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The Evanston Symphony Orchestra has just released “Symphony Live,” the ESO’s first commercially available compact disc. It is an all-American program conducted by music director Lawrence Eckerling featuring the acclaimed world premiere performance of Gwyneth Walker’s “The Promised Land,” composed for the ESO and local soprano Michelle Areyzaga.
The disc includes the recording premiere of “Overture With Fanfares,” a piece the ESO commissioned for its 50th anniversary season from Evanston resident and ESO bassoonist Donald Draganski. It also features George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with Mr. Eckerling both conducting and playing the piano solo. The suite from Howard Hanson’s “Merry Mount” and the overture to Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide” round out the 72-minute disc.
All performances were recorded live in Evanston’s Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, primarily during the just-concluded 65th anniversary season. The audio post-production and booklet design work were also executed by Evanston firms, contributing to the strong local focus of the disc.
The CD may be purchased on the ESO website: www.evanstonsymphony.org. It will also be available on ESO concert days at Pick-Staiger Hall and
at the Christmas concert at Evanston Township High School on Dec. 4.