A new album by the Chicago Sinfonietta was recorded in North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall, a venue known for its exceptional acoustics.
The new album, “Delights & Dances,” is the full-length recording debut by Mei-Ann Chen, music director of the Chicago Sinfonietta. The Cedille Records album features the Harlem Quartet in world-premiere recordings of works by contemporary American composers Michael Abels and Randall Craig Fleischer.
“Delights & Dances” takes its name from Abels’ rousing, blues- and bluegrass-inflected piece, “Delights & Dances for String Quartet and String Orchestra.” Fleischer’s “West Side Story Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra” is an arrangement of musical numbers from Leonard Bernstein’s 1957 Broadway hit musical.
American composer Benjamin Lees’s dramatic, full-throated “Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra” and Chinese-Canadian composer An-Lun Huang’s energetic “Saibei Dance” complete the album. The album was released digitally May 7 and on CD May 28.
In the CD booklet notes, Andrea Lamoreaux, music director of Chicago’s WFMT-FM, places concertos for quartet and orchestra within the concerto grosso tradition of the Baroque era, which produced some of today’s best-known classical works, such as J.S. Bach’s six Brandenburg Concertos. Abels (b.1962) composed his “Delights & Dances” specifically for the Harlem Quartet.
“Delights & Dances” was produced by James Ginsburg and engineered by Bill Maylone in sessions June 19-20, 2012, in Wentz Concert Hall. It is the Sinfonietta’s seventh album for Cedille Records. The audiophile-oriented label is releasing the album as a physical CD; a 96 kHz, 24-bit, studio quality FLAC download; and a 320 Kbps MP3 download.
Cedille Records is distributed in the Western Hemisphere by Naxos of America and its distribution partners, by Select Music in the U.K., and by other independent distributors in major international classical music markets. Visit cedillerecords.org to learn more.
The acoustics in Wentz Concert Hall are designed by Talaske Sound Thinking, acoustical consultants for the critically acclaimed Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Grant Park.