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Kate Whitley: I am I say

The Multi-Story Orchestra, Christopher Stark conductor
Choirs from Kender, Lyndhurst and
John Donne Primary Schools (JD Singers and Community)
Ashley Riches bass, Sarah-Jane Lewis soprano, Shiry Rashkovsky viola
Asher Zaccardelli viola, Eloisa-Fleur Thom violin
Kate Whitley piano, Rolf Hind piano

NMC D229

D229 Cover DeBut Disc logo
• Debut Discs is a new series in collaboration with BA (Hons) Graphic Design students at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design.

• The work of new designers showcased alongside the music of a younger generation of composers highlights the emerging talent and connections between the two arts forms.

• The cover designs were exhibited at the series press launch event on 7 June.

• The finals designs for the 12 releases in this series were selected by a judging panel including composer Colin Matthews, cover designer for 4AD Vaughan Oliver and Guardian/Radio 3 journalist Tom Service.

• Debut Discs has the ambassadorial support of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

• Kate Whitley (b.1989) is a composer, pianist, and producer. Awards include a 2015 British Composer Award, a 2014 Borletti Buitoni Trust Special Award and the 2013 Sky Academy Futures Fund Bursary for her work in bringing classical music out of the concert hall and into new contexts.

• Kate Whitley is Co-founder and Artistic Director (with conductor Christopher Stark) of The Multi-Story Orchestra, which launched in 2011 with a critically acclaimed performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in the disused multi-storey Peckham Car Park in south east London, to an audience of over 1,500.

• Debut Discs is NMC’s acclaimed showcase series for the most gifted composers from the British Isles who have a proven and growing reputation, and a strong selection of works from which to create their first full-length portrait album.

This new release by Kate Whitley in NMC's Debut Discs series comprises a wide-ranging repertoire – from piano miniatures and chamber works to a concerto and the album title track for children’s choir and The Multi-Story Orchestra.   With lyrics by poet Sabrina Mahfouz that imagine a world which ‘beats with beauty’ and cautions against human abuse of nature around us, I am I say is performed by soprano Sarah-Jane Lewis, bass Ashley Riches and a choir made up of children from three South London primary schools.

The wildly expressive Viola Concerto was Kate’s first orchestral work and was written for Shiry Rashkovsky when they were both students.   5 Piano Pieces, recorded here by pianist Rolf Hind, is made up of five self-contained movements – declamatory, spacious, aggressive, sad and triumphant – each comprising repeated sections evoking a different and distinct mood.   3 Violin and Piano Pieces is inspired by Janácek's Viola Sonata and has a similarly tense and fragmentary character, with beautiful intertwined dialogue between both instruments and Duo for Violin and Viola was written for a choreography inspired by a sculpture called ‘Wrestlers’ by Henri Gaudier Brzeska.


      Viola Concerto
  1. I Recitative, Allegro impetuoso       4'43
  2. II Intermezzo, moderate       2'46
  3. III Aha, largo       4'11
  4. IV Cadenza, vivace       3'23
      Shiry Rashkovsky viola • The Multi-Story Orchestra
      Christopher Stark conductor

      3 Pieces for Violin and Piano
  5. I       3'48
  6. II       4'32
  7. III       2'22
      Eloisa-Fleur Thorn violin • Kate Whitley piano

      5 Piano Pieces
  8. I       0'42
  9. II       1'10
10. III       0'56
11. IV       1'34
12. V       1'04
      Rolf Hind piano

13. Duo for Violin and Viola       11'09
      Eloisa-Fleur Thorn violin • Asher Zaccardelli viola

14. I am I say       12'48
      The Multi-Story Orchestra • Choirs from Kender, Lyndhurst and John Donne
      Primary School (JD Singers and Community Choir) • Ashley Riches bass
      Sarah-Jane Lewis soprano • Christopher Stark conductor

Total timing:       55'33

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