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Jean Gay & Ben Leaptrott | Chamber Music for Cello and Piano

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Chamber Music for Cello and Piano

by Jean Gay & Ben Leaptrott

“…immediately attractive and accessible, with an emphasis on beauty of sound, simplicity of means, and expression of feeling.” (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Wine Lover's Guide to the Cello: 1. Champagne
Jean Gay
3:11 $0.99
2. The Wine Lover's Guide to the Cello: 2. Sherry
Jean Gay
2:36 $0.99
3. The Wine Lover's Guide to the Cello: 3. Montrachet
Jean Gay
2:31 $0.99
4. The Wine Lover's Guide to the Cello: 4. Margaux
Jean Gay
4:32 $0.99
5. The Wine Lover's Guide to the Cello: 5. Porto
Jean Gay
2:01 $0.99
6. Sonatina: 1. Moderato
Ben Leaptrott
2:03 $0.99
7. Sonatina: 2. Adagio
Ben Leaptrott
5:01 $0.99
8. Sonatina: 3. Rondo - Boîte à musique
Ben Leaptrott
1:29 $0.99
9. American Fall: 1. Descent from Eden
Jean Gay
6:32 $0.99
10. American Fall: 2. Lament
Jean Gay
5:51 $0.99
11. Between Equinoxes
Ben Leaptrott
3:58 $0.99
12. Sonata for Cello and Piano: 1. Slow, Expressive
Jean Gay
7:56 $0.99
13. Sonata for Cello and Piano: 2. Interlude, Slow
Jean Gay
2:09 $0.99
14. Sonata for Cello and Piano: 3. Finale, Playful
Jean Gay
5:07 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This album of Chamber Music for Cello and Piano by Atlanta composers Curtis Bryant and Jeffrey Earl Young is based on selections from a concert program given by cellist Jean Gay and pianist Ben Leaptrott at Emory University on February 19, 2017. Recording for this album was completed at ACA Digital Studio (Atlanta) in June of 2017 with Tommy Joe Anderson, recording engineer and Fred Horton, digital editor. Program notes from the original live concert are given below:

Commissioned by cello and piano duo Dorothy and Cary Lewis in 1991 with private funding from Dr. Tunçer Someren and his circle of oenophiles, this five movement suite creates a musical description of the wines that might accompany an elegantly orchestrated five-course meal — an attempt to attain the ultimate in sensory experience. So, to be paired with the appetizer, soup, fish course, meat course, and dessert are 1. Champagne, 2. Sherry, 3. Montrachet, 4. Margaux, and 5. Porto.

After the world premiere of Bryant's "wine suite" music critic Derrick Henry wrote of the piece: “It is colorful, accessible, well-crafted music that regales the ear with luscious melodic lines.” (Atlanta Journal Constitution, 1991)

In the score Bryant includes original epigrams which he instructs to be read (or mentally intoned), tongue in cheek, before each movement with the inscribed dedication “to fine wining, dining, and listening, and to François Rabelais, who certainly would counter with a toast.”

Champagne! Champagne!
Ah, what it does for the brain:
the sparkle in the glass, the twinkle in their eyes. No pain! No pain!
How is it that a wine with such tiny bubbles
so totally satisfies?

Why do I describe the wine of Xeres with a tango from the Argentine? Is not sherry a Spanish wine?
I hear there are some voluptuous ones from the south of South America.
Such lovely legs sweep smoothly across the fino flor.
Don’t you agree?

Mont Rachet, wine’s Mont Parnasse, mon Dieu, alas!
Is this where the goddess of wine dreams?
Certainly the little fishes of the streams
will die happily knowing that a glass
of fair Montrachet has been poured to wash them away.

Margaux, with her gentle perfume and velvet robe
reaches out to softly touch your waiting lips.
What memories flicker past
through the candle-lit crystal glass;
what pleasures she awards your sips!

All our worries will dissolve
in rich Porto’s dark, sweet drink.
Surely Bacchus will lift a glass to us,
dance a samba, and give us a wink.

© 1991 by Curtis Bryant

SONATINA - Curtis Bryant
Bryant’s sonatina for piano was commissioned by longtime friend, amateur pianist and music lover Jerome Brumby. Completed in 2004, the sonatina has three movements that conform to the expected fast - slow - fast construct. Two movements were given a premiere performance in 2014 on a recital featuring pianist Luanne Latzanich, but this performance by Mr. Leaptrott marks the world premiere of the entire sonatina.

AMERICAN FALL - Jeffrey Earl Young
The title AMERICAN FALL is derived from the moniker “Arab Spring” given to a series of regional rebellions that hoped to establish democratic governments in Arab countries. I chose this title after composing the two movements.

