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Album at a Glance

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Navona Records Record Label - Navona Records: "Navona Records offers listeners a fresh taste of today's leading innovators in orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and experimental music as well as prime pieces of classic repertoire."
Release date: 2013-06-25


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Jan Van Der Roost: Sirius; Sinfonia per Orchestra; Manhattan Pictures


Belgian composer Jan Van der Roost was born in 1956 and currently teaches counterpoint and fugue at the Lemmensinstituut, the Belgian conservatory in Leuven. From Navona Records comes this program of three of Mr. Van der Roost's orchestral pieces: Sirius (2003), a brilliant thirteen minute overture, the four movement Sinfonia per Orchestra (1989), and Manhattan Pictures, a vibrant composition evoking the multicultural makeup of Manhattan.

Van der Roost has over ninety compositions to his credit. Most of these are for wind band, but he has also been active writing for chorus and for orchestra. His extensive experience composing for band is evident in how effective his writing is for the wind, brass and percussion sections of the orchestra.

The music is exciting, colorful, interesting, and often flat-out beautiful. Mr. Van der Roost does not shy away from writing glorious music that can lift you from your seat. It is richly varied with highly contrasting sections and fascinating transitions between them. He is a very skilled orchestrator. Contrabass clarinet, saxophone, contrabassoon, piccolo, bass drum, chimes, cymbals and gong all have a place in his orchestra and his use of them is most effective. If all of this sounds appealing, be certain to listen to the samples of Sirius provided by Navona in the accompanying video. You can hear more samples from this album by visiting the album details page on the HBDirect website.

Polished performances come from the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Lande in Sirius and the Sinfonia, and from the Orchestra of the Belgian Radio under Fernand Terby playing Manhattan Pictures. There are a few minor intonation lapses from the St. Pete's group, but overall, the playing on the entire album is all you could ask for. Navona Records mission statement reads, in part "Navona offers listeners a fresh taste of today's leading innovators in orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and experimental music..." They have delivered on their promise with this recording and I'll be on the lookout for more music by Jan Van der Roost.

Here's a little taste of Mr. Van der Roost's writing for band: Olympia, Festival Overture