DISCOGRAPHY

U P C O M I N G  R E C O R D I N G  P R O J E C T S :

Music of Ian Krouse is regularly being rehearsed and recorded by various ensembles around the world. For additional information on these upcoming recording projects, proceed to its designated page.

N E W  R E L E A S E S :

    1   2   3   4  >

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COMING SOON! OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE: APRIL 26, 2019 Album: At Home and Abroad Artist: Shank-Hagedorn Duo Release date: April 26, 2019 Label: Innova UPC: 726708602123 Contains: Music in Four Sharps This album can be purchased through the record label here. _______
"Home and Abroad begins with one of Ian Krouse’s occasional ensemble works based on existing songs. Previous examples are guitar quartets utilizing themes by Led Zeppelin and a traditional flamenco bulerias. Here the composer turns to a quintet for guitar and string quartet, based this time on one of John Dowland’s most beautiful songs, “Now, O Now, I Needs Must Part” (also known as the Frog Galliard). The result is a fine piece, executed beautifully by Joseph Hagedorn and Leslie Shank with guest artists. It is, by turns, delicate and powerful, with little strains of the Dowland making their way in deliciously. After this, the works use just the duo and are mostly premiere recordings of works written for them. They are all strong, sometimes musically challenging, as in parts of Serenade for Two by Alf Houkom, while at other times quite conservative, and even folklike, particularly in the Three Pieces by Maria Kalaniemi (arranged by Joseph Hagedorn). Having something of a taste for the musically outré, I was looking forward to the curiously named W is for Weasel by David Hahn, and the music does not disappoint. The third movement, which gives the piece its name, is a somewhat manic set of variations on “Pop Goes the Weasel.” Pleasingly weird. The six movements of Javier Contreras’ Suite for violin and guitar are based on Latin American dance rhythms, I particularly enjoyed the rhapsodic “Zamba.” It is a fine work, challenging for both players. Sound is good, but sometimes it reveals a strident tone from Ms. Shank, especially when vibrato gets to louder notes a bit late. The excellent notes include sections contributed by several of the composers." Al Kunze, Soundboard, Vol. 45, No. 3, October 2019 The Journal of the Guitar Foundation of America "On only one piece, Ian Krouse's Music in Four Sharps (2004), are the two joined by others, with cellist Laura Sewell, violist Tom Turner, and violinist Stephanie Arado expanding the arrangement to string quartet and guitar. This single-movement performance is arguably the recording's peak moment, though the others following it are also strong. A reworking of the composer's Portrait of a Young Woman, written in the ‘90s for two guitars, Music in Four Sharps uses the John Dowland song “Now oh now I needs must part” (also known as the Frog Galliard) as a deconstructed springboard of sorts. Said detail quickly retreats into the background when the players' rapturous string sonorities fill the air, the graceful lilt of their expressive outpourings wonderfully complemented by Hagedorn's elegant picking. At
almost sixteen minutes, the adventurous setting naturally progresses through many stages, from delicate and restful to stately and authoritative, yet retains throughout an elegance of the kind one associates with Renaissance music as well as an understated melancholy like that heard in Dowland's songs." Textura, July, 2019 "Si apre con una bellissima serie di variazioni del compositore Ian Krouse su un tema
di John Dowland; variazioni che si succedono in un unico, compatto movimento
dalla scrittura estremamente limpida e scorrevole e dal carattere emotivamente
toccante."
[English Translation] "It opens with a beautiful series of variations by the composer Ian Krouse on a
theme by John Dowland; variations that succeed each other in a single, compact
movement with an extremely clear and fluent writing and an emotionally touching
character."
Fillipo Focosi, KATHODIK, May 18, 2019 "Music in Four Sharps by Ian Krouse…an extended exploration of John Dowland’s
Frog Galliard. Like in the original, Krouse uses no accidentals, sticking with the
seven notes of the E-Major scale; hence the title."
David Olds, WHOLE NOTES, June, 2019 "Music In Four Sharps…is a beautiful evocation of the elegant, melancholic
tunefullness of Elizabethan music (example: Simon and Garfunkel’s “Parsley, Sage,
etc. and hints at Glass/Reich minimalism, the latter played in an utterly folk-like
back porch manner.)…gets right to the heart but doesn’t bypass the mind.”
Mark Keresman, ICON MAGAZINE, May, 2019





CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON THIS ALBUM


COMING SOON! OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE: APRIL 26, 2019 Album: At Home and Abroad Artist: Shank-Hagedorn Duo Release date: April 26, 2019 Label: Innova UPC: 726708602123 Contains: Music in Four Sharps This album can be purchased through the record label here. _______
"Home and Abroad begins with one of Ian Krouse’s occasional ensemble works based on existing songs. Previous examples are guitar quartets utilizing themes by Led Zeppelin and a traditional flamenco bulerias. Here the composer turns to a quintet for guitar and string quartet, based this time on one of John Dowland’s most beautiful songs, “Now, O Now, I Needs Must Part” (also known as the Frog Galliard). The result is a fine piece, executed beautifully by Joseph Hagedorn and Leslie Shank with guest artists. It is, by turns, delicate and powerful, with little strains of the Dowland making their way in deliciously. After this, the works use just the duo and are mostly premiere recordings of works written for them. They are all strong, sometimes musically challenging, as in parts of Serenade for Two by Alf Houkom, while at other times quite conservative, and even folklike, particularly in the Three Pieces by Maria Kalaniemi (arranged by Joseph Hagedorn). Having something of a taste for the musically outré, I was looking forward to the curiously named W is for Weasel by David Hahn, and the music does not disappoint. The third movement, which gives the piece its name, is a somewhat manic set of variations on “Pop Goes the Weasel.” Pleasingly weird. The six movements of Javier Contreras’ Suite for violin and guitar are based on Latin American dance rhythms, I particularly enjoyed the rhapsodic “Zamba.” It is a fine work, challenging for both players. Sound is good, but sometimes it reveals a strident tone from Ms. Shank, especially when vibrato gets to louder notes a bit late. The excellent notes include sections contributed by several of the composers." Al Kunze, Soundboard, Vol. 45, No. 3, October 2019 The Journal of the Guitar Foundation of America "On only one piece, Ian Krouse's Music in Four Sharps (2004), are the two joined by others, with cellist Laura Sewell, violist Tom Turner, and violinist Stephanie Arado expanding the arrangement to string quartet and guitar. This single-movement performance is arguably the recording's peak moment, though the others following it are also strong. A reworking of the composer's Portrait of a Young Woman, written in the ‘90s for two guitars, Music in Four Sharps uses the John Dowland song “Now oh now I needs must part” (also known as the Frog Galliard) as a deconstructed springboard of sorts. Said detail quickly retreats into the background when the players' rapturous string sonorities fill the air, the graceful lilt of their expressive outpourings wonderfully complemented by Hagedorn's elegant picking. At
almost sixteen minutes, the adventurous setting naturally progresses through many stages, from delicate and restful to stately and authoritative, yet retains throughout an elegance of the kind one associates with Renaissance music as well as an understated melancholy like that heard in Dowland's songs." Textura, July, 2019 "Si apre con una bellissima serie di variazioni del compositore Ian Krouse su un tema
di John Dowland; variazioni che si succedono in un unico, compatto movimento
dalla scrittura estremamente limpida e scorrevole e dal carattere emotivamente
toccante."
[English Translation] "It opens with a beautiful series of variations by the composer Ian Krouse on a
theme by John Dowland; variations that succeed each other in a single, compact
movement with an extremely clear and fluent writing and an emotionally touching
character."
Fillipo Focosi, KATHODIK, May 18, 2019 "Music in Four Sharps by Ian Krouse…an extended exploration of John Dowland’s
Frog Galliard. Like in the original, Krouse uses no accidentals, sticking with the
seven notes of the E-Major scale; hence the title."
David Olds, WHOLE NOTES, June, 2019 "Music In Four Sharps…is a beautiful evocation of the elegant, melancholic
tunefullness of Elizabethan music (example: Simon and Garfunkel’s “Parsley, Sage,
etc. and hints at Glass/Reich minimalism, the latter played in an utterly folk-like
back porch manner.)…gets right to the heart but doesn’t bypass the mind.”
Mark Keresman, ICON MAGAZINE, May, 2019





 

R E L E A S E D   A L B U M S:

