PIECES AND PASSAGES – Scott Conklin, violin, with
Alan Huckleberry and Jason Sifford, piano
Albany Records recently released Pieces and Passages by Scott Conklin, violin, in collaboration with pianists Alan Huckleberry and Jason Sifford. All are U of M music alums and good friends. This is my second album production for Scott and Alan. It features a collection of mostly new works by Gabriela Lena Frank, Ching-Chu Hu, Joel Puckett, Chen Yi, along with classics from Evan Chambers and William Bolcom. We took a familiar concept from Scott’s previous record production, Violinguistics, and moved it to University of Indianapolis’ Ruth Lilly Hall (in the absence of U of Iowa’s music building, still under construction after the floods that crept into the end of the Vioinguistics sessions). It’s yet another expertly executed and deeply emotional musical journey through the works of our composer-colleagues that was an extreme pleasure to capture and craft.
THE SINGING OBOE – Andrew Parker, oboe, and Alan Huckleberry, piano
Alan and I also worked on a very unique and exciting record by Andrew Parker, oboe, which just hit the shelves from MSR Classics. It’s called The Singing Oboe, and rightly so. Andrew performs Schumann’s complete Dichterliebe song cycle, as well as a set of Schubert with one Beethoven song on top. His tone and treatment of these very frequently performed works takes everything to a new level….they exist without their text, and he maintains emotional engagement throughout that highlights the beauty of the melodies alone. Alan and Andrew create a gorgeous dialogue that completely changed the way I hear this cycle. It’s a very unique and beautiful view of some old favorites.