HAMLET - Album Cover

Release Date: April 22, 2022

Record Label:  Navona Records (NV6396)

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Hamlet

In this installment of the Shakespeare Concerts Series, composer Joseph Summer brings us along to Elsinore with The Bard’s classic play in an all new setting complete with the lyric integrity of Shakespeare’s words in a contemporary musical arrangement.

“this setting of Hamlet is […] a masterpiece”
– Art Music Lounge

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Studio Journal: Joseph Summer on his Hamlet Opera (4 Parts)
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Interview: Joseph Summer and HAMLET
From the PARMA Recordings Blog

Track Listing

01-13 Act 1 1:00:51
14-30 Act 2 1:10:43
31-45 Act 3 1:10:50

For a complete track listing visit: navonarecords.com/catalog/nv6396

Performers: 
Ruse Symphony Orchestra | Leo Hussain, conductor
The Choir of The State Opera-Ruse

Cast
Omar Najmi, Hamlet
Brianna Robinson, Ophelia
Kevin Thompson, Polonius
Evan Bravos, Claudius
Michelle Trainor, Gertrude
Katherine Pracht, Horatio
Neal Ferreira, Laertes
Melanie Forgeron, Player Queen
Joseph Hubbard, Player King & John, the Gravedigger
Dobromir Momekov, Rosencrantz
Teodor Petkov, Guildenstern
Maria Anastasova, Will
Andrey Mitev, Child
Edward Vere, Prologue
Emil Zhelev, Priest

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MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING - Album Cover

Release Date: December 1, 2015

Record Label:  Albany Records (TROY1609/10)

The Tempest

Composer Joseph Summer, who has been fascinated with Shakespeare for most of his life, has composed The Tempest, using a libretto written by his daughter, Eve Summer.

“has something unique to say…(Summer’s) musical language is comfortably tonal but sophisticated, ceaselessly inventive, and often gripping; he’s a vivid musical storyteller. It’s an embarrassment of riches – the marvelous group numbers keep coming, culminating in the penultimate scene which builds to a blazingly celebratory climax… It’s gorgeous.”
– Opera News

Track Listing

Disc 1 Tracks 1-8 Act I: I-VIII 1:03:31
Disc 2 Tracks 1-11 Act II: I-XI 1:18:57

Stefan Lano
The Shakespeare Concerts Ensemble
Jessica Lennick
Andrea Chenoweth
Sophie Michaux
David Salsbery Fry
Katherine Pracht
Kathryn Guthrie
Christian Van Horn
Jessica Leannick
Chstian Van Horn
Ethan Bremner
Christopher Burchett
James Maddalena
Neal Ferreira
Glorivy Arroyo
Andy Pappas
Sopie Michaux

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ENTERPRISES OF GREAT PITCH - Album Cover

Release Date: February 4, 2022

Record Label: Centaur Records (CRC3893)

Enterprises of Great Pitch

“The best musical setting of scenes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet I’ve ever heard.”
– Art Music Lounge

Track Listing

01 Cello Sonata (20 Variations on a Theme from the “Hebdomad”) 25:26
02 O That This Too Too Solid Flesh Would Melt 6:57
03 Two Nights Together 6:52
04 To Be, Or Not To Be 7:43
05 What A Piece Of Work Is Man 5:42
06 How All Occasions Do Inform Against Me 5:39
07 Gallop Apace 11:30

SangYoung Kim, piano
Hyun-Ji Kwon, cello
Omar Najmi, tenor
Vera Savage, mezzo-soprano
Kevin Owen, horn
Kathryn Guthrie, soprano

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MUSIC TO HEAR - Album Cover

Release Date: May 22, 2020

Record Label:  Navona Records (NV6283)

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Music to Hear

MUSIC TO HEAR, Joseph Summer’s follow up to WHO IS SYLVIA from Navona Records off his Shakespeare Concerts set, is the result of the composer’s lifelong obsession with poetry. The album pairs the works of contemporary poets as well as Shakespeare with Summer’s music in order to express deeper significance than either words or music are capable of on their own.

