CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Last spring, Clarksville’s Gateway Chamber Orchestra quietly released its second album, “Chamber Symphonies,” featuring works by Romanian composer George Enescu and Austrian composers Franz Schreker and Arnold Schoenberg. The group, made up of Austin Peay State University music faculty and other professional musicians, then took some time off for the summer break. When they returned to Clarksville last fall, the orchestra quickly set to work on one of its most ambitious seasons yet.
But as the months slowly passed, music critics and industry professionals found their way to the “Chamber Symphonies” album, and the accolades are now beginning to appear in national publications.
Next month’s issue of Fanfare magazine, a leading music-industry publication, will feature a long interview with the orchestra’s conductor, APSU professor of music Dr. Gregory Wolynec, and four different reviews of the album.
“Wolynec’s Gateway Chamber Orchestra continues to impress me immensely with this release,” music critic Jerry Dubins wrote. “The players may be university faculty members augmented by practicing musicians from the outside community, but in every way these are topnotch, professional performances that match or outclass the competition.”
Critic Richard Kaplan enthusiastically wrote, “These folks, in short, can play!”
The American Record Guide called the “Chamber Symphonies” disc “bold, powerful, American,” and said the orchestra’s rendition of Schreker’s work is “the most extroverted and bold, with rich, intense colors, a big sound and fine integration of the work’s episodic nature.”
These reviews, however, aren’t the first hints of the album’s greatness. In December, the disc’s producer, Blanton Alspaugh, was nominated for a Grammy in the category of “Producer of the Year, Classical.” The nomination cited several superb classical albums he helped usher into existence last year, including “Chamber Symphonies.” The winner of this category will be named Sunday night during the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.
For more information on the “Chamber Symphonies” album, or to purchase a CD, visit the orchestra’s website at www.gatewaychamberorchestra.com.