    1   2   3   4  >

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON THIS ALBUM


Album: Armenian Requiem
Artist: Ian Krouse
Conductor: Neal Stulberg
Recording: 2015
Release Date: March 8, 2019
Label: NAXOS
Click here to order this album on Amazon _______ ALBUM REVIEWS "In an era when there are Holocaust Deniers, it’s important that we have people like composer Ian Krouse around, to remind us about the prototypical tragedy of the 20 Century, namely the 1915 Armenian Genocide. In fact the word “genocide” itself was created because of this very slaughter of 1-2 million Armenians. This two part, 90+ minute piece
features passionate vocals in liturgical chants, with poems featured as interludes between orchestra, string quartet, trumpet, organ and even the Armenian reed instrument, the duduk. Vladimir Chernov’s deep baritone is cantoral, while Garineh pleads during “I Want to Die Singing” and “Naze’s Lullaby” respectively, while a rich choir is haunting for “Creator of All Things.” A children’s choir brings gentle yearnings on “In Supernal Jerusalem” and harp with Shoushik Barsoumian’s voice on a crying “Book of Lamentations.” The music agonizes and broods, but with the faith of the nation, the ultimate result is a hope in God, as the Armenians so sadly learned, hoping in man is a futile bet. An important piece musically and historically." George W. Harris, JAZZ WEEKLY, July 15, 2019 "Judgement of this titanic performance and world premiere recording is obviously secondary to the existence of the work itself, the first large-scale sacred work to memorialise the Armenian massacres of 1916. Krouse has – perhaps following Benjamin Britten in the War Requiem – not strictly followed the liturgical form of the traditional Armenian Mass, but has interspersed poetry, mostly by writers little known in the west, and devices like the offstage trumpets of ‘Interlude II: Moon of the Armenian Tombs’. This clearly was a key moment in the cultural life of the large Armenian diaspora in Los Angeles, and to rate it according to ordinary aesthetic standards is to fall somewhere between cultural appropriation and just missing the point. It’s an extraordinary piece, which manages, for all its scale and powerful orchestration, to seem quiet and inward to the point of intimacy. An astonishing achievement."
Brian Morton, AGORA CLASICA, July 2019 “Will Ian Krouse one day be immortalized on a battle painting or honored in any other form in Armenia? Like Franz Werfel, who was posthumously awarded Armenian citizenship in Vienna in 2006, because - as an Armenian priest in the United States preached from the pulpit - he had given the nation a soul. With his novel about the forty days of Musa Dagh, which celebrates the Armenians' struggle for survival during the persecution of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-17, Werfel delivered the literary national monument of Armenia. Each year, a quarter million people come up on the hill over Yerevan to the genocide museum and the eternal flame amidst mighty steles to remind of the massacre and commemorate the victims. On the 100th anniversary of the genocide, the Armenian Requiem - which was commissioned by the Armenian community in the Diaspora in Los Angeles – was premiered. The work was written by 1956 born composer Ian Krouse who came to be known for his compositions for guitar quartet. In the booklet, the conductor and musicologist Vatsche Barsoumian describes the creation of the 95-minute-work, which is divided into two-parts and which cannot be built on any corresponding tradition in spiritual Armenian music, but is rather based on the structure of Britten's War Requiem. He asserts this in reference to the selection and meaning of the 15 texts - including at the beginning and the end, in the Prelude and Postlude - the voices of the victims in the form of two poems penned in 1915 by martyrs of the Genocide, Atom Yanjanjan, known under his pseudonym Siamanto, and Daniel Varoujan; and also texts from the tenth and eleventh century, interspersed as six interludes with texts from the 19th and 20th centuries. The work is a return to Armenian patterns, a bow to Komitas Vardapet, the founder of modern classical music Armenia around 1900, and a deliberate turn to the Western forms from the Renaissance to Brahms and Britten, which an outsider can hardly recognize or adequately dignify. The impression of this spectacular work (2 CDs Naxos 8.559846-47), which assigns a special task to the Armenian national instrument duduk ( Ruben Harutyunyan), is enormous. Four solo voices, two off-stage trumpets (Jens Lindemann, and Bobby Rodriguez), organ (Christoph Bull), string quartet, children's choir (Tziatzan Children's Choir) and choir and orchestra - the Lark Masters Singers (conducted by Barsoumian) and the UCLA Philharmonia - the Orchestra of the University of California in Los Angeles - are mobilized to underline the expectations and significance of the Armenian Requiem. Neal Stulberg brings this commitment vividly into action. Krouse has chosen a musical form that does justice to the expectations of a first Requiem in the Armenian language, not a firmly avant-garde work, but still serious contemporary music, effective, massive; including a thrilling solo for mezzo-soprano - in which Garineh Avakian gives her all - a short prayer for tenor (Yeghishe Manucharyan), or the ceremonial dignity of baritone Vladimir Chernov which can already be heard at the very beginning of the piece." Rolf Fath, OPERA LOUNGE, May, 2019 “As a composer in the Naxos American Classics Series, Ian Krouse (b. 1956) comes center stage with his epic and dramatic Armenian Requiem (Naxos 8.559846-47 2-CDS). It is a work to meditate with solemn resolve on the centenary of the genocide of Armenians in 1915. It is music that comes out of the Requiem-specific Armenian liturgical chants, and does so with a spectacular assemblage of fine vocal soloists along with Ruben Harutyunyan on duduk, Jens Lindeman and Bobby Rodriguez on trumpets, Christoph Bull on organ, the VEM Starting Quartet, Tziatzan Children’s Choir, the Lark Master Singers and the UCLA Philharmonia, all under the capable direction of Neal Stulberg. "Such an ambitious gathering fills an hour-and-a-half of our time with a sprawling expression that goes back to classic sacred music oratorios surely, but too has a mindfulness of parallel Modernity in the landmark passions of Penderecki and Part, and other advanced New Music expression, here tempered by an Armenian modality lurking in the shadows of the expressed, there without calling undue attention to itself. "And then too there is Britten’s War Requiem, which the Naxos cover info avows as an influence, an important one. To quote, Krouse was inspired by that work to fashion “a poignant meditation on loss couched in a marriage of Western and Armenian forms” to offer “both conciliation and hope.” I concur that this is the case as I listen to the music with concentrated and increasingly sympathetic attention. "The music is not precisely cutting edge nor is it a backwards movement, yet if you set that concern aside you hear a veritable spring garden of musical delights, seriously minded, soberly comported yet hopeful, not without beauty and drama. It is a monumental endeavor that pays dividends by close listening. You might want to make this a part of your contemporary collection, especially you who want to enrich your experience of Sacred Music. I do recommend this.” Grego Applegate Edwards, GAPPLEGATE CLASSICAL-MODERN REVIEW, April 26, 2019 “Masked by the dreadful events that were taking place in Europe in 1915, the cleansing of Christians of Armenian saw the genocide of thousands of innocent people, an event marked on the centenary year by a Requiem commissioned from the American composer Ian Krouse. As with Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, it interweaves poems of our time with the established [Armenian liturgy]. It calls for four soloists together with an enormous choir and orchestra used to convey the horror of the message. Modern in concept, it receives a highly committed performance from Los Angeles based musicians, the sound quality on the two new Naxos discs certainly deserving a special award.” David Denton, YORKSHIRE POST, CULTURE & THE GUIDE, May 17, 2019





