•   An Orchestral Journey 

An Orchestral Journey CD Cover

Released August 12, 2016

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A n Orchestral Journey was recorded on July 23 and 24, 2015 at Omega Recording Studios in Rockville, Maryland in July. The studio's orchestra was conducted by Maestro Erik Ochsner and Parma Recordings is doing all the engineering and post production. Works included on the CD are:

Contentment, Poem for Orchestra (2 fl, 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 bn ,4 hn 3 tpt, 3 tbn 1 tb, timp, perc, strings) (10:54) (1999)
Maestro Erik Ochsner and Omega Studios Orchestra

Jubilation! Dance for Orchestra (2 fl, 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 bn ,4 hn 3 tpt, 3 tbn 1 tb, timp, xyl, vibr, mar, perc, strings) (8:20) (2000)
Maestro Erik Ochsner and Omega Studios Orchestra

Suite for Chamber Orchestra (fl,ob,cl,bn,hn,timp,strings)
I. Before the Fall (10:18) (2001)
II. Avalon (12:54) (2002)
III. Celebration (8:00) (2002)
Maestro Erik Ochsner and Omega Studios Orchestra

American Reflections for Strings and Harp (14:32) (2009)
Maestro Robert Ian Winstin and the Millennium Orchestra

Chenonceau (fl,ob,cl,bn,hn,strings) (13:22) (2013)
Maestro Erik Ochsner and Omega Studios Orchestra

Original photos by Matt LeClair
Artwork by Parma Recordings

Review from InfoDad.com

There is much of interest as well on a new Navona CD of the music of Brian Wilbur Grundstrom – a release bearing the title, “An Orchestral Journey.” The travel here seems more to be personal for Grundstrom than connected directly to the audience: the five works on the disc, composed over a period of a decade and a half, show the composer exploring differing moods, styles and techniques. The works are arranged chronologically and provide some insight into Grundstrom’s changes in compositional emphasis, although the overall sound of the music is similar enough among the five pieces to indicate that Grundstrom has his own voice that recurs from piece to piece. The earliest work here is Contentment, Poem for Orchestra (1999), and it is a transformative tone poem in the tradition of, say, Richard Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration. However, what evolves here is mood rather than anything grandly philosophical. Jubilation! Dance for Orchestra (2000) is written in much the same mood throughout, although its rhythmic and thematic explorations eventually lead it to an even brighter and more upbeat conclusion. Suite for Chamber Orchestra (2002) is more emotionally varied than either earlier work, almost a “stages of grief” exploration, with tragic elements giving way to what sounds like acceptance and eventually to an expression of joy that seems, in light of what has come before, somewhat overdone. The work’s three movements make its progress clear: “Before the Fall,” “Avalon” and “Celebration.” But the finale, although it certainly provides a sense of relief, seems somewhat too bright after the first movements’ depth of feeling. American Reflections for Strings and Harp (2009) sounds like film music, energetic and nicely scored but somewhat superficial in its forthright evocation of varied feelings. Chenonceau (2013) is at something of an opposite pole, a subtle work using skillful orchestration and interesting instrumental combinations to provide contrast between strings and woodwinds. The title refers to a historic 16th-century castle in the Loire Valley of France that is known for its garden maze and the way it actually spans the River Cher. The quality of this piece is evident from the fact that it is not necessary to understand its title or know what referents it contains for a listener to be able to enjoy the work purely as music. This is a (+++) CD that, while it may not appeal to all listeners and does not offer material of uniform interest, shows a great deal of compositional skill and provides some very fine and sensitive performances of works by a contemporary composer whose solid craftsmanship offers much to be admired.