Self-conducted Group of America’s Top String Players Brings Vibrancy and Virtuosity to Works by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Geminiani on eOne Music
“Passionate and refined are an unlikely pair of adjectives to use in the same breath to describe anything but, somehow, the words perfectly characterize the playing of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra.” Washington PostOn the eve of the March 27th CD release of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra’s eOne debut album, the group of vibrant and gifted young string players who have performed together as ECCO for more than a decade will appear at New York’s (Le) Poisson Rouge. The self-titled album of works by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and variations on Geminiani’s “La Follia” by ECCO violinist Michi Wiancko was originally released exclusively at iTunes Music Store on January 7th and will be available everywhere on March 27th. The virtuosity and spirit of the music-making on the album shows why some of the top young solo, chamber and orchestral musicians in the country take time from their 'day jobs' to come together a few times a year to make music. The performance at Le Poisson Rouge will be at 6:30 on Monday, March 26th and will include music from the new recording along with works by Beethoven, Stravinsky and Kenji Bunch (complete details below). The concert will be available for live online streaming on March 26th at www.concertwindow.com/lpr.
“La Follia” makes ECCO shine; Tchaikovsky's Serenade lets it soar; and Shostakovich's Sinfonia forces it to explore the dark side of human nature,” says ECCO member Raman Ramakrishnan, cellist of the Daedalus Quartet. “Together, the pieces highlight an ensemble capable of expressing everything from the giddiest joy to the most desolate pain, from coquettish gestures to savage attacks. At times, a single player in the rear of a section instigates the subtlest color change; at other times, every member of the group joins together to form a many-bowed behemoth that produces a sheer wall of sound.”
ECCO’s debut album begins with Tchaikovsky’s passionate Serenade for Strings in C Major, in which the listener is drawn into a deep, varied, and lush sound world. Offering thoughtful tempos and well-paced dynamic and textural development, the charisma and energy of the music leaps out of the recording. Next is Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony in C minor, a dark and moving commentary on the harshness of life under Soviet rule. Demonstrating an enormous color palate as a group, ECCO utilizes ferocious attacks and shimmering sustain to provide a glimpse into the terror, fear and melancholy that characterized life under a totalitarian regime. Last on the record is the exuberant and surprising "La Follia" Variations for String Orchestra, arranged by ECCO’s own Michi Wiancko after Francesco Geminiani’s Concerto Grosso No. 12 in D minor. The New York Times has praised the piece for having “taken on contemporary techniques, jazzy harmonies, subtle percussion and exuberant stomps.”
Harumi Rhodes, ECCO member and violinist of Trio Cavatina, expresses: “This debut album culminates our first decade of birth, friendship, and discovery and launches us forward into vaster waters. As we set sail on this journey, we are filled with purpose and excitement that we may share our musical voice with the rest of the world."