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"Cuatro: A Tribute to the Music of Spain," Aquarelle Guitar Quartet
Chandos Records, CD CHAN 10786 released November 2013
Contains: FOLÍAS _______ “a modern set of variations for guitar quartet on one of the oldest and most popular themes for variations in the world: La folia.” John Sunier, CLASSICAL CD REVIEWS, AUDIO FILE AUDITION, January 2, 2014 “Folias by Ian Krouse, the Professor of Theory and Composition at UCLA, makes use of one of the oldest musical themes on record, La Folia. The title means crazy or empty-headed, possibly because of its connection to a fast, energetic, seemingly mindless dance. Krouse wrote his piece for the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, who premiered it in 1992. Two years later they recorded it on An Evening in Granada for Delos. Their performance is slightly slower and more deliberate than that of the Aquarelle Quartet, and the Chandos recording has clearer, more intimate sound with the ambience of a small, intimate concert setting. You can hear that there are four guitars because they seem to be sitting in a row across the front of the stage.”

~Maria Nockin FANFARE MAGAZINE, May-June 2014. “The recording draws to a close with an original composition, the 1992 Guitar Quartet No. 4, 'Folías' by lan Krouse (b.1956). This is quite an extraordinary 16-minute piece, building in tension as the variations become progressively shorter and faster. The actual theme is most clearly stated around the middle of the work with a grand rendering of the famous folia in the style of Corelli; and while there are also references to Baroque guitarist Gaspar Sanz's version and earlier Renaissance versions, the aesthetic here is overwhelmingly modern, leaning towards minimalist repeated notes and patterns. It receives an equally extraordinary performance - confident and characterful.” ~Robert Levett INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW, January, 2014. “Krouse's Folías - the only original composition here for four guitars - successfully combines minimalist techniques with traditional Spanish flavours…Krouse's highly inventive Folías makes for a distinctive end to the programme as the players leave the 'stage' individually, à la Haydn's Farewell Symphony. Serious fun.” ~ William Yoeman GRAMOPHONE, January 14, 2014.
“…the quartet featured a remarkable range of styles in just one piece, the closing item of the concert, Folías by the contemporary composer Ian Krouse. From opening chaos there emerged the harpsichord-like trills of 17th century guitarist Gaspar Sanz, with the melody then dissolving as the musicians left the stage, as dictated by the score.”

~ Colin Davison, GLOUCESTERSHIRE ECHO, July 21, 2014
“The concert ended with a magnificent surprise: “Folías” by Ian Krouse, a piece lasting over fifteen minutes focused around the motif of the ‘folia,’ an old Portuguese dance. This composition was very elaborate, multi-dimensional but very difficult technically. The final performance of the group, as could be expected, was rewarded with great applause, of a truly immense scale.”
[Translated from Polish]

~ Małgorzata Uchecka, KULTURAL, December 3, 2014





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Artist: Krystin O'Mara Release date: November 25, 2013 Genre: Classical Label: Bluepoint Studios Contains: Trois Tableaux d'Andersen _______ “On her debut solo album, Obsession (Blue Point Studios Label), young classical guitarist Krystin O’Mara firmly establishes herself as “someone to watch.” Her performances of works by Regino Sainz de la Maza, Ian Krouse, Viet Cuong, Fernando Sor and Augustin Barrios Mangore are truly impressive. The highlight of the recording is O’Mara’s interpretation of Los Angeles-based composer Ian Krouse’s Trois Tableaux D’Andersen. Using a combination of classical and flamenco guitar techniques, Krouse musically brings three of Hans Christensen Andersen’s fairytales to life. Given that many characters in Andersen’s tales experience the unpleasant sides of life, his work is a fitting choice for a recording dedicated to the darker side of the guitar repertoire. Le Rossignol (The Nightingale) is full of pentatonic chords and floating scale passages that capture Andersen’s sorrowful tale of the emperor and the songbird. O’Mara delivers a sensitive and well-paced performance. In La Petite Fille aux Allumettes (The Little Match Girl), one of Andersen’s most tragic tales, one cannot help but feel sorrow at the death of the poor girl. Ian Krouse’s music imaginatively tells the story in just over four minutes. O’Mara’s performance is alluring. Les Souliers Rouge (The Red Shoes) is a grim tale about a young girl named Karen, who became so obsessed with her red shoes that when she tried and failed to remove them, she was forced to have her feet cut off. Again, O’Mara’s innate ability to bring these dramatic tales — and more importantly Krouse’s music — to life is truly impressive.” Mike Telin, CLEVELAND CLASSICAL.COM, June 7, 2014 “ – the nostalgic soundscapes of Barrios cleanse the palate in preparation for more then 20 minutes of Ian Krouse (b. 1956), who’s probably best known to CG [CLASSICAL GUITAR] readers as a long-standing collaborator with the LAGQ [Los Angles Guitar Quartet]. Drawing his inspiration from The Nightingale, The Little Match Girl and The Red Shoes, Krouse displays all his customary assurance in exploiting the guitar’s resources.” Paul Fowles CLASSICAL GUITAR, April 7, 2015
"After cleansing the palate with an uneasy yet beautiful performance of “Julia Florida” by Barrios, O’Mara concludes with the shadowy and disquieting “Trois Tableaux d’Andersen” by Ian Krouse. Her recording (the first for this work) inspired this response from Krouse himself: “I have waited twenty-five years for the Trois Tableaux d’Andersen to find such a lovely and convincing advocate! Krystin’s breath-taking command of this early, epic proto-sonata is simply awe inspiring. How appropriate that my youthful effort, composed at the age of 26, should find its ideal match in a young virtuoso of just about the same age. She makes it sound as if it were written for her.” ~Tom Poore, AMAZON REVIEW, November 28, 2013





