Naxos recently released the world-premiere recording of GRAMMY-nominated composer/conductor Peter Boyer’s Symphony No. 1. The recording, featuring the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) under Boyer’s direction, also includes four additional works by the composer: Silver Fanfare, Festivities, Celebration Overture and Three Olympians. Watch the video trailer, below, and hear some samples of this exciting new recording:
“The five works included on this recording represent a cross-section of my orchestral music composed over a period of some 15 years, from one of my earliest commissions to my most recent,” said Boyer. “It was a thrilling experience to conduct my music with the superb London Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, and it’s deeply gratifying to have Naxos release this recording worldwide.”
Boyer’s 24-minute, three-movement Symphony No. 1, the centerpiece of his LPO recording, was commissioned by the Pasadena Symphony, and premiered by them under his baton in April 2013. The work contains music both deeply lyrical and rhythmically driving, and concludes with a powerful sense of affirmation. Boyer’s musical language draws inspiration from such iconic American composers as Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, and John Williams, and these influences can be heard in the symphony. Boyer dedicated the score of his symphony to the memory of Leonard Bernstein, and this dedication was accepted by Bernstein’s children.
MORE ABOUT THE ALBUM
Of the four additional works on the Naxos recording, three are short, exuberant pieces written for celebratory occasions, which demonstrate Boyer’s gifts for composing propulsive, colorful music for large orchestras. Silver Fanfare was composed as the first movement of the six-movement work On Music’s Wings, commissioned by the Pacific Symphony and its music director Carl St.Clair in celebration of its 25th anniversary in 2004. Festivities, here given its world-premiere recording, was commissioned and premiered by conductor Gerard Schwarz and the Eastern Music Festival, in celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2011. Celebration Overture was one of Boyer’s earliest commissions, composed in 1997 at the age of 27, for the inaugural season of the Henry Mancini Institute.
Reflecting the composer’s interest in mythology, Three Olympians for string orchestra was commissioned by the Conductors Institute at Bard College in 2000. Each of its movements was inspired by a Greek god of Olympus: Apollo, Aphrodite, and Ares.
Recorded at London’s historic Abbey Road Studio One, the Naxos recording was produced by Tim Handley, winner of the GRAMMY Award for Producer of the Year, Classical (2005). The recording engineer was Abbey Road’s Jonathan Allen, whose many credits include the recent film musical Les Miserables.