As a woman composer who has carved an enviable reputation inside the crucible of the Hollywood Film Music business, Nan Schwartz nonetheless remains an enigma to orchestras and concert music audiences around the world. This apparent anomaly can, in part, be ascribed to the imbalance in respect to opportunities for women composers generally, but given that Nan is a Grammy winner, 5-time Grammy nominee and seven-time Emmy nominee, it remains perplexing that the classical music world has taken so long to recognize her indisputable genius.
This album beautifully directed by the eminent Australian conductor, Kevin Purcell, brings to light through these premiere recordings the extraordinary music of this iconic, contemporary, American composer.
The album further includes the premiere recording of a new Concerto for orchestra composed as a paean to Miles Davis’s 1959 iconic Jazz album, ‘Kind of Blue’, by leading Australian composer, Brenton Broadstock.
BOOKLET IN ENGLISH, JAPANESE AND TRADITIONAL CHINESE
Nan Schwartz (b.1959):
Brenton Broadstock (b.1952):
Concerto for Orchestra
Made in Heaven – I. So What (5:09)
Made in Heaven – II. Flamenco Sketches (8:45)
Made in Heaven – III. Blue in Green (5:19)
Made in Heaven – IV. All Blues (6:04)
Performing Arts Review
Both [composers] enjoy common ground in their love and respect for jazz that is deliciously palpable on this disc. A mastery of compositional lyricism and inventive orchestration seals the bond between the two composers and makes this CD so interesting. Two wonderful orchestras, the Synchron Stage Orchestra Vienna (Schwartz) and the Bratislava Studio Symphony (Broadstock) perform splendidly under conductor Kevin Purcell.
BBC Music Magazine
Evocative and tuneful – top drawer reading.
Schwartz’s sound has a lithe, film-score clarity, showcased in lucid performances. [The Broadstock piece] is a work of glittering colour and gleaming brass – a perfect companion to the Schwartz.
There is a Ravelian lushness (and expertise) to [Schwartz’s] scoring. The performance is magnificent… and supporting that, the recording is demonstration standard, with great perspective. There is also, it should be noted, a lot of fun to be had here.
It’s neither completely jazz nor classical, but a very pleasing synthesis of the two worlds, and is absolutely gorgeous to my ears. All of [the works] could hardly be better and more idiomatically performed.
—David deBoor Canfield
To say that Nan Schwartz is one of America’s significant gifted composers is an understatement. Nan Schwartz is one of our great treasures to be heard and relished.
—Peter Cobbin, Senior recording engineer, Abbey Road Studios
American Record Guide
Brenton Broadstock has something to say (or hear) and he makes the four sections of the concerto melodic and listenable. I found the concerto thoroughly enjoyable. The orchestra plays very well for conductor Purcell. Excellent sound.
This is music with gravitas, but melodic and made easy on the ear by the skill of the composer. It’s (mostly) a long way from the jazz/easy listening music of Henry Mancini. Serious music (it’s not lightweight classical film fare) but listenable and with a spring in its step.
These highly approachable, thoroughly tonal works make up a most appealing programme… finely crafted concert works, enjoyable by anyone with a taste for lush neo-romanticism.
Brenton Broadstock’s superb Made in Heaven: Concerto for orchestra is a sheer delight to listen to… simply outstanding from end to end. The four works by Nan Schwarz…[are] a subtle balance of jazz and classical. It is a sheer pleasure to listen to this ‘cool’ music. I cannot fault the vibrant recording.. The balance of jazz soloists and symphony orchestra is ideal.
Rafael Music Notes
A handsomely designed and annotated CD of original works for symphony orchestra. A juxtaposing of tempi, dynamics, tonality, and the alternating of soloist and ensemble give much of Nan Schwartz’s appealing music a uniquely sui generis sound. The music of Brenton Broadstock is most … this composer is a true original. Eminently tonal, richly melodic music… Hats off to the composers, the conductor, and the musicians of both orchestras!
—Rafael de Acha