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Cuarteto Mexicano de Guitarras Voces de Iberoamérica Contains: Antique Suite (aka Guitar Quartet No. 1) Released: 2017





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"Cuatro: A Tribute to the Music of Spain," Aquarelle Guitar Quartet
Chandos Records, CD CHAN 10786 released November 2013
Contains: FOLÍAS _______ “a modern set of variations for guitar quartet on one of the oldest and most popular themes for variations in the world: La folia.” John Sunier, CLASSICAL CD REVIEWS, AUDIO FILE AUDITION, January 2, 2014 “Folias by Ian Krouse, the Professor of Theory and Composition at UCLA, makes use of one of the oldest musical themes on record, La Folia. The title means crazy or empty-headed, possibly because of its connection to a fast, energetic, seemingly mindless dance. Krouse wrote his piece for the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, who premiered it in 1992. Two years later they recorded it on An Evening in Granada for Delos. Their performance is slightly slower and more deliberate than that of the Aquarelle Quartet, and the Chandos recording has clearer, more intimate sound with the ambience of a small, intimate concert setting. You can hear that there are four guitars because they seem to be sitting in a row across the front of the stage.”

~Maria Nockin FANFARE MAGAZINE, May-June 2014. “The recording draws to a close with an original composition, the 1992 Guitar Quartet No. 4, 'Folías' by lan Krouse (b.1956). This is quite an extraordinary 16-minute piece, building in tension as the variations become progressively shorter and faster. The actual theme is most clearly stated around the middle of the work with a grand rendering of the famous folia in the style of Corelli; and while there are also references to Baroque guitarist Gaspar Sanz's version and earlier Renaissance versions, the aesthetic here is overwhelmingly modern, leaning towards minimalist repeated notes and patterns. It receives an equally extraordinary performance - confident and characterful.” ~Robert Levett INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW, January, 2014. “Krouse's Folías - the only original composition here for four guitars - successfully combines minimalist techniques with traditional Spanish flavours…Krouse's highly inventive Folías makes for a distinctive end to the programme as the players leave the 'stage' individually, à la Haydn's Farewell Symphony. Serious fun.” ~ William Yoeman GRAMOPHONE, January 14, 2014.
“…the quartet featured a remarkable range of styles in just one piece, the closing item of the concert, Folías by the contemporary composer Ian Krouse. From opening chaos there emerged the harpsichord-like trills of 17th century guitarist Gaspar Sanz, with the melody then dissolving as the musicians left the stage, as dictated by the score.”

~ Colin Davison, GLOUCESTERSHIRE ECHO, July 21, 2014
“The concert ended with a magnificent surprise: “Folías” by Ian Krouse, a piece lasting over fifteen minutes focused around the motif of the ‘folia,’ an old Portuguese dance. This composition was very elaborate, multi-dimensional but very difficult technically. The final performance of the group, as could be expected, was rewarded with great applause, of a truly immense scale.”
[Translated from Polish]

~ Małgorzata Uchecka, KULTURAL, December 3, 2014





CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON THIS ALBUM:


Cuarteto Mexicano de Guitarras Voces de Iberoamérica Contains: Antique Suite (aka Guitar Quartet No. 1) Released: 2017





CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON THIS ALBUM


Album: Armenian Requiem
Artist: Ian Krouse
Conductor: Neal Stulberg
Recording: 2015
Release Date: March 8, 2019
Label: NAXOS
Click here to order this album on Amazon _______ ALBUM REVIEWS "In an era when there are Holocaust Deniers, it’s important that we have people like composer Ian Krouse around, to remind us about the prototypical tragedy of the 20 Century, namely the 1915 Armenian Genocide. In fact the word “genocide” itself was created because of this very slaughter of 1-2 million Armenians. This two part, 90+ minute piece
features passionate vocals in liturgical chants, with poems featured as interludes between orchestra, string quartet, trumpet, organ and even the Armenian reed instrument, the duduk. Vladimir Chernov’s deep baritone is cantoral, while Garineh pleads during “I Want to Die Singing” and “Naze’s Lullaby” respectively, while a rich choir is haunting for “Creator of All Things.” A children’s choir brings gentle yearnings on “In Supernal Jerusalem” and harp with Shoushik Barsoumian’s voice on a crying “Book of Lamentations.” The music agonizes and broods, but with the faith of the nation, the ultimate result is a hope in God, as the Armenians so sadly learned, hoping in man is a futile bet. An important piece musically and historically." George W. Harris, JAZZ WEEKLY, July 15, 2019 "Judgement of this titanic performance and world premiere recording is obviously secondary to the existence of the work itself, the first large-scale sacred work to memorialise the Armenian massacres of 1916. Krouse has – perhaps following Benjamin Britten in the War Requiem – not strictly followed the liturgical form of the traditional Armenian Mass, but has interspersed poetry, mostly by writers little known in the west, and devices like the offstage trumpets of ‘Interlude II: Moon of the Armenian Tombs’. This clearly was a key moment in the cultural life of the large Armenian diaspora in Los Angeles, and to rate it according to ordinary aesthetic standards is to fall somewhere between cultural appropriation and just missing the point. It’s an extraordinary piece, which manages, for all its scale and powerful orchestration, to seem quiet and inward to the point of intimacy. An astonishing achievement."
Brian Morton, AGORA CLASICA, July 2019 “Will Ian Krouse one day be immortalized on a battle painting or honored in any other form in Armenia? Like Franz Werfel, who was posthumously awarded Armenian citizenship in Vienna in 2006, because - as an Armenian priest in the United States preached from the pulpit - he had given the nation a soul. With his novel about the forty days of Musa Dagh, which celebrates the Armenians' struggle for survival during the persecution of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-17, Werfel delivered the literary national monument of Armenia. Each year, a quarter million people come up on the hill over Yerevan to the genocide museum and the eternal flame amidst mighty steles to remind of the massacre and commemorate the victims. On the 100th anniversary of the genocide, the Armenian Requiem - which was commissioned by the Armenian community in the Diaspora in Los Angeles – was premiered. The work was written by 1956 born composer Ian Krouse who came to be known for his compositions for guitar quartet. In the booklet, the conductor and musicologist Vatsche Barsoumian describes the creation of the 95-minute-work, which is divided into two-parts and which cannot be built on any corresponding tradition in spiritual Armenian music, but is rather based on the structure of Britten's War Requiem. He asserts this in reference to the selection and meaning of the 15 texts - including at the beginning and the end, in the Prelude and Postlude - the voices of the victims in the form of two poems penned in 1915 by martyrs of the Genocide, Atom Yanjanjan, known under his pseudonym Siamanto, and Daniel Varoujan; and also texts from the tenth and eleventh century, interspersed as six interludes with texts from the 19th and 20th centuries. The work is a return to Armenian patterns, a bow to Komitas Vardapet, the founder of modern classical music Armenia around 1900, and a deliberate turn to the Western forms from the Renaissance to Brahms and Britten, which an outsider can hardly recognize or adequately dignify. The impression of this spectacular work (2 CDs Naxos 8.559846-47), which assigns a special task to the Armenian national instrument duduk ( Ruben Harutyunyan), is enormous. Four solo voices, two off-stage trumpets (Jens Lindemann, and Bobby Rodriguez), organ (Christoph Bull), string quartet, children's choir (Tziatzan Children's Choir) and choir and orchestra - the Lark Masters Singers (conducted by Barsoumian) and the UCLA Philharmonia - the Orchestra of the University of California in Los Angeles - are mobilized to underline the expectations and significance of the Armenian Requiem. Neal Stulberg brings this commitment vividly into action. Krouse has chosen a musical form that does justice to the expectations of a first Requiem in the Armenian language, not a firmly avant-garde work, but still serious contemporary music, effective, massive; including a thrilling solo for mezzo-soprano - in which Garineh Avakian gives her all - a short prayer for tenor (Yeghishe Manucharyan), or the ceremonial dignity of baritone Vladimir Chernov which can already be heard at the very beginning of the piece." Rolf Fath, OPERA LOUNGE, May, 2019 “As a composer in the Naxos American Classics Series, Ian Krouse (b. 1956) comes center stage with his epic and dramatic Armenian Requiem (Naxos 8.559846-47 2-CDS). It is a work to meditate with solemn resolve on the centenary of the genocide of Armenians in 1915. It is music that comes out of the Requiem-specific Armenian liturgical chants, and does so with a spectacular assemblage of fine vocal soloists along with Ruben Harutyunyan on duduk, Jens Lindeman and Bobby Rodriguez on trumpets, Christoph Bull on organ, the VEM Starting Quartet, Tziatzan Children’s Choir, the Lark Master Singers and the UCLA Philharmonia, all under the capable direction of Neal Stulberg. "Such an ambitious gathering fills an hour-and-a-half of our time with a sprawling expression that goes back to classic sacred music oratorios surely, but too has a mindfulness of parallel Modernity in the landmark passions of Penderecki and Part, and other advanced New Music expression, here tempered by an Armenian modality lurking in the shadows of the expressed, there without calling undue attention to itself. "And then too there is Britten’s War Requiem, which the Naxos cover info avows as an influence, an important one. To quote, Krouse was inspired by that work to fashion “a poignant meditation on loss couched in a marriage of Western and Armenian forms” to offer “both conciliation and hope.” I concur that this is the case as I listen to the music with concentrated and increasingly sympathetic attention. "The music is not precisely cutting edge nor is it a backwards movement, yet if you set that concern aside you hear a veritable spring garden of musical delights, seriously minded, soberly comported yet hopeful, not without beauty and drama. It is a monumental endeavor that pays dividends by close listening. You might want to make this a part of your contemporary collection, especially you who want to enrich your experience of Sacred Music. I do recommend this.” Grego Applegate Edwards, GAPPLEGATE CLASSICAL-MODERN REVIEW, April 26, 2019 “Masked by the dreadful events that were taking place in Europe in 1915, the cleansing of Christians of Armenian saw the genocide of thousands of innocent people, an event marked on the centenary year by a Requiem commissioned from the American composer Ian Krouse. As with Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, it interweaves poems of our time with the established [Armenian liturgy]. It calls for four soloists together with an enormous choir and orchestra used to convey the horror of the message. Modern in concept, it receives a highly committed performance from Los Angeles based musicians, the sound quality on the two new Naxos discs certainly deserving a special award.” David Denton, YORKSHIRE POST, CULTURE & THE GUIDE, May 17, 2019





