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Suzanne Mueller | Solitaire

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United States - New York

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Classical: Contemporary Classical: Bach Moods: Solo Instrumental
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by Suzanne Mueller

An eclectic collection of works for solo cello (+ 1 duet and 1 cello quartet) covering an emotional range from contemplative reflection through exuberant abandon, including several premieres.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Cl'oud
0:47 $0.99
2. Suite No. 5 in C Minor, BWV 1011: Sarabande
3:21 $0.99
3. Suite No. 5 in C Minor, BWV 1011: Gigue
2:18 $0.99
4. Sunday Morning Variations
7:25 $0.99
5. Ruthenian Kolamejka
1:17 $0.99
6. Bitter Tears
2:54 $0.99
7. Funeral for a Ball
1:46 $0.99
8. Rollick & Romp
1:10 $0.99
9. Step By Step
1:20 $0.99
10. Solitaire: Theme & Variations
9:18 $0.99
11. Matthias's Walk
2:13 $0.99
12. Sonata for Unaccompanied Cello, Prelude
4:52 $0.99
13. Milestone
2:48 $0.99
14. Time and Tide (Benediction)
4:23 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
My approach to music has always been to find music I love and share it with my listeners. On my first solo CD, Solitaire, you'll find a collection of music spanning centuries and styles. Many of the works are the result of collaborations with composers, including some created especially for me by composers through Vox Novus's Composer's Voice. Some of the works are very short, but all are significant, and this album covers a vast emotional range, from brooding introspection , heart-wrenching beauty, and tranquil contemplation through exuberance, frivolity and passion. You'll find dances - Baroque, folk, and tango - Americana, and all manner of classical delights.

In a very real way, this album would not exist without Composer's Voice. Three of the tracks were drawn from among submissions for 2012 a"Fifteen Minutes of Fame" segment of cello solos written for me by 15 Composers age 15 and younger: Jimmy Pigott's "Cl'oud," Nicholas Chen McConnell's "Step By Step," and J.P. Redmond's "Matthias's Walk."

Bettie Ross's "Milestone" was written for a call for submissions by Composer's Voice for a concert (that became the release concert for this CD). The call was for cello solos up to 3 minutes in length with the theme of Decade, in honor of my 10th season of concerts as West Porch Beech Tree Artist-in-Residence at Old Westbury Gardens (LI, NY). I fell in love with it and immediately asked permission to record (fast turn-around; it was recorded within 2 weeks of receipt).

Greg Bartholomew's "Rollick and Romp" (composed to capture the spirit of the composer's cat at play) was written for a Fifteen Minutes of Fame for clarinet, with the composer later adapting it for cello at my request.

David Wolfson's "Time and Tide (Benediction)" is a cello quartet which I premiered on an April, 2013 Composer's Voice concert in NYC with 3 colleagues (on this recording, all 4 parts are performed by me, with the skilled assistance of engineer Mark McCarron, of Spot-on Studios, Great Neck, NY.

Mark's skill also enabled me to include Bartok's duet, "Ruthenian Kolomejka," a rousing folk dance.

Douglas DaSilva's "Funeral for a Ball (musically depicting the demise of a ball belonging to the composer's son) was not written for me, but I did perform its premiere. And Douglas, the Artistic Director of Composer's Voice has been an invaluable collaborator on many levels.

Lawrence Kramer kindly approached me about performing his music in 2012, and embraced the slower tempo at which I interpreted his "Prelude."

I encountered Rick Sowash through his music several years ago, and we've become good friends, despite never having met in person. He sent me "Sunday Morning Variations" right after writing it in 2012, and I immediately programmed its premiere performance on a concert the same month. It is lovely and fun and endearing, and I knew it had to be included in this album.

Barbara Bach Sternberg likewise brought her music to me. "Bitter Tears holds a special place in my heart. I first performed it in April, 2012, while dealing with the early stage of the illness that took my Dad's life in 2013. I played it for him in his final days in hospice, and again as the perfect expression of my sorrow at his funeral. I am deeply grateful to her for sharing this intensely personal work with me.

And, of course, there is the album's title track: "Solitaire: Theme and Variations." I commissioned it from Carol Worthey as a 50th birthday present to myself, and she delivered a work that is microcosm of the emotions spanned by a life, as well as a tour of musical styles, including a waltz, a tango, a Gregorian Chant, a hebraic melody, a Romantic Lullabye, and a jaunty jazz tune, all derived from the poignant opening theme.

And how could a solo cello album be complete without Bach? I include here two of my favorite movements from his suites for solo cello: The Sarabande and Gigue of the 5th Suite, played with the A string detuned to a G, which creates a luscious, rich timbre.



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