Brad Mehldau & Orpheus Chamber Orchestra: Variations On A Melancholy Theme


1 CD 

Jazz Μουσική 



Νέο!23 Σεπτεμβρίου 2021


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Orpheus Chamber Orchestra


  1. Theme
  2. Variation 1
  3. Variation 2
  4. Variation 3
  5. Variation 4
  6. Variation 5
  7. Variation 6
  8. Variation 7
  9. Variation 8
  10. Variation 9
  11. Variation 10
  12. Variation 11
  13. Cadenza
  14. Postlude
  15. Encore: Variations “X” & “Y”

“I imagined it like this: Brahms woke up one morning and had the blues.” (Brad Mehldau)

Now Brad Mehldau’s new album “Variations On A Melancholy Theme” is released. The pianist and composer were joined on the recording by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, which Mehldau commissioned to create the orchestral version of the work. “Variations On A Melancholy Theme” includes eleven variations on a theme, as well as a cadenza and a postlude It also includes an encore, “Encore: Variations “X & Y.” Mehldau originally composed the variations on a melancholy theme for American-Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein, but brought the material to the stage with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. A joint tour took Mehldau and the New York Chamber Orchestra across Europe, Russia and America, including a performance at Carnegie Hall. Of the combination of the classical form with jazz harmonies on which the work’s musical language is based, Mehldau wrote: “I imagined it like this: Brahms woke up one morning and had the blues.”

“The basic theme, “Variations On A Melancholy Theme,” itself is wistful in character, perhaps even in its sense of resignation,” Mehldau continues. “There is something of finality and closure about it, even on first hearing. As I was composing, a question about changing the narrative emerged, namely, how do you get into a story that begins with a conclusion? Although the basic theme evokes melancholy, I allowed it to serve as a starting point for other emotions and qualities such as boisterous joy, insouciance, and even downright anger as the formulation of its variations progressed.”

Brad Mehldau

Among the standout works in Mehldau’s discography is the 2004 solo recording Live In Tokyo. This was followed by six releases with his trio (“House On Hill”, “Day Is Done”, “Brad Mehldau Trio Live”, “Ode”, “Where Do You Start” and “Blues And Ballads”). His collaborative works with other outstanding soloists, produced landmark albums such as “Love Sublime” (with Renée Fleming), “Highway Rider” and “Nearness” (with Joshua Redman), “Metheny Mehldau”, “Metheny Mehldau Quartet”, “Modern Music” (with Patrick Zimmerli), “Mehliania: Taming The Dragon” (with Mark Guiliana), Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau, as well as his Grammy Award-winning long player “Finding Gabriel” (with Kurt Elling, among others). with Kurt Elling among others). He also released highly acclaimed solo albums with “Live In Marciac”, the eight LP / four CD box set “10 Years Solo Live”, and “Suite: April 2020”. He recorded the latter during the COVID 19 lockdown. The proceeds from the sale of this album went primarily to the Jazz Foundation Of America’s COVID-19 Musician’s Emergency Fund

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

In 1972, a group of young musicians made history by forming an orchestra that democratically conducted itself, without a conductor. Since then, the Grammy Award-winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has recorded over 70 albums for all the leading classical labels. It has also traveled to 46 countries on four continents for concerts and collaborated with hundreds of world-class soloists. The orchestra’s 34 members work together as a collective, with leaders of the works to be performed determined on a rotating basis, continually paving the way for unconventional interpretations. This democratic structure also encompasses organizational tasks such as repertoire shaping and business management, with the orchestra electing three members each as artistic directors and board members.

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