The great cellist Zuill Bailey begins this program with the world premiere recording of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s beautiful Cello Concerto, a new and important work traversing many elements of the cello’s singing sound. This marks Bailey’s sixth recording for Delos. Zwilich, the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for music, writes, “One of the things I love about the cello is that it covers virtually the entire range of the human voice. … My Cello Concerto engages both the lyrical, singing nature of the instrument and its technical possibilities.”
The amusing Peanuts® Gallery follows with a quote from Beethoven, which anyone familiar with the famous Charles Schulz cartoon knows is Schroeder’s toy piano passion. Short movements portraying many of the other Peanuts® cartoon characters round out this delightful set of pieces. The work features the Santa Rosa Symphony and pianist Elizabeth Dorman.
Zwilich says that the Romance for Violin and Chamber Orchestra “celebrates some of the simple pleasures of playing the fiddle.” This recording features soloist Joseph Edelberg.
According to The New York Times, Zwilich’s Prologue and Variations for String Orchestra “is splendidly crafted and shot through with a distinctly original utterance.” Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong and his remarkable Santa Rosa Symphony bring full warmth and color to the music on this program.