"Seasons: Richter & Glass"
"Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons"
Philip Glass: 2nd Violin Concerto "The American Four Seasons"
US CD Release May 24, 2023
“This exciting young ensemble is a step ahead, ready for anything…virtuosic and versatile!”
—Los Angeles Times
Ferocious and rhythmically mesmerizing.
—San Francisco Classical Voice
Violinist Étienne Gara and his multi-national, Los Angeles-based chamber orchestra Delirium Musicum released their debut recording on Warner Classics (US CD Release May 24, 2023). "Seasons" is an exuberant recording of two modern works by composers Max Richter and Phillip Glass that reimagine Vivaldi's Four Seasons: Richter's "Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi - Four Seasons" and Glass's 2nd Violin Concerto "American Four Seasons."
Download the CD booklet (in English, French and German)
Video: Etienne Gara on Richter
Video: Etienne Gara on Glass & Making the Album
“Max Richter’s composition grabs us by the tips of our bows and flings us beyond Vivaldi’s trajectory,” says Gara, and Glass’s American Four Seasons “embodies the battle between humans and the machine, with relentless rock bass-guitar motifs played by cellos and double basses and devilish electric-guitar style outbursts proclaimed by the solo violin."
"These eight deliciously disordered seasons unfold according to an utterly peculiar sense of time," Gara continues. "They cast an artistic blur over our perception of things we have always seen as given and immutable: the seasons with their familiar weather patterns, our perception of time and space, and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons."
Delirium Musicum is Gara’s next-generation, self-conducted string orchestra whose 21 members from nine countries have electrified audiences with performances that aim to inspire, in Gara’s words, “wild excitement and ecstasy.” The group's repertoire ranges from 17th-century Baroque works to contemporary, boundary-breaking music—or, in the case of their new release—a mixture of those two worlds, with two 21st-century works inspired by one of classical music’s most beloved masterpieces.
The album recently earned a rating of 4 (out of 5) in the French music magazine Diapason, which, in addition to noting Gara's "fiery bow," wrote: The twenty or so young globetrotter musicians of the ensemble Delirium Musicum, full of energy, along with an electronic touch, bring just the right degree of tension to these devilish “Seasons."
"Seasons" was recorded in 2022 (despite ongoing COVID concert-hall closures) at The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of California State University, where Gara just completed two years as Artist-in-Residence; "The Soraya," as it is known, offers a wide variety of performances reflecting LA’s many distinctive communities. The new recording on Warner, in Dolby Atmos, includes delicately mixed electronic and acoustic music, representing the duality between machine and human. To take advantage of this special recording environment, the ensemble choreographed the placement of players and used the subtle deployment of microphones to provide a unique immersive experience for the listener that approaches the musicians’ own experience on stage. "Seasons" was engineered by multi-Grammy Award winner Fred Vogler, who is principal sound designer and front-of-house mixer for the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall.
“My aim in creating this group was to foster an artistic expression nourished by both diversity and the buzz of artists thirsting for uncompromising creativity and unbound musical interpretation.”
About Delirium Musicum
Artistic Director Étienne Gara founded Delirium Musicum in 2018 to harness the artistic excellence, energy and leadership of a generation of young musicians in Los Angeles who are forging musical careers increasingly influenced by the city's bustling artistic mosaic. Their diversity (21 musicians from nine countries), their commitment to spontaneity, and the juxtaposition of music from all time periods allows the musicians to bond and engage intimately with the audience to create profound human experiences.
Delirium Musicum's recent projects include “Treelogy,” created in response to the 2020 California wildfires. The three-part work, commissioned by The Soraya in Los Angeles and premiered there in February 2023, was composed by Billy Childs, Steven Mackey and Gabriella Smith. The LA Times called it a “sublime, classical ode to California’s redwoods, sequoias and Joshua trees.” An earlier project followed Gara and fellow violinist YuEun Kim as they took to the road in 2020, after COVID shut down concert venues in California and around the world. Living and traveling in their 1971 VW bus, they spent six months performing socially-distanced concerts for farm workers, winemakers and random passersby up and down the West Coast of the U.S., from the Mexican to the Canadian border. The experience and the music were captured on video for their award-winning streaming series “Musikaravan.”
About Étienne Gara
Praised for the warm tone and expressiveness of his playing, French-born violinist Étienne Gara has performed extensively in some of the world’s most renowned venues, and his performances have been broadcast internationally on TV and radio. His 2014 debut album “French Recital” (with pianist Sonia Achkar, on Media Hyperium3) was recorded on the 1714 Leonora Jackson Stradivarius.
In addition to his role as Founding Artistic Director of Delirium Musicum, his solo career as a recitalist and soloist has taken him to Europe, Asia, and America. He also records for the film and TV industry and performs as guest principal violin with many ensembles at prestigious L.A. venues including Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Nokia Theater, and many more.
Cultivating a boundary-breaking curiosity, Gara was featured on Leonard Cohen's final album and previously founded the award-winning Sunset Club Trio, an ensemble that brings together the violin and electric and flamenco guitars in original arrangements of the great classical repertoire. He also created "Sketches of Miles," a production that unites the classical and the jazz worlds, commissioned by USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute, where he is Artist-in-Residence.
A graduate of the Mozarteum Salzburg, Indiana University, and the New England Conservatory, Gara also studied with Midori at the University of Southern California. Among many international festivals, he was invited to join violinist Itzhak Perlman at his festival in New York, as well as residencies in Sarasota, FL and Israel.