photo: Violinist Stacie Lin performs Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Page, during the 2014 PARMA Music Festival

Adaptable to a wide array of settings and styles, conducive to gestures both intimate and mammoth, the concerto has long been the predominant platform for a soloist to showcase their musicianship.

With the Spring 2022 launch of PARMA’s Featured Recording Opportunity for Concertos, we couldn’t help but look back at some of the concertos we’ve had the pleasure of producing and releasing. From classic instrumentations to new ideas and sounds from around the world, here are some examples from our catalog of concertos which showcase the breadth of expression possible in this time-tested form.

Francis Fairman and Richard Stoltzman – Clarinet Concerto

A renowned performer, chamber and jazz musician, and recording artist with two GRAMMY awards to his name, clarinetist Richard Stoltzman has been a soloist with more than a hundred orchestras. On DIURNAL THOUGHTS from Navona Records, Stoltzman employs his world-class sound in Francis E. Fairman III’s Clarinet Concerto, a piece that beautifully captures the pains and joys of one’s path to success in a four movement performance from the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.

DIURNAL THOUGHTS - album cover

DIURNAL THOUGHTS

DIURNAL THOUGHTS is a collection of four previously unreleased works for orchestra by composer Francis Fairman.

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Nan Avant – Tributum

There are numerous orchestrations one can create when composing a concerto, namely with a wide variety of solo instruments to choose from. In Tributum from LEGENDS & LIGHT VOL 2, composer Nan Avant utilizes the Great Highland Bagpipes of Scotland and the Uilleann Pipes of Ireland to evoke the essence of British Isles and convey the scenic vistas of Scotland, the Highlands, Isle of Skye, Glen Coe, and an emerald green Ireland. The distinct timbre of these two varied instruments coalesce with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra across three movements.

GRAMMY-winning Session Producer Brad Michel shared his experiences with the production.

“Recording Avant’s Tributum with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra was a particular delight. One doesn’t often get the chance to record bagpipes and orchestra, and even rarer is the opportunity to record two different types with orchestra.”

PARMA Senior Producer Brad Michel

LEGENDS AND LIGHT VOL. 2 - album cover

The Inside Story: Nan Avant and LEGENDS AND LIGHT VOL. 2

Learn about the insight Avant gained from working with other composers on the album, and the lyrical quality she hears in the Portuguese language in this Inside Story.

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Jan Järvlepp – CONCERTO 2000

Composed for flutist Pascale Margely, Jan Järvlepp’s Concerto 2000 follows the classic fast-slow-fast concerto format with a multiplicity of styles at play all at once. With a well-blended mix of style and humor, Concerto 2000 demonstrates that writing great music and writing music with popular appeal can be one and the same.

“I hope that the raucous liveliness of the single “Fire, Ice & Vodka” in particular will put listeners in a good mood and let them forget about their troubles for a while. And if one can instill some hope in people, all the better!”

Composer Jan Järvlepp

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The Inside Story: Jan Järvlepp and CONCERTO 2000

Dive into Järvlepp’s Inside Story to learn about his Concerto 2000, and what he hopes both listeners and musicians will gain from it.

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Jovica Ivanović – PIAZZOLLA & GALLIANO

Can’t decide which compositional legends’ work you want to tackle? Why not pick both? Accordionist Jovica Ivanović does just that in his latest Navona Records release, performing both Astor Piazzolla’s Aconcagua and Richard Galliano’s Opale Concerto. Recorded with the Ukrainian Chamber Orchestra, Ivanović navigates both the tantalizing excitement of Piazzolla’s Argentinian tango and Galliano’s pulse-quickening adventure, gliding effortlessly above the orchestra and lending a rich voice to the melody.

PIAZZOLLA & GALLIANO - album cover

The Inside Story: Jovica Ivanović and PIAZZOLLA & GALLIANO

Dive into Ivanović’s Inside Story to discover the influence his father had on the album’s completion.

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Eliane Rodrigues – BEETHOVEN 8 Concerti

A celebrated conductor, composer, and pianist, Eliane Rodrigues has been performing piano concertos since childhood, with her first televised concerto performance at age 6. In this album of Beethoven’s five finished concertos, Rodrigues seamlessly blends with the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, captivating with graceful virtuosity across the keyboard and a performance true to the period.

BEETHOVEN - album cover

BEETHOVEN 8 Concerti

In this stunning tour through the concerti of Beethoven’s early and middle periods, pianist Eliane Rodrigues captivates her listeners with graceful keyboard virtuosity.

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A classical concerto can take on a number of different forms, from utilizing uncommon instruments in the classical canon to experimenting with varying ensemble sizings. When examining what a concerto is at its core, Michel puts it best:

“Concertos represent some of the greatest masterpieces in the orchestral repertoire and are always a great pleasure to record. When done correctly, the listener should experience a beautiful image of the orchestra wrapped around the soloist in a warm spotlight.”

PARMA Senior Producer Brad Michel

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