Lament was originally influenced by images of armed bands invading villages and kidnapping youth from their mothers' arms. But this mother's lament embodies more than sorrow and resignation, more than denial and depression – her anger and determination are apparent. She will not quietly accept her loss.

As I was putting together a more upbeat companion piece for Lament, the unexpected result of our presidential election bullied its way to the forefront of our collective consciousness. Lament seemed an apt metaphor for the state of mind of millions of stunned voters. As a result, the companion piece, Descent from Eden, reflects the undermining and collapse of a tolerant but naive society. The echoes of dark-moneyed jackboots, at first pushed aside like the sound of a distant train, become the dominant voice. I paired the new piece with Lament under the title American Fall.

BETWEEN EQUINOXES - Jeffrey Earl Young
The piano solo Between Equinoxes was inspired by the fractal branching of twigs outlined by a fresh fall of wet snow on the Lehigh University campus. The theme of the piece is Fall's descent to dormancy followed by Spring's riotous rebirth. Here lies a hint that the tolerant democracy seemingly rejected by so many will also be reborn.

Bryant composed his cello sonata for performers Dorothy and Cary Lewis on a commission by longtime friend Gretchen Van Zile, who wished to give a musical Valentine to her husband Donald Van Der Veer in the course of its live premiere performance on February 10, 1987. The Lewises later recorded the sonata and included it on their 1989 CD release “Music By Southern Composers for Cello and Piano" on the Gasparro label. The two outer movements of the piece are in sonata form. They are joined together by the expressive, free-form Interlude, which serves as a transition to the “Playful” last movement. In a review of the original Gasparro album release Focus Magazine wrote the following: “The strength of [Bryant's] work lies...in its sensuous lyricism.” (Focus, 1992)

Cellist JEAN GAY is an active solo artist, chamber musician, and cello instructor currently based in Atlanta. Always looking for new ways to engage and involve audiences on a deeper level, in 2016 she presented a year-long series of concerts for solo cello based on three themes - metamorphosis, passion, and boundaries. These concerts are in collaboration with local composers, visual artists, and other creators and are a celebration of the unique people working to grow the Atlanta music and arts community. Jean also performs frequently with ensembles focusing on contemporary classical works, such as Chamber Cartel and Terminus Ensemble. Her degrees were completed in both Atlanta and Chicago; in 2013 she received an Artist Diploma from Georgia State University studying with Christopher Rex, in 2011 a Master’s degree from the College Conservatory of Performing Arts in Chicago studying with Wendy Warner, and in 2009 a Bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University studying with Martha Gerschefski and Pamela Devenport.

Pianist BEN LEAPTROTT is currently in his 8th year as professor of music with a specialty in collaborative arts at Brenau University. His recent musical accomplishments include being a past official accompanist for the district and regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions and Artist in Residence at Brenau with The Leaptrott Trio. The Leaptrott Trio performed at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival this past June. He is a Founding Board Member and Vice President of the Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation which serves to promote talented opera singers nationally. Brenau University is the proud recipient of an accompanying scholarship through the Jensen Foundation.

CURTIS BRYANT composes and teaches in his studio in the Atlanta area and has served on the faculty of Georgia State University School of Music and other area educational institutions. For over three decades Bryant’s music has been heard in live concert performances as well as in broadcast and other media worldwide and throughout the United States. Composing in virtually all concert forms including chamber, art song, choral, orchestral, and opera, his music has been praised for being “immediately attractive and accessible, with an emphasis on beauty of sound, simplicity of means, and expression of feeling” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Bryant was the recipient of a Faith Partners residency from the American Composers Forum in 2009. He has also composed music for numerous television series and specials, including the award winning Portrait of America series produced by Turner Broadcasting. He has garnered seven Southern Regional Emmy Award nominations for original music from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Bryant was awarded Second Place in The American Prize for 2016 in the category for composers of music for opera, theater, and film, for his opera Zabette.

JEFFREY EARL YOUNG studies under composers Daren Hagen and Martha Bishop and has been tutored from time to time by composers John Anthony Lennon of Emory University and Paul Salerni of Lehigh University. He has audited composition and theory classes at Emory University. Jeff attended the Connecticut Summerfest composers' workshop in June, 2017, where his new work was performed by saxophone/bassoon duo Xelana. He has also been performed publicly at a concert of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta, at a chamber concert in Atlanta, and at the 2016 Charlotte New Music Festival by new music ensemble Bent Frequency and the Beo String Quartet. Jeff has studied classical and jazz piano, and trombone. He is an active member of the Board of the Friends of Music at Emory and of Bent Frequency. Jeff is a retired patent attorney.



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