World Premiere Recording of Lowell Liebermann’s Complete Score
Frankenstein featuring the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra with conductor Martin West is a Double Album, World Premiere Recording that was recorded during live ballet performances at War Memorial Opera House. Featuring 32 tracks and almost 2 hours of musical enjoyment in DSD.
The producers say “The live audience, the special effects, beautiful sets and incredible dancers allowed us to document an ‘event’ rather than simply recording a musical score. The composer, Lowell Liebermann was with us at all of the performances, the orchestral musicians were collaborative throughout, and, of course, Martin West worked tirelessly with us at the performances as well as in the editing and mastering of the final resulting release.”
This album is available in Stereo DSD 512, DSD 256, DSD 128, DSD 64, DXD & WAV 176.4kHz. It is Not Available on SACD.
San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
Martin West, Conductor
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 01:58:54
Marcia Gordon Martin
Sean Royce Martin and Keith O. Johnson
|Original Recording Format
Marina A. Ledin and Victor Ledin (Encore Consultants LLC)
Sean Royce Martin
Keith O. Johnson
Recorded Live During Ballet Performances at War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco on March 6-9, 2018
|May 2, 2023
There is much to admire here. The San Francisco Ballet Orchestra plays wonderfully with great tone, exemplary dynamic range and a genuine sensitivity to the changes in color and emotion found in this work, which are considerable.
The recording is superb – everything is captured on the broadest of sound stages with great depth and presence. Musically, the piece is extraordinary, tuneful, full of expression, dramatic, and ever-changing.
I was afraid, as I am about most contemporary ballet recordings, that the two-hour time period would prove monotonous or dull, but this was not the case. Liebermann makes good use of all the combinations of orchestral color at his disposal, and you are hard-pressed to find even one moment of waning inspiration, and the music is extremely accessible.
This album is a marvel, and if you don’t know any of Liebermann’s work, I can’t think of a better place to start.
Lowell Liebermann’s Frankenstein, a collaboration with the late choreographer Liam Scarlett, was composed in the mid-2010s and had several performances in Britain. This recording was made live in 2018 and marked the U.S. Premiere in San Francisco, featuring the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra under conductor Martin West.
It is to be recommended for the live atmosphere alone. A good deal of enthusiastic applause is retained, and the audiophile engineering staff at Reference Recordings proves itself as able in live recording as it is in the studio. The sound has a wonderful immediacy rare in theatrical recordings.
Liebermann’s score is immediately appealing. Ballet music and film scores have much in common, with both forms comprising short pieces that each illustrate a single scene. Liebermann’s music is cinematic, indeed evoking the great tradition of 1930s Hollywood horror film scores, but as the music approaches its considerable climaxes in Act III, his harmonic palette darkens, as if to emphasize the modern resonances of the Frankenstein story.
Conductor West is alert to both the Hollywood evocations, giving the strings a heated, melodramatic tone and the shift in style as the music proceeds.
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