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House of Cards symphony - Happy birthday Robert von Bahr

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Author Topic: House of Cards symphony - Happy birthday Robert von Bahr  (Read 60 times)
M. Yaskovsky
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« on: August 27, 2018, 06:25:44 am »

Robert von Bahr, founder of BIS records, turned 75. He celebrates with this releases, stating:

Today the 27th I will become 75 years of age, so I want to give myself the best present I can think of - music. Doubly. First this double SACD and tonight I will experience Sebastian Fagerlund's opera "The Autumn Sonata", based on Ingmar Bergman's manuscript (to be presented for you here on Sep 8, mark the date! It is great music).

This double SACD means a lot to me. OK, 'fess up - I am an unmitigated fan of the Netflix series "House of Cards". The music in the introductory phase, when they roll the texts, is stunning - an A minor ostinato in the electric bass guitar, the cello A minor melody, and then, in the repeat, the composer inserts a brass E major chord!!! The first time I heard it, I almost screamed, trying for a new world record in sitting highjump - the effect is enormous. So I found out who the composer was - Jeff Beal - contacted him in L.A. and invited him to Stockholm.

He came, Sharon Bezaly played her flute for him, and, when he had picked up his jaw from the floor, he accepted a commission for a Flute Concerto, prioritizing it in his long queue, and presented it to her. This is the recording of it, but it wasn't enough, so Jeff and I discussed what could be added to the SACD. He proposed his huge HoC Symphony (83 minutes), put together from the music to the series.

Now the record became too long, so we added a Guitar Concerto (played by the Grammy winner Jason Vieaux) and Jeff composed a couple of pieces (including an unplayably difficult Fantasy on House of Cards themes for flute and orchestra that she had to learn in a week - show me anyone except Sharon that can play that!!) for this double SACD, the Norrköping SO in Sweden was very happy to augment the orchestra to much more that its usual size, and the Beal Family moved to Sweden to record (Joan, soprano, and Henry, electric bass guitar solo, Jeff conducting and playing jazz flugelhorn). Thore Brinkmann of Take5 and Fabian Frank of arcantus have performed their usual wonders, and the sound is just gorgeous.

Probably the biggest project in BIS's history - certainly the most expensive. So today it is. Thanks, Jeff, and everyone involved in this, for making this a day to remember.
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