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Track Listing*

01 Sonnet 4 “For Lydia” 7:03
02 Spring Sonnet 3:55
03 Sonnet 8 7:10
04 Sonnet 110 3:38
05 Sonnet 144 5:32
06 Sonnet 51 4:04
12 Sonnets 97 & 98 9:40
13 Epilogue to the Tempest 5:45

*composed by Joseph Summer
For a complete track listing visit: navonarecords.com/catalog/nv6283

Ulysses Quartet
Vera Savage, mezzo-soprano
Andrea Chenoweth, soprano
Kathryn Guthrie, soprano
Thea Lobo, mezzo-soprano
SangYoung Kim, piano
Andy Papas, baritone
Brianna Robinson, soprano
Omar Najmi, tenor
Ryu-Kyung Kim, mezzo-soprano
Hyun-ji Kwon, cello
Julia Cavallaro, mezzo-soprano
Ethan Bremner, tenor

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WHO IS SYLVIA - Album Cover

Release Date: May 8, 2020

Record Label:  Navona Records (NV6282)

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Who is Sylvia

Joseph Summer’s WHO IS SYLVIA is a collection of Shakespeare’s works set to music that will make you question everything you thought you learned in high school English. Summer believes that the famous playwright’s true identity is not William Shakespeare but rather Edward De Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. Many of the songs found on WHO IS SYLVIA come from Summer’s aptly-named The Oxford Songs, a collection of scenes, sonnets, songs, and Summer’s original opera version of Hamlet.

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Track Listing*

01 Invisible Women: Sycorax 5:27
02 Who Is Silvia? (1) 3:32
07 Come Thou Monarch of the Vine and Hearing Transcript 2:23
17 The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strained 5:52
18 Hath Not a Jew Eyes 7:22
19 The Dumbshow 17:43

*composed by Joseph Summer
For a complete track listing visit: navonarecords.com/catalog/nv6282

Ulysses Quartet
Thea Lobo, mezzo-soprano
Franziska Huhn, harp
Andrea Chenoweth, soprano Christina Bouey, violin
Miroslav Sekera, piano
Vera Savage, mezzo-soprano
SangYoung Kim, piano
Omar Najmi, tenor
Tim Ribchester, piano
Ethan Bremner, tenor
Andy Papas, baritone
Julia Cavallaro, mezzo-soprano
Ryu-Kyung Kim, mezzo-soprano
Pascale Delache-Feldman, double bass

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SUMMERS DISTILLATION - Album Cover

Release Date: January 24, 2020

Record Label:  Navona Records (NV6263)

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Summer’s Distillation

With SUMMER’S DISTILLATION, Joseph Summer, as composer, offers a new look at the timeless texts credited to William Shakespeare. As artistic director, Summer presents settings by Brahms, R. Schumann, and Benjamin Pesetsky, curating an overall impressive collection of works for voice, harp, and horns.

“a beautifully balanced collection of pieces, and it’s surprising, on reflection, to think that the only instruments used are horns and harp.”
– D. Rea

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Track Listing*

01 Sonnet No. 5 – Sonnet No. 6 5:03
02 Sonnet No. 104 3:49
03 Sonnet No. 91 (2) 3:09
04 Sonnet No. 73 3:39
05 Sonnet No. 133 8:44
06 The Tempest: If By Your Art 6:43
07 O God, That I Were a Man 3:35

*composed by Joseph Summer
For a complete track listing visit: navonarecords.com/catalog/nv6263

Jennifer Sgroe, soprano
Jessica Lennick, soprano
Sophie Michaux, mezzo-soprano
Neal Ferreira, tenor
Thea Lobo, mezzo-soprano
Franziska Huhn, harp
Kevin Owen, Josh Michal – horn

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NO ENEMY BUT WINTER AND ROUGH WEATHER - Album Cover

Release Date: January 12, 2018

Record Label:  Navona Records (NV6134)

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No Enemy but Winter and Rough Weather

Even the most fearful of the cold will draw warmth from Joe Summer’s comforting NO ENEMY BUT WINTER AND ROUGH WEATHER, the sixth album honoring The Shakespeare Concerts Series, of which he is founder and executive director.

