoughts fly and Afterimages, and shared the final movement of thoughts fly from the recording on his new CD featuring the Chiara Quartet and Norman Fischer.

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