Academy Award-Winner Howard Shore Presents A Palace Upon the Ruins with Performances by Such Classical Stars as Lang Lang and the Kronos Quartet
A Palace Upon the Ruins – to be released November 4, 2016 – includes the titular song cycle featuring mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano, along with choral works Peace and The Garden, instrumental-vocal suite Six Pieces and solo piano piece Catania for Lang Lang
“Shore’s sweeping, luscious scores are a world unto themselves.”
— Billboard magazine on Howard Shore’s Oscar-winning music for The Lord of the Rings trilogy
Composer Howard Shore has won three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards. Shore’s music has been an increasing presence in concert halls across the globe, with his symphonic scores for The Lord of the Rings trilogy achieving great success with over 400 performances by the leading orchestras around the world. His opera The Fly premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and Los Angeles Opera in 2008. Shore’s concerto for superstar pianist Lang Lang, Ruin and Memory, had its premiere at China’s Beijing Music Festival in 2011. Now, Howe Records presents A Palace Upon the Ruins – Selected Works, an album of Shore compositions performed by some of the classical scene’s top artists, including Lang Lang, the Kronos Quartet, Ireland’s RTÉ Concert Orchestra and frequent Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano. Produced by Shore, this is a collection brimming with subtle grandeur and deep emotion.
A Palace Upon the Ruins – Selected Works features the titular song cycle, sung by rising-star Jennifer Johnson Cano, winner of a 2014 George London Award, who is accompanied by players from New York’s Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival. For this cycle of six songs, Shore set lyrics by Elizabeth Cotnoir, whose words tell of “a promise never kept” as they explore feelings of “loss, awareness, healing and redemption.” The album also includes two inspirational choral works. The first is Peace, which Shore composed to texts by Eleanor Roosevelt, in a performance by the young singers of Essential Voices USA under Grammy-nominated choir director Judith Clurman. Next is The Garden, with words by double Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Penn Warren; it features the 21st Century Chamber Choir, conducted by Swiss maestro Ludwig Wicki. The suite Six Pieces comprises a darkly lyrical sequence of instrumental and vocal settings, including the second movement performed by the multiple Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet, the third movement by 10 cellists from the RTÉ Orchestra and the fifth by mezzo-soprano Clara Sanabras, voicing lyrics by Cotnoir; several movements for ensemble strings within Six Pieces were originally developed by Shore in collaboration with a string septet from the ever-esteemed Philadelphia Orchestra. The album’s final work, Catania, is a celebratory poem for solo piano written for the wedding of friends and performed by Lang Lang, one of the world’s most popular pianists.