The latest from OMAC is Mark O'Connor's Americana Symphony. The release has O'Connor's Symphony No. 1 "Variations on Appalachia Waltz" and his Concerto No. 6 "Old Brass." Simply put, it is music that reflects the hope of our nation and times.
O'Connor brilliantly builds on his own music in his symphony. Each movement embraces a different aspect of our country, from dances and jigs to scenes of the sky, sun and open spaces. After numerous performances around the country (and I expect there to be many more as this release is heard by managers and audiences alike) the Baltimore Symphony recorded the Americana Symphony with director Marin Alsop. Let's hope Mark pens at least eight more of them! The other work featured is O'Connor's sixth concerto. It was inspired by a Frank Lloyd Wright plantation in South Carolina. If there is one thing that can out shine Mark O'Connor's composition, it is Mark O'Connor's violin playing. O'Connor fiddles, twangs and charms his melodies in brilliant orchestrations with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. Set as a traditional concerto as fast-slow-fast, there is nothing formulaic about it.
I was pleased to interview Mark in the fall of 2007, hear him live in 2008, and talk again this last December about this project and what is coming up in the new year. Take a listen to our interview over on the KPAC blog.