KAREL HUSA (b.1921): Cello Concerto, Ballet Suite Scenes from "The Trojan Women", Pastorale for String Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 10P009
Label: Ablaze Records
Description: Husa's 1989 concerto, written for Lynn Harrell and the USC Symphony, won the 1993 Gravemeyer Award yet this is its World Premiere Recording. A dramatic, freely tonal work in five movements lasting half an hour, it makes almost outlandish demands on the soloist who at times also has to contend with orchestral onslaughts of considerable volume and intensity yet, at many other times, Husa uses a tinkling backdrop of bells and high, tuned percussion to achieve a diaphanous, nocturnal backdrop which is at the other end of the concerto's huge dynamic range. The music for the ballet The Trojan Women, a University of Louisville commission, comes from 1980: six movements of orchestral violence, suffering and pain (one would like to see the choreography) of, OK, "mythical" intensity, all inspired by Husa's wartime memories of the destruction of a Czech village by the Nazis. Not for the faint-hearted! Paul York (cello), University of Louisville Symphony Orchestra; Kimcherie Lloyd.