Sound of the Sun Branford Marsalis, Eric Jacobsen & Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Label: Bright Shiny Things
Subgenre: Crossover Jazz
Composer: Sally Beamish (1956), Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
Album including Album cover
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- Gustav Mahler (1860 - 1911): Rückert Lieder, Op. 44:
- 1Mahler: Rückert Lieder, Op. 44: III. Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen05:50
- Sally Beamish (b. 1956): Under the Wing of the Rock:
- 2Beamish: Under the Wing of the Rock: I.05:10
- 3Beamish: Under the Wing of the Rock: II.08:13
- The Imagined Sound of Sun on Stone:
- 4Beamish: The Imagined Sound of Sun on Stone: I.04:07
- 5Beamish: The Imagined Sound of Sun on Stone: II.04:54
- 6Beamish: The Imagined Sound of Sun on Stone: III.09:58
- Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 2:
- 7Mahler: Symphony No. 2: IV. Urlicht05:13
Info for Sound of the Sun
The soulful sounds of the saxophone played by multi-GRAMMY-award-winning Branford Marsalis pairs perfectly with the evocative works of British composer Sally Beamish and Mahler. Led by Eric Jacobsen with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, this album delivers the songful melancholy of the Mahler songs, played by Marsalis, combined with the freneticism and imagery of Sally Beamish’s two rarely heard works, brought to a center stage.
Branford Marsalis, saxophone
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Eric Jacobsen, conductor
After four decades in the international spotlight, the achievements of saxophonist Branford Marsalis continue to grow. From his initial recognition as a young jazz lion, he has expanded his vision as an instrumentalist, composer, bandleader and educator, crossing stylistic boundaries while maintaining an unwavering creative integrity. In the process, he has become a multi award-winning artist with three Grammys, a citation by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master and an avatar of contemporary artistic excellence.
Growing up in the rich environment of New Orleans as the oldest son of pianist and educator, the late Ellis Marsalis, Branford was drawn to music along with siblings Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. The Branford Marsalis Quartet, formed in 1986, remains his primary means of expression. In its virtually uninterrupted three-plus decades of existence, the Quartet has established a rare breadth of stylistic range as demonstrated on the band’s latest release: The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul. But Branford has not confined his music to the jazz quartet context. A frequent soloist with classical ensembles, Branford has become increasingly sought after as a featured soloist with acclaimed orchestras around the world, performing works by composers such as Copeland, Debussy, Glazunov, Ibert, Mahler, Milhaud, Rorem, Vaughan Williams and Villa-Lobos. And his legendary guest performances with the Grateful Dead and collaborations with Sting have made him a fan favorite in the pop arena.
His work on Broadway has garnered a Drama Desk Award and Tony nominations for the acclaimed revivals of Children of a Lesser God, Fences, and A Raisin in the Sun. His screen credits include original music composed for: Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks starring Oprah Winfrey and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman. Ma Rainey is the Netflix film adaptation of two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play, produced by Denzel Washington and released in December 2020.
Branford has also shared his knowledge as an educator, forming extended teaching relationships at Michigan State, San Francisco State and North Carolina Central Universities and conducting workshops at sites throughout the United States and the world.
After the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, Branford, along with friend Harry Connick, Jr., conceived of “Musicians’ Village,” a residential community in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The centerpiece of the Village is the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, honoring Branford’s father. The Center uses music as the focal point of a holistic strategy to build a healthy community and to deliver a broad range of services to underserved children, youth and musicians from neighborhoods battling poverty and social injustice.
Growing up in the rich environment of New Orleans as the oldest son of pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis, Branford was drawn to music along with siblings Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. His first instrument, the clarinet, gave way to the alto and then the tenor and soprano saxophones when the teenage Branford began working in local bands. A growing fascination with jazz as he entered college gave him the basic tools to obtain his first major jobs, with trumpet legend Clark Terry and alongside Wynton in Art Blakey’s legendary Jazz Messengers. When the brothers left to form the Wynton Marsalis Quintet, the world of uncompromising acoustic jazz was invigorated. Branford formed his own quartet in 1986 and, with a few minor interruptions in the early years, has sustained the unit as his primary means of expression. Known for the telepathic communication among its uncommonly consistent personnel, its deep book of original music replete with expressive melodies and provocative forms, and an unrivaled spirit in both live and recorded performances, the Branford Marsalis Quartet has long been recognized as the standard to which other ensembles of its kind must be measured.
Branford has not confined his music to the quartet context however. Classical music inhabits a growing portion of Branford’s musical universe. A frequent soloist with classical ensembles, Branford has become increasingly sought after as a featured soloist with such acclaimed orchestras as the Chicago, Detroit, Düsseldorf, and North Carolina Symphonies and the Boston Pops, with a growing repertoire that includes compositions by Debussy, Glazunov, Ibert, Mahler, Milhaud, Rorem and Vaughn Williams.
Under the direction of conductor Gil Jardim, Branford Marsalis and members of the Philharmonia Brasileira toured the United States in the fall of 2008, performing works by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, arranged for solo saxophone and orchestra. This project commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the revered Brazilian composer’s death.
Making his first appearance with the New York Philharmonic in the summer of 2010, Marsalis was again invited to join them as soloist in their 2010‐2011 concert series where he unequivocally demonstrated his versatility and prowess, bringing “a gracious poise and supple tone… and an insouciant swagger” (New York Times) to the repertoire.
In 2013, Branford served as Creative Director for the Ascent Series of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra which included two week-long residencies as well as a number of concerts with the CSO.
Once again partnering with an esteemed ensemble for a tour of the United States, Branford joined the highly celebrated Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in Marsalis “Well-Tempered” on a 20-city US tour in the fall of 2014, performing Baroque masterpieces by Albinoni, Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and others.
Raising the bar yet again, Branford took on the challenging Saxophone Concerto by composer John Adams, performing the piece with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Edwin Outwater, in October 2015.
To begin 2016, Branford traveled to Germany for a concert with the prestigious Bayerische Staatsoper at the National Theatre in Munich performing an array of selections including Ter Velduis’ Tallahatchie Concerto.
He then returned to Asia twice in the spring of 2016, first for his debut collaboration with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, followed by a trip to Kuala Lumpur where he performed two concerts with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra at the Petronas Twin Towers.
The fall of 2016 saw Branford returning to his home state of Louisiana where he was invited to be a guest soloist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, presenting works by John Williams and Heitor Villa Lobos.
Just 39 years old and already well-established as one of classical music’s most exciting and innovative young conductors, Eric Jacobsen combines fresh interpretations of the traditional canon with cutting-edge collaborations across musical genres.
Eric is artistic director and co-founder of The Knights, the uniquely adventurous NYC-based chamber orchestra. The ensemble grew out of late-night music reading parties with friends, good food and drink, and conversation. The group’s projects are wide-ranging, including a recent release of Beethoven and Brahms violin concertos with artist Gil Shaham, which critics are calling revolutionary.
Eric brings joy, storytelling, and a touch of humor to what he describes as “musical conversations” that delight audiences around the world, including those who don’t traditionally attend classical music concerts. In addition to conducting, he is a dedicated chamber musician (cello) and is a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.
Jacobsen is married to Grammy winning singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan and they have a three-year-old daughter, Ivy Jo.
This album contains no booklet.