“a circular and well-thought cyclic concept behind the project. After listening to the entire album a few times, top to bottom, I had the sensation of a certain peaceful resignation: expressive and deeply emotional.”
– G. Griglio

Track Listing*

01 Concert Overture for Piano 5:03
12 Sonnet LX 4:40
13 O, that this too too solid flesh 7:02
14 Beseech you sir, be merry 8:27
15 The quality of mercy 5:26
16 When That I Was and a Little Tiny Boy 2:24

*composed by Joseph Summer
For a complete track listing visit: navonarecords.com/catalog/nv6134

SangYoung Kim, piano
Kathryn Guthrie, soprano
John McGinn, piano
Thea Lobo, mezzo-soprano
Luke Grooms, tenor
Ian Watson, harpsichord
Kellie Van Horn, mezzo-soprano
Arcadia Players
Paul Soper, baritone
Andrea Chenoweth, soprano
Kevin Owen French, horn
David Salsbery Fry, bass
Victor Cayres, piano
Neal Ferreira, tenor
The Shakespeare Concerts Ensemble

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FULL FATHOM FIVE - Album Cover

Release Date: April 14, 2015

Record Label:  Navona Records (NV5996)

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Full Fathom Five

FULL FATHOM FIVE, the fifth offering in Navona Records’ The Shakespeare Concerts Series, takes the story of The Tempest, from the shipwrecked crew and magical spirits to the imprisoned servants and their questions of identity, and presents a variety of works from the 18th to the 21st centuries that set texts and depict themes from Shakespeare’s play.

“I’ll go so far as to say, mindful that one must never declare ‘genius’ too easily, that the more I experience Joseph Summer’s art, the more I am inclined to apply the term.”
– Fanfare Magazine

Track Listing*

01 Full Fathom Five 9:30
07 Where the Bee Sucks 1:48
08 Before you can say Come and Go 0:21
09 I Do Not Know One of My Sex 2:08
14 O Mistress Mine 2:37
15 Love (What Thing Is Love) 2:44

*composed by Joseph Summer
For a complete track listing visit: navonarecords.com/catalog/nv5996

Arcadia Players
Ian Watson, conductor
Emily Jaworski, mezzo-soprano
Andrea Chenoweth, soprano
Lisa Perry, soprano
Neal Ferreira, tenor
Justin Vickers, tenor
Katarzyna Bryla, viola
Peter Kibbe, cello
Stephanie Ray, flute
Gleb Kanasevich, clarinet
Stephen Hammer, oboe
R. Kent Cook, harpsichord
Victor Cayres de Mendonça, piano
Miroslav Sekera, piano

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ORPHEUS WITH HIS LUTE MADE TREES - Album Cover

Release Date: April 14, 2015

Record Label:  Navona Records (NV5995)

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Orpheus with his Lute Made Trees

On the fourth offering in Navona Records’ The Shakespeare Concerts Series, ORPHEUS WITH HIS LUTE MADE TREES, executive director and composer Joseph Summer presents original works and pieces by composers from the 18th through the 21st centuries that celebrate the myth of Orpheus.

“glowing performances… radiant…”
– American Record Guide

Track Listing*

01 You may think of art 5:17
03 Sonata for Violin & Voice: Orpheus with His Lute – Sonnet CIII 6:02
04 Sonata for Violin & Voice: Sonnet CXXVIII 5:03
09 Leda and the Swan 3:53
11 On the Death of Phillips 3:09

*composed by Joseph Summer
For a complete track listing visit: navonarecords.com/catalog/nv5995

Arcadia Players
Ian Watson, conductor
Andrea Chenoweth, soprano
Lisa Perry, soprano
Kathryn Guthrie, soprano
Neal Ferreira, tenor
Katarzyna Bryla, viola
Josef Špaček, violin
Peter Kibbe, cello
Andrea Leblanc, flute
Gleb Kanasevich, clarinet
SangYoung Kim, piano
John McGinn, piano
Miroslav Sekera, piano

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GODDESSES - Album Cover

Release Date: October 14, 2014

Record Label:  Navona Records (NV5973)

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Goddesses

GODDESSES is the third offering in Navona Records’ The Shakespeare Concerts Series, which presents several works by composer Joseph Summer from his collection of settings of Shakespearean scenes, sonnets, and soliloquies, Oxford Songs.

