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George Curran | Vital Signs

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Vital Signs

by George Curran

A solo album from George Curran, bass trombonist of the New York Philharmonic.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Vital Signs of Planet Earth: I. Heat Wave
George Curran & Hanako Yamagata
8:44 album only
2. Vital Signs of Planet Earth: II. Glacial Retreat
George Curran & Hanako Yamagata
7:07 album only
3. Vital Signs of Planet Earth: III. Deluge
George Curran & Hanako Yamagata
9:09 album only
4. Piano Preludes: I. Allegro ben rimato e deciso
George Curran & Hanako Yamagata
1:51 $0.99
5. Piano Preludes: II. Andante con moto e poco rubato
George Curran & Hanako Yamagata
4:27 $0.99
6. Piano Preludes: III. Allegro ben rimato e deciso
George Curran & Hanako Yamagata
1:32 $0.99
7. Romanza – Scherzo: I. Romanza
George Curran & Hanako Yamagata
5:51 $0.99
8. Romanza – Scherzo: II. Scherzo
George Curran & Hanako Yamagata
3:36 $0.99
9. Bass Trombone Concerto, Op. 239: I. Allegro molto vivace
George Curran & Hanako Yamagata
5:58 $0.99
10. Bass Trombone Concerto, Op. 239: II. Adagio molto
George Curran & Hanako Yamagata
4:49 $0.99
11. Bass Trombone Concerto, Op. 239: III. Allegro con energico
George Curran & Hanako Yamagata
4:08 $0.99
12. Hymn for Planet Earth
George Curran, Columbus State University Trombone Choir & Bradley Palmer
5:51 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The idea for this recording project began with the commission of David Gillingham's Vital Signs concerto. Dr. Gillingham has this to say about his piece: "The concerto seeks to depict the “vital signs” of the earth as related to global warming. HEAT WAVE thrusts the listener into the middle of the event with undulating waves of heat played out by conflicting half step movement and edgy clusters. GLACIAL RETREAT reflects the dichotomy of the awe and beauty of glaciers and the concern over the dire effects of their retreat. DELUGE portrays the third major effect from global warming – flooding." The success of this work encouraged me to record it, not only because of its music, but because of its important warning about the dangers of global warming.

The entire set of George Gershwin's PIANO PRELUDES were arranged for violin and piano by Gershwin's fiddle playing friend, Jascha Heifetz. His arrangement was the inspiration for my adaptation for bass trombone. Alan Pierce is the retired bass trombonist of the Oregon Symphony and a fine composer. He sent me this piece, and as I began working on the first melody, I realized that I had happened upon something very special. Alan says “Charlie Vernon challenged me to write a piece of music with “lots of tunes.” I labored for several years and was able to put together my ROMANZA-SCHERZO. I would like to dedicate my piece to George Curran.”

I had the honor of performing Derek Bourgeois's BASS TROMBONE CONCERTO with the United States Army Band at what was then called the Eastern Trombone Workshop. Bourgeois's compositional style is influenced by the many British brass bands of his home country, and as a former euphonium player, I was especially drawn to the central melody of the middle movement. At the end of this disc lies the second work written especially for this project. It was composed by Steven Verhelst, who wrote: "A ray of sunlight shines down on the earth. The earth heats up and glows. A stunning planet begins to move... A lyrical theme describes a place that breathes and lives, but also suffers. There is overpopulation, extreme beliefs, hunger, and global warming. But it is the stunning character of planet earth that survives. Nature and humanity belong together.” Its hopeful message contrasts with the dire vision from the beginning of the disc, but it is in our hands to manifest this future.

George Curran became the bass trombonist of the New York Philharmonic in 2013. As a soloist, Mr. Curran premiered the title work for this album with the Central Michigan University Wind Ensemble and has performed the piece several times since, including in Carnegie Hall. He has been a soloist at the American Trombone Workshop several times, performed at the Midwest Clinic and been a featured artist at the Slide Factory in Rotterdam. He has twice been a soloist and judge at the Jeju International Wind Ensemble Festival in South Korea. Mr. Curran has participated in several recording projects, beginning with an Atlanta Trombone Project recording titled Roadwork. This project resulted in the formation of the Southeast Trombone Symposium, an annual week-long summer workshop for young trombonists at Columbus State University. Additionally, Mr. Curran was a soloist on a recently released recording titled A Beautiful Noise that featured renowned trombonists performing with the CSU Trombone Choir. In a follow-up to that recording, the STS faculty released a recording called Legacy, in which Mr. Curran played a renowned role. George Curran is an S.E. Shires Trombone artist, and performs regularly on his signature model trombone."

A native of Tokyo, Japan, pianist Hanako Yamagata has performed frequently with the Martha Graham Dance Company and collaborates with accomplished instrumentalists from the New York area. Ms. Yamagata is currently on the piano faculty of the Spence School and accompanying staff of the Juilliard School. CD recordings include Listening with Denson Paul Pollard, Act I with Weston Sprott, and Psychedelia with James Markey. Ms. Yamagata has served as accompanist with the Southeast Trombone Symposium and the Alessi Trombone Seminar.

Production and digital editing: Bradley Palmer, Jamie Nix (Verhelst) Mixing and Mastering Engineer: Matt McCabe
Co-production: Jessica Griggs (Verhelst)
Recording Engineer: Jessica Griggs
Photography and graphic design: David Finlayson
Additional thanks: Justin Ambrozia, Stephen Clayton, Jeremy Cover, Brian Hall Robert Lindahl, Andrew Markel, Sandi Montes, Dawid Mżyk, Joshua Norris, Felix Padilla
Andrew Sellers, the STS faculty and guests, Nick Williams, John Williamson, Karen Zgonc
and, of course, to my very supportive and patient wife Katie and daughter Kayla



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