Brahms’ German Requiem
Brahms composed the profound and radiant Requiem after the death of his beloved mother as a gentle benediction offering comfort and hope for the living. As music inspires life, so art inspires music, as with Russell Platt’s musical interpretation of abstract impressionist works by Clyfford Still that hang in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Nicole Cabell, soprano
Lester Lynch, baritone
Crane School of Music Chorus
Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus
RUSSELL PLATT Symphony in Three Movements (For Clyfford Still) (2019-20)
I. 1957-D-No. 1 (Feroce)
II. September 1955 (Chaconne: Con moto, flessibile)
III. 1954 / April 1962 (Finale: Adagio—Allegro, un poco presto)
BRAHMS A German Requiem
About Russell Platt
Russell Platt (b. 1965) is a composer on the faculty of the Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music in Nashville. Deeply rooted in the legacy of Romanticism, Platt’s music is narrative- driven, formally dynamic, intellectually active, and frequently engages with works from other mediums. His upcoming “Symphony in Three Movements (For Clyfford Still)” (2019-20), for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and JoAnn Falletta, is a response to four paintings by the legendary Abstract Expressionist artist held by Buffalo’s beloved Albright-Knox Art Gallery. “Mountain Interval (String Quartet)” (2014-16, premiered by the Borromeo String Quartet) is a seven-movement double tribute to Beethoven’s String Quartet in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 131, and seven beloved poems by Robert Frost. “Trio by Night” (2018, commissioned by Premiere Commission and premiered by Blair’s Blakemore Trio) is a paean to the work of three Getty photojournalists imprisoned by the Egyptian government.
An alumnus of Oberlin College, the Curtis Institute of Music, St. Catharine’s College Cambridge, and the University of Minnesota, Platt’s principal teachers were Ned Rorem, Dominick Argento, Judith Lang Zaimont, Alexander Goehr, and Edward J. Miller. The recipient of several composer residencies at Yaddo, he has also had the privilege of working at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Ragdale. His music has been honored with both the Charles Ives Scholarship and Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Copland House Fellowship, a McKnight Fellowship from the American Composers Forum, and an ASCAP Young Composers Award.
His works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and vocalists have also been performed by such distinguished ensembles and soloists as the Horszowski Trio, New York Festival of Song, the Knights, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Ensembles, Locrian Chamber Players, Mirror Visions Ensemble, I Virtuosi Italiani, the American Modern Ensemble, the Wisconsin Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera tenor Paul Appleby, the flutist Molly Barth, the violinist Frank Almond, and the bassoonists Peter Kolkay and George Sakakeeny. Upcoming performances include a revival of “Mountain Interval” by the Escher String Quartet at Woodstock’s Maverick Concerts; upcoming commissions include a work for the Blair Woodwind Quintet and a piece for solo bassoon to commemorate the centenary of the Curtis Institute.
Before joining the Vanderbilt faculty, Platt was a senior editor and critic for classical music at The New Yorker (2000-2018). He won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for Music Criticism in 2010.
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