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Composer Mark O'Connor Releases Two Of His Best Works On OMAC

posted Sep 4, 2008, 11:26 AM by Vu Nguyen
From Shorefire

'Folk Mass' and 'Double Violin Concerto'
being released via OMAC Records

Composer and violinist Mark O'Connor is re-releasing a pair of his best works this fall.  "Folk Mass,' a choral work with lyrics from the Old Testament, will be released October 14th. 'Double Violin Concerto' featuring the talents of Mark O'Connor and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, was released earlier this month.  Both are via OMAC Records.

'Folk Mass' was commissioned and performed by the Gloria Dei Cantores choir as a response to the events of September 11th.  Searching for a way to communicate his feelings at a time of great national tragedy, O'Connor found inspiration in the Bible. "Like the Old Testament," O'Connor writes in the CD's liner notes, "which lays claim to anyone who embraces its message, I wanted the music to reflect this overlying transcendence of culture and time."  After extensive study, O'Connor set these eternal words to music, which is masterfully performed by the Gloria Dei Cantores choir, who have performed in 23 countries across the globe, and been praised for their "impeccably deep and moving" performances by the Boston Globe. These qualities are fully apparent on 'Folk Mass,' due out October 14th.  
First performed in 2000, 'Double Violin Concerto' is a masterful portrait of two violin virtuosi performing at the peak of their abilities.  Mark O'Connor, with his background in folk fiddling and jazz, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, a true classical master, meld their styles to create something stirring and entirely new.  Only O'Connor's third symphonic concerto for violin, the work finds him exploring new ways of incorporating swing, jazz, and even blues elements into an orchestral work.  Impeccably supported by the Colorado Symphony, Marin Alsop conducting, O'Connor and Salerno-Sonnenberg can be heard flexing their muscles most fiercely in the two-violin cadenza in movement 1.  
About Mark O'Connor

Mark O'Connor is a composer and violinist whose fluency with both classical and American traditions has made him one of the most acclaimed figures in contemporary music. A true natural talent, Mark O'Connor began performing and touring at only 12 years old. He's worked with illustrious artists like Yo Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer - one of their collaborations, 'Appalachia Waltz,' (composed by O'Connor) became a classical music hit in the 1990s and became a signature piece for O'Connor's American Classical style.  O'Connor is the artist in residence at UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music, and is on tour throughout the fall and winter. OMAC is O'Connor's own label, distributed through Allegro and IODA.