Zarathustra Music is proud to present the world premiere recording of Elliot Goldenthal's ''Symphony in G# Minor'' performed by Pacific Symphony under conductor Carl St.Clair. Composer, conductor, and orchestra previously collaborated 20 years before when Pacific Symphony commissioned and recorded Goldenthal's highly acclaimed ''Fire,Water,Paper - A Vietnam Oratorio.'' For the occasion of the orchestra's American Composers Festival 2014, Goldenthal composed his 25 minute symphony, in the obscure yet autobiographical key of G# Minor, especially for the occasion. The work premiered immediately after the composer's 60th birthday in May 2014 and represents Goldenthal's first large-scale concert work since Fire,Water,Paper. In the past 20 years, Goldenthal has garnered three Academy Award nominations (Interview with a Vampire, Michael Collins) and won and Oscar and Golden Globe for his score to Frida. In 2007, Goldenthal was finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his opera Grendel which premiered at Los Angeles Opera and Lincoln Center Festival. In 2013 composed his String Quartet No.1 ''The Stone Cutters'' as well as music for Julie Taymor's stage production of ''A Midsummer Night's Dream'' that opened a new theater in Goldenthal's hometown of Brooklyn, NY. In 2013 the Joffrey ballet produced his large-scale three-act ballet Othello at the 4,000 seat Auditorium Theater in Chicago, and in 2015 the American Ballet Theater revives Othello for its fourth time at the Metropolitan Opera House. Meanwhile, downtown the composer is providing ''Music & Soundscapes'' for the new one-woman show Grounded starring Anne Hathaway at the Public Theater. Goldenthal remains one of the most highly acclaimed and dynamic composers working today.
Orange County Register:
''Elliot Goldenthal's Symphony in G-Sharp Minor, composed especially for the occasion and given its work premiere at the end of the concert, is a distinguished and exciting piece of work. It knows it's a symphony from the get-go, knows what it has to do. Goldenthal (Interview with a Vampire, Frida) who wrote an opera that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, understands what makes a symphony tick, and that is a consistent development of materials, or, musical progress.
''Given a time limitation of 22 minutes, Goldenthal has divided his work into two movements, the first longer, slow, spare and expansive, the second fast, gritty and compact. The play off each other. The thematic material is simple and limited in scope, all the better to manipulate, vary and mull.
''The work is harmonically centered on G-Sharp Minor but is freely dissonant, its Moderato con Moto has a Mahlerian quality, dark and brooding and serious, also trenchantly orchestrated. It takes its time, is in no rush to show off, is even hesitant in its unwinding. The finale takes the lid off, is brash and jagged and motoric, near the end unleashing a battery of antiphonal percussionists, who slammed away here in the reverberation chambers around the hall, to thrilling stereophonic effect.
''Call it dramatic but never cheap. This tightly knit score deserves wide play, and I hope St.Clair and the orchestra will bring it back, too.''
Los Angeles Times:
''Goldenthal saved his showmanship for the end, where wild percussion broke out from all around the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall as the onstage instruments screamed.''
Orange County Register's ''Reger Awards: The Year in Classical Music''
Best New Symphony: To Elliot Goldenthal's taut, cogent and edgy Symphony in G-sharp minor, given its premiere by Carl St.Clair and the Pacific Symphony.
Three hundred Limited Edition 180 gram numbered vinyl records
Bernie Grundman Mastering
1. Symphony in G# Minor: Movement I - Moderato con Moto 17:01
2. Symphony in G# Minor: Movement II - Rondo Agitato 7:48