“amazing virtuoso performances.”
– Fanfare Magazine

Track Listing*

01 Honour, Riches, Marriage-Blessing 22:15
02 Sonnet 127, “In the Old Age Black Was Not Counted Fair” 5:16
03 Sonnet 128, “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” 5:51
04 Gallop Apace You Fiery-Footed Steeds 12:05
05 If Music Be the Food of Love 8:44
06 There Is a Willow Grows Aslant a Brook 4:38

Jessica Lennick, soprano
Andrea Chenoweth, soprano
Kellie Van Horn, mezzo-soprano
Miroslav Sekera, piano
John McGinn, music director
Luke Grooms, tenor
Paul Soper, baritone
Clark Matthews, solo french horn
Krista Reisner, Rohan Gregory – violins
Peter Sulski, viola
Guy Fishman, cello
Robert Nairn, double-bass
Ian Watson, conductor
Jessica Lizak, solo flute
Gigi Mitchell-Velasco, mezzo-soprano
Jeffrey Lang, french horn
Elaine Comparone, harpsichord
Noel Espiritu Velasco, music director
John Boden, Frederick Aldrich, Robert Marlatt – french horns
Bonita Williams, double bass

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THE FAIR OPHELIA - Album Cover

Release Date: November 1, 2013

Record Label:  Navona Records (NV5935)

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The Fair Ophelia

THE FAIR OPHELIA, the second installment on Navona Records’ The Shakespeare Concerts Series, features works by composer Joseph Summer that are inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark! With Shakespeare’s texts accompanied with music by Brahms, Strauss, Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Schumann, and Joseph Summer, this album for vocal and chamber music consists of diverse settings that present the listener with an opportunity to hear Ophelia in a three dimensional perspective.

“A remarkable recording that contributes to the literary praise of William Shakespeare.”
– Sonograma Magazine

Track Listing*

01 He Took Me By The Wrist 13:07
03 They Bore Him Barefaced on the Bier 5:38
07 To My Sick Soul (Saint Valentine’s Day) 14:06
08 There Is A Willow Grows Aslant A Brook 4:33

*composed by Joseph Summer
For a complete track listing visit: navonarecords.com/catalog/nv5935

Kathryn Guthrie, soprano
Miroslav Sekera, piano
Kellie Van Horn, mezzo-soprano
John McGinn, piano
Justin Vickers, tenor
Andrea Chenoweth, soprano
Chad Sloan, baritone
Desiree Maira, mezzo-soprano

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SHAKESPEARE’S MEMORY - Album Cover

Release Date: January 1, 2013

Record Label:  Navona Records (NV5899)

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Shakespeare’s Memory

SHAKESPEARE’S MEMORY is the first offering in Navona’s The Shakespeare Concerts Series. A salmagundi of selections from composer Joseph Summer’s The Oxford Songs, this album includes previously unreleased recordings spanning the life of the series. This first volume includes Summer’s original chamber and vocal compositions set to Shakespeare’s dramas and sonnets and the poetry of Milton and Yeats, performed by a slew of musicians: the Kalmia String Quartet, baritone Chad Sloan, soprano Andrea Chenoweth, mezzo-soprano Kellie Van Horn, tenor Justin Vickers, pianists Miroslav Sekera and Ian Watson, and harpist Lydie Härtelovä.

