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Spells: Works of Juli Nunlist


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Spells, a new retrospective collection highlighting the music of poet and composer Juli Nunlist, marks a touching journey through the earnest, romantic, and dramatic sounds of the late artist's compositional language. The album's works demonstrate Nunlist's appreciation for tradition and grandeur, and are driven by her remarkable gift for melody and clear fascination with instrumental texture. Nunlist's literary background seems to inform the potency of the album's vocal works, including the intimate a cappella choral arrangement on the title track, a choral setting of six poems by the English poet Kathleen Raine; and the epic Six Chansons from Prières dans l'arches, for vocal soloists and orchestra. Though these pieces feature contrasting instrumentations, they both display the composer's effortless text setting and brilliantly sensitive orchestration. In each, her compelling writing brings the given text to life, and activates the nuance of its narrative and symbolism with intricate vocal an dinstrumental arrangements. To this end, Spells uses subtle melodic, harmonic, and textural recurrences to convey an enveloping and somewhat cyclical form. The Six Chansons, on the other hand, build vast sonic wonderlands, imaged through Nunlist's incredible command of orchestral space and density. Each of the Chansons pairs vocalists and a large instrumental ensemble, with some of the work's most compelling moments arising from these unique and highly exposed pairings, such as solo mezzo-soprano and celeste. The album's romantic centerpiece arrives with Nunlist's String Quartet, a piece which hearkens back to the genre's seminal nineteenth century masterpiece with its captivating melodies and gripping subversions of functional harmony. Moreover, in a structural sense. Nunlist's String Quartet is one of the most impressive works on Spells, especially in its dramatic closing movement. In the final moments of this piece, the music refuses to repose, and, on the strength of a new theme, the quartet gains energy and determination. This surprising turn in the work's formal trajectory is unquestionably meaningful, and seems to demonstrate a fearless quality in Nunlist's compositional perspective.
Facts
Item number NV6096
Barcode 896931003964
Release date 5/12/2017
Category Classical Music
Label NAVONA
Media type COMPACT DISC
Number of units 1
Performers
Choir Vox Futura
Conductor Unknown Artist
Ensemble Pedroia String Quartet
Orchestra Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Disc: 1
String Quartet00:21:00
1 String Quartet: I. — 00:05:15 Pedroia String Quartet
2 String Quartet: II. — 00:07:22 Pedroia String Quartet
3 String Quartet: III. — 00:02:28 Pedroia String Quartet
4 String Quartet: IV. — 00:06:52 Pedroia String Quartet
6 Chansons from Prières Dans L'arche00:20:00
5 6 Chansons from Prières dans l'arche: No. 1, Prièr 00:04:19 Stankovsky, Robert Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Unknown Artist
6 6 Chansons from Prières dans l'arche: No. 2, Prièr 00:03:34 Stankovsky, Robert Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Unknown Artist
7 6 Chansons from Prières dans l'arche: No. 3, Prièr 00:03:56 Stankovsky, Robert Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Unknown Artist
8 6 Chansons from Prières dans l'arche: No. 4, Prièr 00:01:52 Stankovsky, Robert Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Unknown Artist
9 6 Chansons from Prières dans l'arche: No. 5, Prièr 00:03:09 Stankovsky, Robert Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Unknown Artist
10 6 Chansons from Prières dans l'arche: No. 6, Prièr 00:02:57 Stankovsky, Robert Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Unknown Artist
2 Symphonic Poems00:10:00
11 2 Symphonic Poems: No. 1, The Sea and the Skylark 00:05:14 Stankovsky, Robert Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Unknown Artist
12 2 Symphonic Poems: No. 2, Spring 00:04:45 Stankovsky, Robert Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Unknown Artist
Spells00:24:00
13 Spells: No. 1, Love Spell 00:05:10 Vox Futura Shenton, Andrew
14 Spells: No. 2, Spell of Sleep 00:03:58 Vox Futura Shenton, Andrew
15 Spells: No. 3, Spell against Sorrow 00:04:25 Vox Futura Shenton, Andrew
16 Spells: No. 4, Spell of Safe-keeping 00:02:39 Vox Futura Shenton, Andrew
17 Spells: No. 5, Spell to Bring Lost Creatures Home 00:04:05 Vox Futura Shenton, Andrew
18 Spells: No. 6, Spell of Creation 00:04:01 Vox Futura Shenton, Andrew
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