STEPHEN GRYC: NEW MUSIC FOR FLUTE AND OBOE (Opus One CD #166)
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Flutist John Wion and oboist Humbert Lucarelli, two of the world’s leading woodwind soloists, perform separately and together in an all-Gryc program: The Moon’s Mirror, Five Preludes for Flute Alone, Six Mechanicals from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Delicate Balances, Three Excursions for Oboe, and Fantasy Variations on a Theme of Bela Bartok.
“I continue to be impressed by the quality of Opus Ones’ recordings… Stephen Gryc’s music is well-crafted and offers its own pleasantly unchallenging rewards. He clearly knows the flute and oboe very well, and he writes expressively for them. Particularly striking are The Moon’s Mirror for flute and chamber orchestra and the Six Mechanicals from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for flute, oboe, and harpsichord. The playing is excellent, especially by flutist John Wion and oboist Bert Lucarelli. With performers like these at his disposal, it is not surprising that Gryc has returned to these instruments again and again.” -- American Record Guide
RAW EARTH: NEW MUSIC FOR WIND BAND (Naxos 8.573342)
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The Hartt School Wind Ensemble, Glen Adsit conductor, performs Stephen Michael Gryc’s five-movement Concerto for Winds and Percussion and works by Susan Botti and Jess Turner.
“The Hartt School Wind Ensemble has released some of the most impressive recordings and Raw Earth is no exception. The program begins with Concerto for Winds and Percussion by Stephen Gryc, a marvelous display piece which runs the gamut of instrumental brilliance and challenge.” -- Bandworld Magazine
PASSAGGI :Wind Band Classics (Naxos 8.572109)
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Joseph Alessi, principal trombonist of the New York Philarmonic, performs Stephen Michael Gryc’s trombone concerto, Passaggi, with the Hartt Wind Ensemble and conductor Glen Adsit in this highly acclaimed first recording of the ensemble. Also included in the recording are works by Schwantner, Bassett, Turrin, and Zivkovic.
“Four 21st century compositions for wind band that take us into a new and adventurous sound world. Each share a general tendency towards tonality, the most extensive score coming from Stephen Gryc, trombonist and composer, who was commissioned to write a concerto for Joseph Alessi, principal trombone of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Passaggi consists of three pictures of musicians who have influenced Gryc, two slow movements preceding a final scherzo. It is a work that showcases Alessi’s silky smooth playing, only in the virtuoso last movement allowing his brilliance to take over.” -- David Denton, David’s Review Corner
AVALON STRING QUARTET (Troy 1160)
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The recording features Stephen Gryc’s String Quartet performed by one of America’s great
up-and-coming string quartets. Also Included are works by Biggs, Wickman, and Macbride.
“Four worthwhile works… all deserving of a place in the repertoire. The impressive Avalon String Quartet does them a huge service… Gryc is particularly ingenious in his use of counterpoint – a crucial aspect of quartet writing—as well as showing a thorough understanding of the instruments’ capabilities. -- Phillip Scott, Fanfare
“The last movement with all instruments muted creates a fabulous effect, including pizzicato strings against other unique sound effects.” -- David Wolman, Fanfare
ARROWS OF TIME (University of New Mexico issue)
The University of New Mexico Wind Symphony, Eric Rombach-Kendall conducting, performs Stephen Michael Gryc’s Masquerade Variations on a Theme of Sergei Prokofiev along with Joseph Turrin’s Sounding of the Call with trumpet soloist John Marchiando and Richard Peaslee’s Arrows of Time with trombone soloist Chris Buckholz.
FASCINATING RIBBONS (Summit DCD519)
The University of New Mexico Wind Symphony, Eric Rombach-Kendall conducting,
performs Stephen Michael Gryc’s Las Campanas in addition to recent works by Joan Tower, Roberto Sierra, and others.
“…full of bell sonorities in the brass and percussion, and evocative lines in the woodwind and horns. The inspiration is Spanish, a fusion of that intense sadness and vitality which characterizes so much Iberian music.” -- Timothy Reynish, WASBE World
FANDANGO (Summit DCD 271)
Philip Smith, principal trumpeter of the New York Philharmonic, performs Stephen Michael Gryc’s Evensong. Smith and philharmonic colleague trombonist Joseph Alessi (trombonist) play works by William Goldstein, Joseph Turrin, and Derek Bourgeois with the University of New Mexico Wind Symphony and conductor Eric Rombach-Kendall.