“21st-century world of kaleidoscopic influences like a beautifully transformed Schubert.”
– Gramophone

Track Listing*

01 With Mirth in Funeral 7:31
02 On the Death of a Fair Infant 2:41
03 Leda and the Swan 3:56
04 Full Fathom Five 8:50
05 Sonnet 3 3:46
06 Sonnet 135 1:23

07 Sonnet 116 3:16
08 Sonnets 97 & 98 8:09
09 He Shall With Speed To England 3:15
11 Shakespeare’s Memory 8:35
12 If By Your Art 7:10

*composed by Joseph Summer
For a complete track listing visit: navonarecords.com/catalog/nv5899

Kalmia String Quartet
Chad Sloan, baritone
Andrea Chenoweth, Maria Ferrante – sopranos
Kellie Van Horn, mezzo-soprano
Justin Vickers, tenor
Miroslav Sekera, piano
Ian Watson, piano harpsichord
Lydie Härtelovä, harp

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MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING - Album Cover

Release Date: November 2, 2018

Record Label:  Centaur Records (CRC3499)

Much Ado About Nothing

The Amernet String Quartet plays major works for string quartet by Beethoven, Benjamin Britten and Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Contemporary American composer Joseph Summer contributes a work for string quartet that perfectly complements the rest of this program. The works on this album were recorded at the Florida International University and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, Miami, Florida, USA in April and May 2015.

Track Listing*

11 Dance of the Mechanics 21:39

*composed by Joseph Summer

The Amernet String Quartet
Brian Powell, double bass

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SO MANY JOURNEYS - Album Cover

Release Date: January 1, 2009

Record Label:  Albany Records (TROY1105)

So Many Journeys

The release of So Many Journeys marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s sonnets. This recording, performed by members of The Shakespeare Concerts, contains two of the 26 sonnets set by composer Joseph Summer, an unabashed Oxfordian, as well as pieces from his opera Hamlet. The Sonata is a set of variations based on a baritone aria from Summer’s opera Courting Disaster.

“nothing short of spectacular”
– American Record Guide

Track Listing

01 There is a willow grows aslant a brook 5:05
02 Sonnet CXXXII 2:22
03 The Quality of Mercy 5:40
04 Sonnet LX 5:00
05 The Dumb Show 17:11
06 So Many Journeys 13:49
07 The Lady Doth Protest Too Much 5:59
08 Sonata for Violoncello and Piano: Variations I Through V 4:04

09 Sonata for Violoncello and Piano: Variations VI through VII 2:28
10 Sonata for Violoncello and Piano: Variations VIII through X 4:11
11 Sonata for Violoncello and Piano: Variations XI through XVII 9:24
12 Sonata for Violoncello and Piano: Variations XVIII through XX 2:25

Kellie van Horn, soprano
Christian van Horn, bass-baritone
Miroslav Sekera, piano
Petr Nouzovsky, cello

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SHALL I COMPARE THEE - Album Cover

Release Date: January 1, 2006

Record Label:  Albany Records (TROY881)

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?

“beautifully expressive and deeply emotional”
– American Record Guide

Track Listing

01 Sonnet CIV 4:06
02 Sonnet XVIII 6:38
03 Sonnet CXXX 5:34
04 Sonnet VIII 7:06
05 Sonnet CX 3:56

06 “If By Your Art” (from The Tempest) 6:24
07 Leda and the Swan 4:21
08 Sonnet CXXVIII 5:16
09 Dance of the Mechanics 24:49
10 When That I Was And a Little Tiny Boy (from Twelfth Night) 2:15

Eve Gigliotti, soprano
Anna Reinersman, harp
Kellie van Horn, mezzo-soprano
Sarah Brady, flute
Max Zeugner, double bass
Alan Schneider, tenor
Heather Curley, soprano
John McGinn, piano
Tom O’Toole, baritone
Krista Buckland-Reisner, violin
QX String Quartet

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WHAT A PIECE OF WORK IS MAN - Album Cover

Release Date: April 26, 2005

Record Label:  Albany Records (TROY750)

What a Piece of Work is Man

Track Listing

01 They Bore Him Barefaced on the Bier 5:47
02 Too Too Solid Flesh 6:26
03 With Mirth In Funeral 7:38
04 To Be or Not To Be 7:36
05 Leda and the Swan 4:19
06 Full Fathom Five 8:39

