The First & Second
Suites from Razumov
The First Suite is available in two arrangements:
a quintet arrangement for clarinet & string quartet
and a trio arrangement for clarinet, cello & piano
First Suite Duration: ca. 9 minutes
The Second Suite is available only for wind quintet
Second Suite Duration: ca. 16 minutes
Bartholomew's writing has a feeling of film style to it, sprinkled with eclectic hints that never quite materialize into firm influences. Was that a Spanish flair, a ballad, folksong or a dance rhythm? Was that harmonic minor meant to be Arabian? His music has a lilting grace that makes listeners want to join in, dancing or playing along.
— Ruth Bingham, Honolulu Advertiser, March 15, 2010
The First and Second Suites from Razumov derive from Razumov, Greg Bartholomew's chamber opera based on the novel Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad (below left). The First Suite is taken from three scenes from Act One of the opera, while the Second Suite is taken from music of Act Two. The opera tells the story of a young Russian, Razumov, who is caught up in the consequences when Victor Haldin, a fellow university student, assassinates a government minister.
The First Suite was awarded the Masterworks Prize by ERM Media in 2005 and was awarded the 2012 Cheryl A. Spector Prize by the Third Millenium Ensemble. It was recorded by members of the Kiev Philharmonic for Volume 6 of the Masterworks of the New Era CD series. You may purchase the CD here.
The First Suite was premiered in its original quintet arrangement by Sean Osborn, clarinet, and the OdeonQuartet at Seattle's Town Hall on October 21, 2003, as part of the Sound Currents series of concerts co-sponsored by the Washington Composers Forum and the Seattle Composers Alliance.
The trio arrangement of the First Suite, for clarinet, cello & piano, received its premiere performance September 28, 2008, by Heather Thon, clarinet, Vicky Chow, piano, and Caleigh Drane, cello, on the Composer's Voice concert series in New York City.
The Second Suite was commissioned by a consortium of 20 ensembles led by the Aeolian Winds of Pittsburgh, who presented the world premiere performance on November 9, 2008, at the First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh. The commissioning ensembles are:
Aeolian Winds of Pittsburgh
Powers Wind Quintet (Michigan)