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"Cuatro: A Tribute to the Music of Spain," Aquarelle Guitar Quartet
Chandos Records, CD CHAN 10786 released November 2013
Contains: FOLÍAS _______ “a modern set of variations for guitar quartet on one of the oldest and most popular themes for variations in the world: La folia.” John Sunier, CLASSICAL CD REVIEWS, AUDIO FILE AUDITION, January 2, 2014 “Folias by Ian Krouse, the Professor of Theory and Composition at UCLA, makes use of one of the oldest musical themes on record, La Folia. The title means crazy or empty-headed, possibly because of its connection to a fast, energetic, seemingly mindless dance. Krouse wrote his piece for the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, who premiered it in 1992. Two years later they recorded it on An Evening in Granada for Delos. Their performance is slightly slower and more deliberate than that of the Aquarelle Quartet, and the Chandos recording has clearer, more intimate sound with the ambience of a small, intimate concert setting. You can hear that there are four guitars because they seem to be sitting in a row across the front of the stage.”

~Maria Nockin FANFARE MAGAZINE, May-June 2014. “The recording draws to a close with an original composition, the 1992 Guitar Quartet No. 4, 'Folías' by lan Krouse (b.1956). This is quite an extraordinary 16-minute piece, building in tension as the variations become progressively shorter and faster. The actual theme is most clearly stated around the middle of the work with a grand rendering of the famous folia in the style of Corelli; and while there are also references to Baroque guitarist Gaspar Sanz's version and earlier Renaissance versions, the aesthetic here is overwhelmingly modern, leaning towards minimalist repeated notes and patterns. It receives an equally extraordinary performance - confident and characterful.” ~Robert Levett INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW, January, 2014. “Krouse's Folías - the only original composition here for four guitars - successfully combines minimalist techniques with traditional Spanish flavours…Krouse's highly inventive Folías makes for a distinctive end to the programme as the players leave the 'stage' individually, à la Haydn's Farewell Symphony. Serious fun.” ~ William Yoeman GRAMOPHONE, January 14, 2014.
“…the quartet featured a remarkable range of styles in just one piece, the closing item of the concert, Folías by the contemporary composer Ian Krouse. From opening chaos there emerged the harpsichord-like trills of 17th century guitarist Gaspar Sanz, with the melody then dissolving as the musicians left the stage, as dictated by the score.”

~ Colin Davison, GLOUCESTERSHIRE ECHO, July 21, 2014
“The concert ended with a magnificent surprise: “Folías” by Ian Krouse, a piece lasting over fifteen minutes focused around the motif of the ‘folia,’ an old Portuguese dance. This composition was very elaborate, multi-dimensional but very difficult technically. The final performance of the group, as could be expected, was rewarded with great applause, of a truly immense scale.”
[Translated from Polish]

