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Christopher Rouse: Seeing - Kabir Padavali (2015)

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Christopher Rouse: Seeing - Kabir Padavali (2015)

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1. 	Seeing 00:31:31

Kabir Padavali
2.   No. 1. Bijak shabda 69 00:06:16
3.   No. 2. Tagore 50 00:04:04
4.   No. 3. Bijak sabda 55 00:03:24
5.   No. 4. Bijak sabda 4 00:05:46
6.   No. 5. Tagore 92 00:02:56
7.   No. 6. Tagore 97 00:09:39 

Talise Trevigne - soprano
Orion Weiss - piano
Albany Symphony
David Alan Miller - conductor


Winner of a Pulitzer Prize and a GRAMMY® Award, Christopher Rouse is one of America’s most prominent composers of orchestral music, creating a body of work perhaps unequalled in its emotional intensity. Conceived from the start as differing from a traditional piano concerto, Seeing brings together seemingly disparate elements to explore the notion of ‘sanity’ through the music of Robert Schumann and Skip Spence, swinging between extremes of consonance and dissonance, stability and instability, to create a disorientating and hallucinatory work seen through the lens of mental illness. Kabir Padavali or ‘Kabir Songbook’ presents a range of the great Indian poet’s religious concerns, from extraordinarily beautiful ecstasy to impishly humorous allegories. ---naxos.com


Christopher Rouse is often regarded as an eclectic composer because he has employed multiple styles, musical references, and extended techniques in his music, though they are always used to express underlying emotions and ideas. Seeing (1998) is Rouse's free-form piano concerto, inspired by the Piano Concerto in A minor of Robert Schumann and the psychedelic song "Seeing" by Moby Grape guitarist Skip Spence. The collisions of quotations and original material result in a dizzying, hallucinatory study of the conflicts between sanity and mental illness (both Schumann and Spence were institutionalized for psychosis), and the nature of visionary creativity. Pianist Orion Weiss is the soloist, backed by David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony, and they play with incredible precision and focused energy, despite the chaotic and frenetic impression the score makes. Balanced against this turbulent work is Rouse's collection of songs for soprano and orchestra, Kabir Padavali (1998), a setting of six poems by the Indian poet Kabir. In contrast with Seeing, the songs are, for the most part, poignantly lyrical and contemplative, reflecting on the topics of music, love, and spirituality that Kabir's poetry explores. Soprano Talise Trevigne displays a wide range of emotions, from hushed wonder to religious rapture, and the orchestra gives her atmospheric and powerful accompaniment. These world premiere recordings offer polished performances and full orchestral sound, making this a great CD to introduce Rouse's thought-provoking music to new listeners. Highly recommended. ---Blair Sanderson, AllMusic Review

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