The Atlanta Symphony and Chorus opens its 71st season Sept. 17-19 with Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony, but in the buildup to that major concert the ASO has announced that it is releasing a recording of a world premiere from the 2014-15 season.
On Sept. 11, ASO Media, the orchestra’s own label, is issuing its sixth release, “Christopher Theofanidis Creation/Creator.”
The work by Theofanidis, a member of the ASO’s Atlanta School of Composers, was given its world premiere at Atlanta’s Symphony Hall in April.
Interweaving texts and ideas from philosophy, science, religion, poetry and literature, “Creation/Creator” is divided into 15 movements, each showcasing different texts and utilizing different musical approaches. The movements contain segments of poetry recitations, a capella choral pieces, orchestral music, electric guitar, saxophone, percussion and vocal sections.
AJC classical music critic James Paulk praised the ambition of the 75-minute concert piece, which explores creation and the creative process and relationship between God and humanity.
Distributed by Naxos of America, the recording features music director Robert Spano leading the ASO and Chorus. Soloists are soprano Jessica Rivera, mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, tenor Thomas Cooley, bass Evan Boyer and baritone Nmon Ford. The concert, which was presented in the Theater of a Concert format with stage direction by James Alexander, also features actors Steven Cole and Shannon Eubanks.
ASO recordings have won 27 Grammy Awards.
The ASO announced this summer that it would perform “Creation/Creator” when it appears at the inaugural Shift: A Festival of American Orchestras at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington in 2017.
Slated to perform on March 31, 2017, the ASO was selected along with three other orchestras: Boulder Philharmonic (March 28), North Carolina Symphony (March 29) and the Knights, a Brooklyn-based ensemble (April 1).