Meira Warshauer: Living Breathing Earth

Album review
Meira Warshauer: Living Breathing Earth

Meira Warshauer

Living Breathing Earth

Label: Navona
Media: CD
Genre: Classical

“What would a cicada do with a full orchestra?” Meira Warshauer asked at the Dayton Philharmonic’s 2007 performance of this co-commissioned piece; she answered with her optimistic and brilliantly orchestrated Symphony No. 1, Living Breathing Earth. (I later recorded the broadcast, something I haven’t done for a new piece in years.) The first movement, “Call of the Cicadas,” is a fantastic depiction of the insects in full force in the summer heat. “Tahuayo River at Night” evokes a memory of a nocturnal ride down the Amazon’s tributary, lit only by stars and fireflies. “Wings in Flight,” with its butterflies and birds, makes a calm transition into the wondrous 5/4-time respiration of the last movement, also called “Living Breathing Earth.” It’s a treat to hear a new American piece that uses instead of abuses the percussion, and that isn’t enslaved to pop or crossover cliches. Dayton’s orchestra played with more subtlety and continuity, but this recording is still well worth getting. Tekeeyah uses the orchestra, trombone, and the primitive shofar’s eerie tones as a call to awaken us to our “true essence as humans.” Adequate sound, but not stunning. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Meira Warshaur
  • group member, Moravian Philharmonic
  • CD

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