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Derek Bermel

Intonations - Music For Clarinet and Strings

Release Date: August 26, 2022

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Interview w/ WGTE
Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute - Interview with Derek Bermel and Tania Leon
1 Intonations / I. Harmonica 5:28  
2 II. Hymn/Homily 6:54  
3 III. Hustle 6:20  
4 Ritornello (2011) (version for electric guitar and string quartet) 12:33  
5 Thracian Sketches (2003) 7:12  
6 Violin Etudes (2009) / No. 1. Twenty Questions 1:27  
7 No. 2. Gravity 2:43  
8 No. 3. Figure and Ground 2:53  
9 No. 4. Multiverse/Sketch 3:28  
10 No. 5. Chôros 2:29  
11 A Short History of the Universe / I. Multiverse 5:07  
12 II. Heart of Space 6:53  
13 III. Twistor Scattering 4:46  
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Naxos American Classics releases Intonations [Naxos 8.559912], five world-premiere recordings of works for string quartet, electric guitar, solo clarinet and solo violin by Rome Prize and Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowship-winning composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel. The album includes Intonations for string quartet (2016); Ritornello for electric guitar and string quartet (2011); Thracian Sketches for solo clarinet (2003); Violin Etudes (2009-16); and A Short History of the Universe for clarinet and string quartet (2013). Bermel himself plays clarinet on the album; also featured are the acclaimed JACK Quartet, Dutch electric guitarist Wiek Hijmans, and JACK Quartet violinist Christopher Otto playing Bermel’s solo Violin Etudes. (Also available from Naxos American Classics: Bermel’s Grammy®-nominated and critically-acclaimed recording, Migrations, 8.559871.)

“It’s hard to know what to be more dazzled by in the music of composer Derek Bermel—the range of stylistic voices he cultivates or the profusion of ingenuity, beauty and wit he brings to everything he touches.”  —San Francisco Chronicle

In the liner notes for Intonations, fellow composer Nathan Shields writes of the “deeply personal sensibility running through all [Bermel’s] music, one marked by sly theatricality, deadpan humor, and restless intellectual curiosity.” Bermel’s interests are indeed wide-ranging: his mentors have included the composers Henri Dutilleux, Louis Andriessen and William Bolcom; he has traveled to Bulgaria to study Thracian folk music, Ghana to study the Lobi xylophone, and Brazil to study the caxixi; and he has collaborated with adventurous musicians from Wynton Marsalis and Stephen Sondheim to the rapper Yasiin Bey (Mos Def).

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