The international reputation of Bernard Rands as one of the leading composers of his generation rests on over a hundred well-crafted scores of notable formal cohesion, dramatic intensity and lyrical beauty.
The Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (2013) was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in celebration of Rands’s eightieth birthday year and as implied by its title, the piece is for piano and orchestra rather than a piano concerto. Hence, the solo part is primus inter pares and is not required to play the conventional role of a protagonist striving heroically for supremacy over the masses.
Canti del Sole, for tenor and orchestra (1983) describes a day’s progression from dawn to dusk through a continuous setting of fourteen poems about the sun. The poems are arranged into two groups of seven.
Music for Shoko: Aubade is an atmospheric mini-tone poem for English horn and string quartet (2017). It is dedicated to Bernard Rands’s friend Shoko Suzuki in appreciation of their many years of friendship andher devotion to the composer’s music. The piece is a transcription of the central ‘Aubade’ movement from the Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra, which was written for the soloist Robert Walters. The solo part of the chamber piece is identical to that of the concerto movement, while the orchestral music is accommodated, with adjustments, by the string quartet. [Paul Conway]