~ Małgorzata Uchecka, KULTURAL, December 3, 2014





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Artist: Krystin O'Mara Release date: November 25, 2013 Genre: Classical Label: Bluepoint Studios Contains: Trois Tableaux d'Andersen _______ “On her debut solo album, Obsession (Blue Point Studios Label), young classical guitarist Krystin O’Mara firmly establishes herself as “someone to watch.” Her performances of works by Regino Sainz de la Maza, Ian Krouse, Viet Cuong, Fernando Sor and Augustin Barrios Mangore are truly impressive. The highlight of the recording is O’Mara’s interpretation of Los Angeles-based composer Ian Krouse’s Trois Tableaux D’Andersen. Using a combination of classical and flamenco guitar techniques, Krouse musically brings three of Hans Christensen Andersen’s fairytales to life. Given that many characters in Andersen’s tales experience the unpleasant sides of life, his work is a fitting choice for a recording dedicated to the darker side of the guitar repertoire. Le Rossignol (The Nightingale) is full of pentatonic chords and floating scale passages that capture Andersen’s sorrowful tale of the emperor and the songbird. O’Mara delivers a sensitive and well-paced performance. In La Petite Fille aux Allumettes (The Little Match Girl), one of Andersen’s most tragic tales, one cannot help but feel sorrow at the death of the poor girl. Ian Krouse’s music imaginatively tells the story in just over four minutes. O’Mara’s performance is alluring. Les Souliers Rouge (The Red Shoes) is a grim tale about a young girl named Karen, who became so obsessed with her red shoes that when she tried and failed to remove them, she was forced to have her feet cut off. Again, O’Mara’s innate ability to bring these dramatic tales — and more importantly Krouse’s music — to life is truly impressive.” Mike Telin, CLEVELAND CLASSICAL.COM, June 7, 2014 “ – the nostalgic soundscapes of Barrios cleanse the palate in preparation for more then 20 minutes of Ian Krouse (b. 1956), who’s probably best known to CG [CLASSICAL GUITAR] readers as a long-standing collaborator with the LAGQ [Los Angles Guitar Quartet]. Drawing his inspiration from The Nightingale, The Little Match Girl and The Red Shoes, Krouse displays all his customary assurance in exploiting the guitar’s resources.” Paul Fowles CLASSICAL GUITAR, April 7, 2015
"After cleansing the palate with an uneasy yet beautiful performance of “Julia Florida” by Barrios, O’Mara concludes with the shadowy and disquieting “Trois Tableaux d’Andersen” by Ian Krouse. Her recording (the first for this work) inspired this response from Krouse himself: “I have waited twenty-five years for the Trois Tableaux d’Andersen to find such a lovely and convincing advocate! Krystin’s breath-taking command of this early, epic proto-sonata is simply awe inspiring. How appropriate that my youthful effort, composed at the age of 26, should find its ideal match in a young virtuoso of just about the same age. She makes it sound as if it were written for her.” ~Tom Poore, AMAZON REVIEW, November 28, 2013





CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON THIS ALBUM


"Cuatro: A Tribute to the Music of Spain," Aquarelle Guitar Quartet
Chandos Records, CD CHAN 10786 released November 2013
Contains: FOLÍAS _______ “a modern set of variations for guitar quartet on one of the oldest and most popular themes for variations in the world: La folia.” John Sunier, CLASSICAL CD REVIEWS, AUDIO FILE AUDITION, January 2, 2014 “Folias by Ian Krouse, the Professor of Theory and Composition at UCLA, makes use of one of the oldest musical themes on record, La Folia. The title means crazy or empty-headed, possibly because of its connection to a fast, energetic, seemingly mindless dance. Krouse wrote his piece for the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, who premiered it in 1992. Two years later they recorded it on An Evening in Granada for Delos. Their performance is slightly slower and more deliberate than that of the Aquarelle Quartet, and the Chandos recording has clearer, more intimate sound with the ambience of a small, intimate concert setting. You can hear that there are four guitars because they seem to be sitting in a row across the front of the stage.”

~Maria Nockin FANFARE MAGAZINE, May-June 2014. “The recording draws to a close with an original composition, the 1992 Guitar Quartet No. 4, 'Folías' by lan Krouse (b.1956). This is quite an extraordinary 16-minute piece, building in tension as the variations become progressively shorter and faster. The actual theme is most clearly stated around the middle of the work with a grand rendering of the famous folia in the style of Corelli; and while there are also references to Baroque guitarist Gaspar Sanz's version and earlier Renaissance versions, the aesthetic here is overwhelmingly modern, leaning towards minimalist repeated notes and patterns. It receives an equally extraordinary performance - confident and characterful.” ~Robert Levett INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW, January, 2014. “Krouse's Folías - the only original composition here for four guitars - successfully combines minimalist techniques with traditional Spanish flavours…Krouse's highly inventive Folías makes for a distinctive end to the programme as the players leave the 'stage' individually, à la Haydn's Farewell Symphony. Serious fun.” ~ William Yoeman GRAMOPHONE, January 14, 2014.
“…the quartet featured a remarkable range of styles in just one piece, the closing item of the concert, Folías by the contemporary composer Ian Krouse. From opening chaos there emerged the harpsichord-like trills of 17th century guitarist Gaspar Sanz, with the melody then dissolving as the musicians left the stage, as dictated by the score.”

~ Colin Davison, GLOUCESTERSHIRE ECHO, July 21, 2014
“The concert ended with a magnificent surprise: “Folías” by Ian Krouse, a piece lasting over fifteen minutes focused around the motif of the ‘folia,’ an old Portuguese dance. This composition was very elaborate, multi-dimensional but very difficult technically. The final performance of the group, as could be expected, was rewarded with great applause, of a truly immense scale.”
[Translated from Polish]

~ Małgorzata Uchecka, KULTURAL, December 3, 2014





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