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Walk in Beauty

By Emanuele Arciuli

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By Emanuele Arciuli. By Brent Michael Davids, Connor Chee, Kyle Gann, Louis W. Ballard, Peter Garland, Raven Chacon, Talib Rasul Hakim, Carl Ruggles (1876-1971), Martin Bresnick (1946-), Peter Gilbert (1975-), Michael Daugherty (1954-), Jennifer Higdon (1962-), and John Luther Adams (1953-). Classical. CD. Innova #INN255. Published by Innova (NX.INN255).

Item Number: NX.INN255

When an Italian pianist falls in love with the American Southwest, he or she is apt to respond in some grand, expansive and colorful way to the space, light, and culture of the region. This at least was the case with Emanuele Arciuli, international concert artist and keyboard virtuoso, who started collecting artwork and piano pieces connected to the area. Walk in Beauty is a double album of fourteen of those works, many commissioned and premiered by him. Together they form an intimate love letter as well as a tribute as toweringly magical as the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. Early attempts to use American Indian themes in Western art music, while sincere, often betrayed the composers' lack of cultural understanding. This collection, however, includes works by indigenous composers alongside those of Anglo heritage; those who have spent serious time and energy researching their subjects and incorporating what they have learned deeply into their compositional method. The Native composers here include a wide range of approaches and styles; Connor Chee's fantasy on a Navajo theme, Raven Chacon's exploration of noise and feedback from the piano mechanism, Brent michael Davids' sultry jazz miniature, and ballet transcriptions by inspirational forebear Dr. Louis Ballard. The other composers pay homage to particular themes, such as John Luther Adams' stone figures, Michael Daugherty's bison dance, Peter Garland's peyote rituals, Kyle Gann's chant to save the earth and Martin Bresnick's homage to Ishi, the last of his tribe. The program is rounded out with complementary works by Jennifer Higdon, Carl Ruggles, Peter Gilbert, and Sufi convert Talib Rasul Hakim.

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