Press Release (ePRNews.com) - CHICAGO - Aug 11, 2017 - The McGill/McHale Trio, whose members are Demarre McGill, principal flute of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra; his brother Anthony McGill, principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic; and Irish pianist Michael McHale, makes its recording debut with “Portraits — Works for Flute, Clarinet & Piano” on Cedille Records.
“Portraits,” released August 11, features world-premiere recordings of 20th and 21st century works for the trio’s uncommon instrumentation. These include Valerie Coleman’s “Portraits of Langston,” which gives the album its title; Chris Rogerson’s “A Fish Will Rise”; and Paul Schoenfield’s “Sonatina for Flute, Clarinet and Piano” (Cedille Records CDR 90000 172).
Other recorded firsts include Philip Hammond’s trio version of his “The Lamentation of Owen O’Neil” and McHale’s own arrangements of Sergei Rachmaninov’s “Vocalise” and the Irish traditional song “The Lark in the Clear Air.” While not a premiere, Guillaume Connesson’s “Techno-Parade” for flute, clarinet, and piano is a rarity on recordings.
Coleman’s “Portraits of Langston” (2007) is a six-movement suite inspired by African-American poet Langston Hughes’s verses mirroring the sights and sounds of the Harlem Renaissance and jazz-age Paris of the 1920s. Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) reads the corresponding Hughes poem before each movement.
Cedille Records founder and president James Ginsburg describes “Portraits” as “an album with an international, all-star ensemble in world-premiere recordings of a rich variety of music scored for a truly captivating combination of instruments.”
Ginsburg also cites the album’s many Chicago connections, which are central to the nonprofit label’s mission of promoting the city’s finest classical performers and composers. “The McGill brothers are hometown musical heroes. They come from a middle-class family on the city’s South Side who made financial sacrifices for their music education. In their youth, they benefited from their involvement with Chicago’s Merit School of Music, a revered community institution, and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. They went on to study at elite music conservatories, win prestigious awards, and become among the very few African-Americans to hold principal chairs in major American orchestras.
“It’s also gratifying to bring the artistry of pianist Michael McHale to a wider audience in North America and beyond,” Ginsburg says. “The recognition is well deserved.”
Marking its 28th anniversary during the 2017–2018 season, Grammy award-winning Cedille Records (pronounced say-DEE) has been dedicated to showcasing and promoting the most noteworthy classical artists in and from the Chicago area since its debut in November 1989.
An independent nonprofit enterprise, Cedille Records is the label of Cedille Chicago, NFP. Headquarters are at 1205 W. Balmoral Ave., Chicago, IL 60640; call (773) 989-2515; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.cedillerecords.org.