Recorded on 01/01/2000, uploaded on 11/01/2009
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Composer Robert Kritz created his Connections in Three Movements for
the Orion Ensemble in 2001, who premiered the work as part of the Dame Myra
Hess series broadcast on WFMT radio. In writing for Orion, Kritz has said he
aimed to showcase the "virtuosity and remarkable versatility of the
ensemble." To that end, Kritz's Connections integrates technical
challenge with a romantic lyricism so evident in this recording.
The title Connections resonates on several levels. Writer Phyllis
Magida captured Kritz's unified whole in this overview: "The first
movement is agitated, as if seeking an anchor of tonal and emotional stability.
In the second we are calmed, but the questioning of purpose continues in quiet...
thought behind a contagiously melodic lyricism. The third movement... sings in
contemporary harmonies ... pulling all the themes together in a joyous,
dance-like expression of our universal need to 'connect' with one
Connections also recalls the inter-connected compositional style of
the late nineteenth century, in which repeated melodic fragments link all
movements. Even if disguised, these fragments may be "subliminally
In 1995 Robert Kritz had the distinction of returning-at age 69 and after
several decades' hiatus-to the composition of fine chamber works, an event met
with critical hurrahs. Ultimately, the title Connections reflects the
composer's philosophy of music and life: that both are worthwhile when connections
are made with other people.
Susan Fisher Miller,
Bonnie Campbell and Orion Ensemble musicians
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