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On September 9, 2003, Oxingale Records launched ANTHEM, cellist Matt Haimovitz’s highly charged collection of solo works by living American composers featuring his live rendition of “Anthem,” inspired by Jimi Hendrix’s “Star Spangled Banner,” recorded live at CBGB.

The short solo cello works on Anthem include two pieces commissioned especially for Anthem as a reaction to the tragedy of 9/11: the jazz-influenced “Seventh Avenue Kaddish” by current Rome Prize winner David Sanford, and “9:11 Blues” by Toby Twining, a 2003 PEW fellow. Recent commissions by Luna Pearl Woolf and Robert Stern, as well as first recordings of pieces by Osvaldo Golijov, Tod Machover and Augusta Read Thomas and works by Steve Mackey and the recently deceased Lou Harrison round out the compositions. Haimovitz winds up the album with his own improvisation on an ancient Vespers melody. Most of the music on Anthem was composed over the last several years, and together with photo images documenting Haimovitz’s historic CBGB performance, the total album reveals an intensely compelling direction in classical music.

Matt Haimovitz on ANTHEM

“ANTHEM is my celebration of American music through the lens of the solo cello. For this album I commissioned David Sanford and Toby Twining, composers steeped in the American vernaculars of jazz and blues, for pieces responding to 9/11. ANTHEM ‘s nine composers, absorbing styles and influences from around the globe, weave a rich tapestry that exemplifies America ‘s vibrant classical voice today. Penetrating expressions of urgency and revelation, these new works explode, whisper and cry with prophesy and prayer. The cello transforms itself into electric guitar, saxophone, bandoneon, shofar, sitar, percussion and even a carillon of bells Pyet never loses sight of its anthropomorphic origin in the human voice and song.”

1 Hendrix/Haimovitz: Anthem (recorded live at CBGB October 11, 2002) Matt Haimovitz, cello
2 Lou Harrison: Prelude (from Rhymes With Silver) Matt Haimovitz, cello
3 David Sanford: Seventh Avenue Kaddish Matt Haimovitz, cello
4 Osvaldo Golijov: Omaramor Matt Haimovitz, cello
5 Luna Pearl Woolf: Impromptu Matt Haimovitz, cello
6 Robert Stern: Recitative (Yom Teruah) Matt Haimovitz, cello
7 Steven Mackey: Rhondo Variations Matt Haimovitz, cello
8 Augusta Read Thomas: Bells Ring Summer Matt Haimovitz, cello
9 Tod Machover: With Dadaji in Paradise Matt Haimovitz, cello
10 Toby Twining: 9:11 Blues Matt Haimovitz, cello
11 Matt Haimovitz: Truth from Above (improvisation on a Vespers melody) Matt Haimovitz, cello

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