Visions, Vignettes, and Other Phantasies
Leonard V. Ball, Jr.
Michael Heald Violin
Timothy Lovelace Piano
Maggie Snyder Viola
In his first album with Ravello Records, composer Leonard V. Ball, Jr. presents WORLDS TRANSLUCENT, a collection of works completed across the span of nearly a decade that capture the joys, fears, and fascinations of everyday life. The album, which features music for violin, viola, and piano, deals with the gravity of human mortality alongside the simple amusements of domestic life that counterbalance it.
WORLDS TRANSLUCENT begins with Night Visions, a series of three movements – Ball prefers to call them “visions.” The first movement sets the pace for the album with an explosion of frantic 16th notes on the violin, joined by the interjection of the piano. The second “vision” stands in contrast to the first; its deep silences and long string lines seem to drip into the expanse of time. The next movement regains its ecstatic energy, with violin and piano responding to one another. The Forest (f)or the Trees is a series of musical memorials to Ball’s loved ones. The second movement, "Requiem I (for cw)," expresses bittersweet beauty through dissonant violin strains. In this work’s two “dance” movements, individual characters from Ball’s own life are personified. Vignettes du Jour breaks the tension with a degree of levity inspired by the scurry of backyard critters and the adventures of a wily housecat. The string lines often erupt into pursuit of one another, clambering up scales only to fall back down. Lastly, within ~ without is an exploration of life’s duality, pairing sparse silences with strident viola strains and concluding with a rousing and definitive finale.
WORLDS TRANSLUCENT is all at once an eloquent consideration of existential fears as well as a salubrious jaunt infused with palpable joie de vivre. Ball’s compositions, in all their cerebral gravitas and levity, make an excellent musical companion through the hills and valleys of life.
Release Date: December 13, 2019
Catalog #: RR8025
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Ravello Records is the contemporary classical label imprint of audio production house PARMA Recordings. Dedicated to highlighting forward thinking composers and musicians from around the world, the New England-based label's eclectic catalog offers listeners a cross-section of today's up-and-coming innovators in orchestral, chamber, and experimental music.
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