Christmas has been a special time of the year for centuries. Prior to the commercialization of the Christmas season, gifts often reﬂected the handiwork of the person giving a heart felt gift, such as the making of handmade scarves or special breads. For a composer, the gift would be a composition or an arrangement unique to the season, sent as a holiday greeting to family, friends and colleagues. For the last ten years I have received such a holiday greeting card from my colleague and mentor, Donald Waxman. Every year I eagerly await his unique and musical gift to add to my treasures. Through his inspiration I decided to try my hand at this lost tradition. My new found love of rare carols have led to this new collection entitled “Season of the light” for piano with optional voice and violin and treble instruments. It is my hope that these seldom heard melodies and lyrics will bring you personal enjoyment in celebration of the most beloved season of the year. "Season of the Light" , Settings by Carol Comune has collaborated with long time friends world famous Charles Lewis, trumpet and Valerie Saalbach, soprano to evoke your emotions and awaken your senses to the incredible beauty of inspiring Gregorian chants to 16th Century French and Traditional. Recorded in Jordan Hall on a 9' Hamburg steinway; New England Conservatory's acoustically renowned National Historic Landmark concert hall.
Carol Comune’s technical precision and lyricism has earned her a reputation
as one of today’s premiere pianists, performing extensively throughout the eastern United States both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. She has been featured artist in Boston at the New England Conservatory of Music, the Gardner Museum, the Art Complex at Duxbury, and the Longfellow National Historic Site. She was featured at Lincoln Center and Steinway Hall in New York City, Flagler Museum, Kravis Center in Palm Beach and her recitals have been featured on National Public Radio. A multi-talented musician as a teacher, composer and recording artist, Ms. Comune has produced through her company Elegant Entertainment & Co. (BMI) founded in 1985 six albums:
“Intracoastal”, 1990; “Echoes from Coquina”, 1991, “Farm of Dreams”, 1993;
“Carousel Classics”, 1994; “Season of the Light”, 1997;“Little Gems”, 1999 and “Soliloquy of the Soul ” 2006.
Her critically acclaimed albums are featured on commercial stations and National Public Radio in the United States and on broadcasting stations in the Far East, Canada, Europe and the World Wide Web.
Founded in 2006, Comune Music Press, has published original compositions
which include: Gealyn and Me; Sleeping Beauty; The Nightingale; Variations on the hymn, “O, God Our Help in Ages Past”; Season of the Light. Her music was premiered in Boston at the Rivers School 30th Annnual Seminar
on Contemporary Music, New York’s Steinway Hall and Moravian College. Ms.Comune is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, MA (BM in Piano Performance with David Hagan); continued graduate studies in Piano Pedagogy with Jean Stackhouse (NEC); Composition with
John Felice (NEC), influential mentor Donald Waxman and concert pianist Anthony di Bonaventura.
Charlie Lewis’s credits include international classical and jazz
solo trumpet performances with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the New York
Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the
Baltimore Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony,
the New Japan Philharmonic, Boston Jazz Repertory Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Orchestra, performances with the Boston Classical Orchestra conducted by Harry Ellis Dickson, and the premiere of Boris Blacher’s “Concerto for High Trumpet and String Orchestra” with the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble. B.M. degree from Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. Fellowship to Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, awarded the C.D.Jackson Prize. Performances there included Bruckner’s Symphony with conductor Leonard Bernstein. Principal trumpet for world premiere of Bernstein’s Mass at the Kennedy Center. Solo/ensemble performances in the Broadway and CBS productions of director Joseph Papp’s Much Ado about Nothing by Shakespeare. M.M. degree from New England Conservatory of Music, studies with Armando Ghitalla.
Performed and toured the US with the NEC Ragtime Ensemble and received a Grammy for Scott Joplin:The Red Back Book conducted by Gunther Schuller. Founding member of Empire Brass Quintet, which received the Naumburg Award for Excellence in Chamber Music. Mr. Lewis has been Faculty
member at NEC, Boston University, and is currently an Associate Professor in the brass department at Berklee College of Music. He is co-author of the “ Berklee Practise Method:Trumpet” with Berklee trumpet colleague
Valerie Saalbach received her musical training at the Eastman School of Music, Indiana University and the Juilliard School and is the recipient of several awards and grants, including the Sullivan Grant, Indiana Scholarship (to attend the Aspen Music Festival) and the Lawrence Korwin Award, given by the UN to facilitate vocal competition abroad (she earned several top prizes through this program). Ms. Saalbach also was a winner of the New York Regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions and the Palm Beach Opera International Competition first prize, which resulted in a principal contract with the Vienna State Opera. Appearing in leading roles with the opera companies of Palm Beach, Virginia, Michigan and Kansas City, as well as the
Opera Orchestra of New York, she has sung at the summer festivals of Aspen, Caramoor, the Santa Fe Opera and the Mermoz Festival Cruise, where she collaborated with pianist Byron Janis. Ms. Saalbach has also been a soloist with the orchestras of Atlanta, Cincinnati, Birmingham, Musica Sacra (Lincoln Center) and Mid-America Productions (Carnegie Hall).
Ms. Saalbach’s song cycle’s include: “Caterina to Camoens”, “Journey of Desire” and “6 Poems of Emily Dickinson”. “Caterina”was a featured work at the International Women Composers Convention and her work “How do I Love Thee” for voice, piano and violin obbligato received it’s premiere at
Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2008.