Orchestra | Public Relations
November 3, 2014

On November 11 Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony release their fifth disc on Seattle Symphony Media. Featured on the album is the premiere recording of Alexander Raskatov’s powerful and captivating Piano Concerto, “Night Butterflies,” performed by Tomoko Mukaiyama. The piece, co-commissioned by the Seattle Symphony and Residentie Orkest in the Netherlands, received its U.S. premiere in the 2013–2014 season.

Russian-born composer Alexander Raskatov is gaining an increasingly impressive international reputation, with performances of his opera A Dog’s Heart at English National Opera, Netherlands Opera and La Scala (Milan). His new Piano Concerto, “Night Butterflies,” written for pianist and performance artist Tomoko Mukaiyama, is a major addition to the repertoire. In Mukaiyama’s words, “He created 12 very vivid movements of colorful piano concerto…. [I]n the 12th movement he quoted a Russian folk song. It was one of the most emotional pieces of music I ever performed.” With an immense palate of colors, this work is a journey into new sound worlds. Thomas May of Bachtrack wrote regarding its U.S. premiere: “[Mukaiyama’s] spectacularly vivid performance emphasized the composer’s extremities of gesture — ostinatos that crystallize into earworms, outbursts crushing in their violent force, vertiginous glissandi … but also conveyed the surreal cumulative effect of this abundance of contrasts.” Conceived after visiting a greenhouse in France inhabited by different species of butterflies as well as plants, Raskatov was reminded of a childhood walk in the forest near Moscow. The musical butterflies and orchestral soundscapes are varied and carry influences of Messiaen, Mussorgsky, Webern and Stravinsky, yet display Raskatov’s original sonic imagination.
Raskatov’s work is appropriately coupled with innovative sounds from a previous Russian generation — Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring — captured live in an electrifying performance in June 2014 in Seattle’s Benaroya Hall. This was part of a memorable single-evening performance of the three great Stravinsky ballets, one of the highlights of the orchestra’s 2013–2014 season.

Click to hear Ludovic Morlot talk with radio host Dave Beck about this recording on Classical KING FM 98.1.

To obtain a digital review copy or other information on the release, please click here and contact Kirshbaum Demler & Associates for log in credentials.

Ludovic Morlot, conductor
Tomoko Mukaiyama, piano
Seattle Symphony Orchestra

ALEXANDER RASKATOV: Piano Concerto, “Night Butterflies

IGOR STRAVINSKY: The Rite of Spring

Total Timing: 63:19 // Catalog Number: SSM1005 // Producer: Dmitriy Lipay

Seattle Symphony Media page
Digital downloads and CDs are available through iTunes and Amazon.

“The four CDs in its first batch testify both to its commercial enterprise and to its musical excellence.” – The Daily Telegraph

“The Seattle Symphony’s performance is a thrilling testament to the strength of this amalgam: this is an interpretation of terrific integrity, bold but based on sound architectural foundations and with a sure sense of shape, momentum and … an acute ear for the nitty-gritty of the orchestral fabric.” 

The Seattle Symphony has an extensive catalogue of over 140 recordings, which have brought forth 12 Grammy Award nominations throughout its history. Under the leadership of Ludovic Morlot, now in his fourth season as Music Director, and Executive Director Simon Woods, the Symphony is building a new discography spanning genres and time periods under the Seattle Symphony Media label. The recordings feature both “core repertoire” and some of the eclectic and contemporary programming for which the Seattle Symphony has become recognized at home.

An important characteristic of the label is the combination of live and studio recordings, allowing the organization an unprecedented breadth of repertoire choices that are less easily achieved with an “all-live” label. Distributed by Naxos of America, the recordings are available in both physical and digital formats from a variety of retailers.

All recordings are made in the acoustically superb Benaroya Hall using the Symphony’s own state-of-the-art in-house recording facility. The recordings have been engineered to audiophile standards and aim to capture as realistically as possible the sound of the orchestra performing onstage with naturalistic imaging, depth of field and dynamic range. Digital content will be available in four formats: regular stereo, “Mastered for iTunes,” 96k 24-bit high resolution and 5.1 surround sound.

Earlier releases on Seattle Symphony Media feature Ludovic Morlot conducting the Symphony in works by French and American composers, celebrating the flourishing relationship between this French conductor and American orchestra that has electrified audiences in Seattle. The discs include works by Charles Ives, Elliott Carter, George Gershwin, Henri Dutilleux, Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Saëns and Gabriel Fauré.
SSM 1001 - Henri Dutilleux: Symphony No. 1, Tout un monde lointainThe Shadows of Time
SSM 1002 - Ravel: Orchestral Works; Saint-Saëns: Organ Symphony
SSM 1003 - Ives: Symphony No. 2; Carter: Instances; Gershwin: An American in Paris
SSM 1004 - Fauré: Masques et bergamasques, Pelléas et Mélisande, Dolly, Pavane, Fantaisie, Berceuse, Élegié

Support for Seattle Symphony Media comes from Joan Watjen in memory of her husband Craig.
Tomoko Muyaikama’s performance was underwritten by the Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation

About the Seattle Symphony 

Founded in 1903, the Seattle Symphony is one of America’s leading symphony orchestras and is internationally acclaimed for its innovative programming and extensive recording history. Under the leadership of Music Director Ludovic Morlot since September 2011, the Symphony is heard live from September through July by more than 300,000 people annually. It performs in one of the finest modern concert halls in the world — the acoustically superb Benaroya Hall — in downtown Seattle. Its extensive education and community-engagement programs reach over 100,000 children and adults each year. The Seattle Symphony has a deep commitment to new music, commissioning many works by living composers each season, including John Luther Adams’ recent Become Ocean, which won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music. The orchestra has made more than 140 recordings and has received 12 Grammy nominations, two Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades. In 2014 the Symphony launched its in-house recording label, Seattle Symphony Media.

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