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CD cover of Transatlantic

BAAM’s debut album Transatlantic is comprised of American and American-themed works by composers Aaron Copland, Avner Dorman, Igor Stravinsky, Toru Takemitsu and Craig Urquhart.  


The album features renowned soloists including Greek flutist Stathis Karapanos, Israeli soprano Chen Reiss, Berlin Philharmonic concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley, and Berlin Philharmonic harpist Marie-Pierre Langlamet. The recording received critical acclaim, including a 5-star rating by BBC Magazine.

The Berlin Academy of American Music
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Stravinsky’s Concerto in E flat/Dumbarton Oaks was commissioned by the owners of the Dumbarton Oaks estate in Washington D.C. for their thirtieth wedding anniversary. The arrangement was brokered by Nadia Boulanger, who also conducted the premiere at the estate in 1938. Inspired by Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, the work broke fresh ground in the 20th century with its innovative harmonies, incredibly angular rhythms, and mixed meter.

The von Reventlow family were hosts for Leonard Bernstein and his assistant at the manor Wulfshagen during Bernstein’s time at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. That assistant was Craig Urquhart, who became friends with Jutta Gräfin zu Reventlow. Their close, inspirational friendship lasted for years until her passing in January of 2020, and his Lamentation for Flute & Strings was written in memory of her. Urquhart’s orchestrated version is premiered on this recording and expresses the grief and sadness of losing a dear friend, while also honoring a life well-lived.


This is also the recording premiere of the song cycle Nofim by Israeli-American composer Avner Dorman, with text by Yuval Rappaport. Performed in Hebrew, the title translates to “Sights” in English and here refers to scenes from the Tel Aviv neighborhood where the two grew up as best friends. The songs depict experiences felt within and amidst the urban landscapes. Töru Takemitsu’s Toward the Sea II was commissioned by Greenpeace in 1981 for its Save the Whales campaign. Featuring the alto flute, Stathis masterfully displays his technical prowess of flute techniques in a way that captures the natural movement of the sea, a recurring theme. Harpist Marie-Pierre Langlamet joins as a featured soloist in this work, creating additional colors and textures evoking the sea-like soundscapes.

Becoming an American citizen in 1945, Stravinksy’s opera The Rake’s Progress was written in Los Angeles and premiered in 1951. It is based loosely on the eight paintings and engravings of the same title by William Hogarth, which Stravinsky had seen at a Chicago exhibition.


The inclusion of the aria No Word from Tom, allowed us to further feature Chen Reiss, whose artistry exquisitely embodies the emotional journey of the character while navigating its technical demands. Here, the insecurities and fear that accompany Anne Trulove’s feelings of young love are heard in the harmonic colors and rhythms employed by Stravinsky’s unmistakable style. The recitative and aria are followed by a brilliant cabaletta featuring a fusion of Handelian and modern composition techniques.

Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring was awarded the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Music, receiving its premiere at the Library of Congress the previous year. Originally commissioned by Martha Graham and performed as a ballet, Copland subsequently rescored the work as an orchestral suite and it has survived well on its own. On this recording, the suite is performed with the original orchestration of thirteen instruments. Copland captures the quintessential feeling of Americana, utilizing the Shaker melody “Simple Gifts” as the high point of the work. A great climactic build is followed by a heartfelt, harmonized prayer section, and the work ends in a warm prayer setting with strings and solo flute.

Transatlantic,Recording Program Notes

"...demands repeated listening"

BBC Music review of BAAM's cd Transatlantic

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