Shakespeare, love and local connections provide the through lines on a new recording featured this week on Classical 91.1. The midstate’s own ALIAS Chamber Ensemble, Portara Ensemble and the Nashville Ballet performed the World premiere of Paul Moravec’s Amorisms last year; now the instrumental and choral groups have given the composition its first recording, issued on the Delos label.
The title selection takes its lyrics from short sayings about love (amor+aphorisms=amorisms) found in the works of Shakespeare. “The course of true love never did run smooth,” for example, comes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream; “sweet lovers love the spring” is a quote from As You Like It. In each movement, the singers of Portara repeat a short phrase again and again, supported by the often swirling melodies played by string and clarinet players from ALIAS.
Last year’s performances included selections of two of Moravec’s earlier works, both of which are found in their entirety on the new album. The composer adapted his 2012 set of Sacred Love Songs, originally for choir and recorder ensemble, so that the voices are instead accompanied by a string quartet. And a quintet made up of members of ALIAS also perform The Tempest, which was awarded the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in music.
Here's an excerpt of the piece "Sweet Lovers" from Amorisms: