Press Release from Howe: Howe Records presents A Palace Upon the Ruins – Selected Works, an album of Shore compositions performed by some of the classical scene’s top artists, including Lang Lang, the Kronos Quartet, Ireland’s RTÉ Concert Orchestra and frequent Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano. Produced by Shore, this is a collection brimming with subtle grandeur and deep emotion.
A Palace Upon the Ruins – Selected Works features the titular song cycle, sung by rising-star Jennifer Johnson Cano, winner of a 2014 George London Award, who is accompanied by players from New York’s Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival. For this cycle of six songs, Shore set lyrics by Elizabeth Cotnoir, whose words tell of “a promise never kept” as they explore feelings of “loss, awareness, healing and redemption.” The album also includes two inspirational choral works. The first is Peace, which Shore composed to texts by Eleanor Roosevelt, in a performance by the young singers of Essential Voices USA under Grammy-nominated choir director Judith Clurman. Next is The Garden, with words by double Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Penn Warren; it features the 21st Century Chamber Choir conducted by Swiss maestro Ludwig Wicki. The suite Six Pieces comprises a darkly lyrical sequence of instrumental and vocal settings, including the second movement performed by the multiple Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet, the third movement by ten cellists from the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the fifth by mezzo-soprano Clara Sanabras, voicing lyrics by Cotnoir. Several movements for ensemble strings within Six Pieces were originally developed by Shore in collaboration with a string septet from the ever-esteemed Philadelphia Orchestra. The album’s final work, Catania, is a celebratory poem for solo piano written for the wedding of friends and performed by Lang Lang, one of the world’s most popular pianists.
1-6: A Palace Upon the Ruins – lyrics by Elizabeth Cotnoir Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano; players of the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival
7: Peace – text by Eleanor Roosevelt Essential Voices USA Youth Workshop; Benjamin Hutto, organ; Judith Clurman, conductor
8: The Garden – text by Robert Penn Warren 21st Century Chamber Choir; Ludwig Wicki, conductor
9-14: Six Pieces I. Pianoforte, Strings – Howard Shore, conductor II. Quartet – Kronos Quartet III. 10 Celli – RTÉ Concert Orchestra; Ludwig Wicki, conductor IV. Strings – RTÉ Concert Orchestra; Ludwig Wicki, conductor V. Mezzo-soprano, 10 Celli – RTÉ Concert Orchestra; Ludwig Wicki, conductor; Clara Sanabras, mezzo-soprano VI. Strings – RTÉ Concert Orchestra; Ludwig Wicki, conductor