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Pairing two new works for orchestra with soloist is Knehans’ newest disc Cloud Ossuary.
Recorded with tremendous fidelity and color the disc includes Knehans’ Mist Waves for solo violin and strings performed in this recording by the brilliant Czech violinist Pavel Wallinger. Wallinger’s keening lines sit wonderfully against the withheld backdrop of the Brno Philharmonic strings.
The second work on the disc, Knehans’ Cloud Ossuary is set in three related movements in a fast-slow-slow arrangement. These culminate in an extended setting for soprano and orchestra—utilizing only English horn, trumpet, two percussionists, harp and strings—of Knehans’ daughter’s poem Bones and All. Katarina Knehans, a professional writer, has already collaborated with a number of other composers and her sensitivity to vocal setting is very clear here. Her words give intensity, image, substance and philosophical depth to the work. With an extended soprano solo delivered with intense passion by rising star Judith Weusten, the work culminates in a luminous and darkly reflective mood.
The performances by the orchestra, conductor Mikel Toms and most importantly the fine soloists on this disc make it a significant and emotional statement by Knehans and his collaborators.
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