The Unknown Galaxy: A Century of Classical Mormon Music [CD] - Scott Holden

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This album reflects the musical trends of the last one hundred years by highlighting the diversity of the composers that have sprung from the large demographic of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often referred to as the Mormon or LDS Church). In addition, it focuses on music that showcases the expressive and virtuosic potential of the piano. There is a small but relatively unknown galaxy of repertoire deserving attention in this specific genre, and pianist Scott Holden was thrilled for the opportunity to turn attention to it. Holden writes, "None of the music presented here has any overt connections with the usual musical traditions or doctrine of the LDS faith. However, one must admit that the spiritual beliefs and experiences of the composers have deeply infused their creative processes. Does this define these pieces as LDS music or simply music by LDS composers? I agree with author Madeleine L'Engle, who stated in Walking on Water, 'There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation.' To create is to touch upon the divine. The result is powerful, mystical, visceral, ecstatic, imaginative, and deeply moving, but it certainly is not your grandmother's typical recital of 'LDS Music.'"

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Arthur Shepherd
1. From a Mountain Lake

Leroy Robertson
2. Etude in G Minor

James McConkie
3. Mvt. I. Allegro moderato

Merrill Bradshaw
4. Toccata

Laurence Lowe
5. Musings . . . and a Waltz

David H. Sargent
6. Musings on Chopin

Jeff Manookian
7. Concert Paraphrase on Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Jesus Bleibet Meine Freude” (Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring)

Douglas Pew
A La Orilla Azul del Silencio (On the Blue Shore of Silence)
8. Mvt. I. Llueve (It Rains)
9. Mvt. IV. ¿Ahí está el Mar? (Is the Sea There?)

Leilei Tian
10. Silence Compris (Silence Understood)

Francisco Estévez Díaz
19+1 Nanopreludes
11. Mvt. I. Respeto (Respect)
12. Mvt. II. Libertad (Liberty)
13. Mvt. III. Generosidad (Generosity)
14. Mvt. IV. Gratitud (Gratitude)
15. Mvt. V. Dignidad (Dignity)
16. Mvt. XX. Amor (Love)

Ethan Wickman
17. Occidental Psamlody

Lisa DeSpain
18. Toccata for Jazz Piano


Producer: Scott Holden
Executive producer: Ben Fales
Recording engineer: Caleb Hill
Editing and mastering engineer: Troy Sales
Mixing engineer: Jeff Carter
Graphic designer: Olivia Knudsen
Liner notes: Scott Holden
Editor: Jonathan Owen
Cover art: Painting by Fatemeh Dibaiyan, photographed by David Hawkinson

Tantara Records is part of BYU Music Group, an enterprise center in the School of Music in the College of Fine Arts and Communications at Brigham Young University.

The Heritage Series Endowment was created in the early 1990s with a mission to record and promote composers and artists from Utah and the Mountain West with ties to the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its culture. Pianist Grant Johannesen, soprano JoAnn Ottley, and composers Leroy Robertson and Robert Cundick are among the many whose recordings have been featured. The Heritage Series Endowment is administered by the Brigham Young University School of Music.