“Fandango offers some of the finest solo brass performances you are ever likely to hear…Stephen Gryc’s Evensong affords Smith the opportunity to demonstrate a more pensive approach to the music. The sound quality is excellent; the solo voices are warm and with good presence. The balance between soloist and ensemble is superb… This CD is important for two reasons. First, it provides new, quality compositions for trumpet and trombone with wind band. Second, it spotlights some phenomenal trumpet and trombone performances by Phil Smith and Joe Alessi. This recording is highly recommended.” -- International Trumpet Guild Journal
DUO ESSENCE: SHADOWDANCE (Capstone CPS-8738)
Duo Essence (flutist Helen Richman and pianist Jenny Mitchell) present a CD of works inspired by the dance. This beguiling recording includes music of many periods, nationalities, and styles. The music ranges from the Baroque (Dance of the Blessed Spirits from Gluck's opera Orfeo), to contemporary works (including Stephen Gryc's Shadowdance), to pop/rock (Sting's They Dance Alone).
ONE WORLD HORN (Jeffrey Lang)
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Jeffrey Lang, Associate Principal Horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra, performs Stephen Michael Gryc’s Reflections On A Southern Hymn along with other works for horn alone by David Amram, Otto Ketting, Malcolm Arnold, and others. All proceeds from sales of this recording go to charities such as the American Red Cross.
“There are several of the standards in the unaccompanied literature…all performed expertly, with a great sound and rock solid technique.” -- James Boldin’s Horn World
SPECTRA: Connecticut Composers (Navona Records NV5964)
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This compilation includes Gróa Margrét Valdimarsdóttir's premiere performance of Stephen Gryc's elegy for solo violin titled deep-diving loon. Other Connecticut composers feature in the recording include Michael Slayton, Ken Steen, Ryan Jesperson, Margaret Stoop, and Elizabeth Austin.
SPECTRA: A CONCERT OF MUSIC FOR VOICES BY CONNECTICUT COMPOSERS, INC.
The Kent Singers from Kent Connecticut performs Stephen Michael Gryc’s Two Poems of Henry David Thoreau (The Autumnal Sun and Fog) as well as works by Connecticut composers Allen Brings, Sandra Smith Brooks, Howard Rovics, Elizabeth Lauer, Frank Vasi, Elizabeth Austin, Benjamin Gryk, Constance Walton, George Lombardo, and Ken Steen.
SPECTRA: A CONCERT OF MUSIC BY CONNECTICUT COMPOSERS, INC.
Members of the Hartt Contemporary Players perform Stephen Michael Gryc’s Five American Portraits for Five Wind Instruments. The personalities portrayed in the five movements are: H. L. Mencken, John Cage, Henry Ford, Edgar Allan Poe, and Theodore Roosevelt.
CONVERGENCE (Klavier K-11110)
Eugene Corporon conducts the famed North Texas Wind Symphony in the premiere recording of Stephen Gryc’s Masquerade Variations on a Theme of Sergei Prokofiev. The CD includes other important works by major composers including Percy Grainger's epic ballet score, The Warriors, and Paul Hindemith's Konzertmusik, Opus 41.
"The highlights of the CD are the new works--Masquerade Variations on a Theme of Sergei Prokofiev by Stephen Gryc, Myaku by David Dzubay--both impressive contributions to the wind band repertoire." -- International Trumpet Guild Journal
CHICAGO TROMBONE CONSORT (Albany Records)
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This recording is a must for all trombone lovers and players. It includes music by Giovanni Gabrieli, Richard Strauss, and Anton Bruckner. Featured is Stephen Gryc's arrangement of Palestrina's double-choir motet, Ecce veniet dies illa.
"...being a fussy old trombone player I was taken by the genius of both the performance standards and recording quality. I've ordered 7 more to pass out to the friends who can appreciate this level of quality. First rate."
-- R. Krauss, Broadcast Engineer at WYSU-FM
Listen to my setting of Maggie Anderson's poem about corn, Flying, as you browse the CD gallery. The complete recording of Dream Vegetables: Six Poems by Maggie Anderson is featured on the CD titled Dreams and Nocturnes CD shown below.
with Reviews and
DREAMS AND NOCTURNES: CHAMBER MUSIC OF STEPHEN GRYC
(Centaur CRC 2595)
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Contents: Dream Vegetables, Shadowdance, Six Mechanicals from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Moon Thoughts, and Dances and Nocturnes.
“Stephen Gryc has a fine and delicate ear for chamber music. What I like most about his program is the space he gives each instrument to breathe and relate to the other instruments. My favorite piece is Shadowdance, a short work for flute and piano that he composed as a competition piece for the National Flute Association’s Young Artists’ Competition. Although not as weighty as some of the other works on the program, the clarity and elegance of the ideas interested me. The other pieces are all well crafted.” -- American Record Guide