Compact Disc Stock Number: Chesky CD 202
David Chesky of Chesky Records has been composing music for a long, long time. This is quite an unusual name for a music composition. As it says in the liner notes of this CD "Webster's dictionary defines "agnostic" as one who holds that the ultimate cause (God) and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience." David has chosen to make a more modern day slant on this. The movements are titled:
Sam is a gay musician who unfortunately passed away early in his life. We have a story about his questioning all the suffering in the world, which he feels is caused by God, and in the end seeks the ability for man to resurrect himself. As for the music, the "Introduction" is an instrumental that starts out very quiet and ominous. It very slowly builds with the string section with moments of flute, bassoon and other instruments having momentary interplay.
As Todd begins we have the boy soloist Andrej Macovich telling how Todd, who he is portraying, dies and asks God many questions. The orchestra becomes every more gloomy sounding. Movement three titles "Sam" continues along the same lines with baritone vocalist Jįn Durco. Soon comes "Sam's Prayer" where the orchestra is joined by the choir and gives a solemn and more uplifting feeling to the music until it finally dies down into silence.
"Ego" begins quite abruptly. Sudden dynamic attacks by the orchestra and choir takes one by surprise after such a long quiet and flowing moments on this recording. It all builds to a large an dramatic climax with some sudden orchestra attacks and also interplay with the horn section. BAM, it's over.
As the music once again is very quiet and flowing during the instrumental "False Gods Interlude", it is also the same for "False Gods" yet with added alto soloist Hana Stolfovą-Bandovą and choir. "Cowardice" starts off with trumpet salutes followed by accents from the percussion as the choir join in their song. It all builds to a huge roar! Then comes an angry sounding dark and forbidding character until the end where it seems all things quiet down as our story characters wane to exhaustion and finally into realization. After a few more movement we come to the finale. In the end we have a sense of quiet wisdom which builds into as the choir sings "Go forth man, resurrection". With full orchestra and choir until the final verse... resurrection, resurrection, resurrection.
Wonderfully performed, beautifully fulfilling hall sound with great dynamics and authority as one knows Chesky Records offers. Quite a glorious recording that easily shows how a talented composer working with a fine-tuned orchestra and choir can produce such superb music. The Agnostic is surely a great aural treat that every audiophile will love! Emotionally powerful! Can you believe there is over 50db of dynamic range on this CD. Brings me joy to know while major labels are reducing their classical music production, let alone newer compositions, Chesky Records keeps the flame alive.
Sound Quality: 95