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Douglas Knehans – Cloud Ossuary

Ablaze Records


“This is music of tremendous imagination. Knehans scores with a masterly hand, his sound paintbrush unerringly hitting the mark.”


Cloud Ossuary: Symphony No 4
Mist Waves

Douglas Knehans, composer
Judith Weusten, soprano
Pavel Wallinger, solo violin
Brno Philharmonic Orchestra
Mikel Toms, conductor

Pairing two new works for orchestra with soloist is Knehans’ newest disc Cloud Ossuary.

Recorded with tremendous fidelity and color the disc includes Knehans’ Mist Waves for solo violin and strings performed in this recording by the brilliant Czech violinist Pavel Wallinger. Wallinger’s keening lines sit wonderfully against the withheld backdrop of the Brno Philharmonic strings.

The second wok on the disc, Knehans’ Cloud Ossuary is set in three related movements in a fast-slow-slow arrangement. These culminate in an extended setting for soprano and orchestra—utilizing only English horn, trumpet, two percussionists, harp and strings—of Knehans’ daughter’s poem Bones and All. Katarina Knehans, a professional writer, has already collaborated with a number of other composers and her linguistic sensitivity to vocal setting is very clear here. Her words give intensity, image, substance and philosophical depth to the work.

The performances by the orchestra, conductor Mikel Toms and most importantly the fine soloists on this disc make it a significant and emotional statement by Knehans and his collaborators.

released January 7, 2022