ECLIPSE: CHAMBER MUSIC BY MISCHA ZUPKO - ZUPKO; WARNER; MEE LEE
Chamber Music by Mischa Zupko
Zupko: From Twilight
Zupko: Love Obsession
Zupko: Shades of Grey
Sang Mee Lee (violin), Wendy Warner (cello), Mischa Zupko (piano)
Eclipse encompasses world-premiere recordings of inventive, virtuosic, and impassioned chamber works, written in apresent-day musical language by the strikingly original American composer and pianist Mischa Zupko. Joining him aretwo close friends and accomplished colleagues, the sublime violinist Sang Mee Lee, who chairs the string department atthe Music Institute of Chicago, and internationally renowned cellist Wendy Warner, a protégé of Mstislav Rostropovich.Zupko wrote some of the works expressly for these artists.
Imbued with Zupko’s heartfelt humanism, Eclipse explores themes of separation, contrast, and convergence on cosmicas well as intimate levels. In the album’s centerpiece and title track, Eclipse, violin and cello approach like two celestialbodies, their distinct musical lines merging and becoming one strangely luminous entity before continuing on their trajectories across the cosmos. From Twilight and Nebula also reflect on mysteries of the distant universe. The ecstaticRising depicts Jesus’s ascension to heaven as recounted in the Gospel of Luke. The violin creates an aural illusion ofa spiraling ascent while the piano’s reverie evokes the earthbound faithful waiting for his return. The contrasting Fallenis a study in spiritual despair, based on a García Lorca poem. Shades of Grey for violin and piano (no relation to thesimilarly titled erotic romance novel) is an “inventive and intricate exploration” of the dynamics of personal relationships(Chicago Reader). Love Obsession for cello, piano, and six pre-recorded electronic cello tracks exudes a more visceral,single-minded passion.
Composer-in-residence at the Music Institute of Chicago, Zupko has received plaudits from The New York Times andLos Angeles Times. He’s been featured in the Chicago Reader and New Music USA’s New Music Box, which called him“a humble, energetic, and constantly searching artist.” Chicago’s New City hails him as a composer “with something tosay, and the adventurous listener will be rewarded.”
His music has been championed by the Minnesota Orchestra, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Fulcrum Point NewMusic Project, American Modern Ensemble, Eighth Blackbird, Corigliano Quartet, Lincoln Trio, and members of theChicago Symphony Orchestra as well as members of the Kronos, Vermeer, and Pacifica Quartets. Camerata Chicagoperformed Zupko’s Chamber Symphony: Pilatus on its 2013 tour to the Czech Republic, France, and Italy.