07 Gallop Apace 10:59
08 Sonnet CXXXII 2:30
09 Sonnet LX 5:21
10 Sonnet VIII 6:50
11 The Quality of Mercy 5:07
12 What a Piece of Work Is Man 5:25

Ja-Naé Duane, mezzo-soprano
Elem Eley, baritone
Maria Ferrante, soprano
John McGinn, music direction and piano
Alan Schneider, tenor
Miroslav Sekera, piano
Barbara Shepherd, french horn

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THE GARDEN OF FORKING PATHS - Album Cover

Release Date: August 7, 2012

Record Label:  Albany Records (TROY1340)

The Garden of Forking Paths

This string quartet by noted American composer Joseph Summer is a musical interpretation of the named stories of the preeminent 20th century fabulist, Jorge Luis Borges. Born in 1956, Joseph Summer studied at Oberlin and Carnegie-Mellon, where he later taught. Summer has written four comic operas based on the stories of The Decameron. These operas are part of a planned seven opera cycle, which follows the exploits of a half dozen characters over the course of a week in an imagined 14th century Naples.

“This passionate music invites you to dance and makes you feel you cannot refuse. It propels all who hear it into Summer’s and Borges’s fantastic world.”
– Fanfare Magazine

Track Listing

01 The Garden of Forking Paths: I, II 15:09
02 The Garden of Forking Paths: III 11:12
03 The Garden of Forking Paths: IV, V 30:05

Kalmia String Quartet

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FLEETING REALMS - Album Cover

Release Date: September 8, 2017

Record Label:  Navona Records (NV6107)

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Fleeting Realms

FLEETING REALMS is an inviting compilation of chamber music featuring six composers. Though the album obviously mixes different compositional voices, the different pieces share many characteristics. FLEETING REALMS is defined by a pervasive uplifting quality. Many of the album’s works feature driving rhythms and a joyfully relaxed sensibility.

“One never tires of hearing his (Summer’s) subtle, language-sensitive, and deeply expressive settings.”
– Fanfare Magazine

Track Listing*

11 They Bore Him Barefaced on the Bier 6:14
12 He Took Me by the Wrist 13:04

*composed by Joseph Summer
For a complete track listing visit: navonarecords.com/catalog/nv6107

Kathryn Guthrie, soprano
Neal Ferreira, tenor
SangYoung Kim, piano
David Salsbery, Fry bass

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PARMA MUSIC FESTIVAL LIVE 2014 - Album Cover

Release Date: June 9, 2015

Record Label:  Navona Records (NV6002)

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PARMA Music Festival Live 2014

14 concerts, 12 venues, 4 days. The 2014 PARMA Music Festival featured a diverse range of events, from concert performances of orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo instruments, and jazz groups, to an outdoor presentation of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and panel discussions about music licensing and multimedia composition, as well as improvised collaborations between indie rockers and classical instrumentalists.

Track Listing*

07 Where the Bee Sucks 1:46

*composed by Joseph Summer
For a complete track listing visit: navonarecords.com/catalog/nv6002

Lunar Ensemble

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FINE MUSIC VOL. 4 - Album Cover

Release Date: May 1, 2013

Record Label:  Navona Records (NV5916)

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Fine Music Vol. 4

FINE MUSIC, VOL. 4 is the fourth compilation of the Navona Records Fine Music digital series. This installment features the works of David Nisbet Stewart, Brian Noyes, Jonathan Little, Daniel Perttu, Curt Cacioppo, Santiago Billoni, Alejejandro Rutty, Joanne Carey, Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Summer, Roger Bourland, Kjell Magne Andersen, and Jan Van der Roost. This collection both highlights some of Navona’s choicest tracks and offers a preview of things to come.

Track Listing*

11 The Garden of Forking Paths, “String Quartet in C Major”: II. Shakespeare’s Memory 8:35

*composed by Joseph Summer
For a complete track listing visit: navonarecords.com/catalog/nv5916

Kalmia String Quartet

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