Danielpour: Crossing Over and "Rocking the Cradle"

Danielpour: Crossing Over and "Rocking the Cradle"
Richard Danielpour ushers in the vernal equinox this month with two world premieres: River of Light for violinist Sarah Chang and the orchestral work Rocking the Cradle for the Baltimore Symphony.

River of Light — commissioned in memory of Isaac Stern by the Linda and Isaac Stern Charitable Foundation — premieres on 18 March as Chang joins pianist Ashley Wass. "I composed River of Light," Danielpour explains, "with a metaphor in mind — 'crossing the river,' or... preparing to meet one's maker...part of the practice of living and dying is grappling with the fact that a loved one, family member or friend can be here one moment, and gone the next. I found this to be especially true of Isaac Stern...Mr. Stern seemed to be the kind of person who would never actually die...and, although I hope to be here for many years to come, I know I must begin to practice, in simple ways, the art of dying — even as all of us practice the art of being alive."

Following the premiere, Chang embarks on a 10-city US tour which includes the 10 April New York premiere at Carnegie Hall. She continues on 14 April with the European premiere in Istanbul and subsequent performances in Dublin and Lisbon.

...We all stand at a cross-road of history: war is no longer a viable option. It is no longer surrounded by any heroism. It is the most destructive and the most evil and the most ugly of all manifestations of our human nature...
— Abba Eban, former Israeli Foreign Minister, commenting on the Dallas Symphony's premiere of Marvin Hamlisch's "Anatomy of Peace"On 22 March, Juanjo Mena leads the Baltimore Symphony's inaugural performance of Rocking the Cradle. Danielpour, always concerned with social justice and conscience, notes that the title is a double entendre, and "the two-movement symphony explores the issues of war....It involves both the cradle of civilization and the cradle representing what we are doing with our young people in Iraq...it's a eulogy not only for the death of our young, but also for an America that may no longer exist — or perhaps may only be asleep."

     River of Light
     Duration: 12'
     violin and piano

     Rocking the Cradle
     Duration: 25'