Yolanda Kondonassis | Five Minutes for Earth Review
by Illiam Sebitz
Yolanda Kondonassis brings us a thoughtful concept album titled Five Minutes for Earth with her new themed album. The concept of the project is built upon the idea of bringing the classical music community together in support of earth conservation and “paying it forward” through one’s artistic contribution, where the creation and performance of music actually generate funding for earth causes. After the works are premiered and released on the recording by Yolanda Kondonassis, the music will be available to harpists worldwide, and for each verified performance of any work in the FIVE MINUTES collection – by any harpist, anywhere in the world – Earth at Heart will make a donation to a recognized earth conservation organization. Fifteen composers contribute to the project, and Kondonassis performs the compositions with extraordinary grace and style. Also, the recording is beautifully recorded, mixed, and mastered, giving the music contained here that much more power.
Composer Chen Yi contributed “Dark Mountains for Solo Harp,” a magical composition that perfectly fits Kondonassis’ performance style. The composition flows with juxtaposing sounds and intensities, all of which Kondonass colors with her masterful touch on the harp. A wooden snare drum stick was used for the quivering tremolos, another fine example of the imagination and thought put into this album.
Cary Schocker is a world-renowned flutist and composer, mainly known for several hundred flute works. However, he is also a pianist and harpist, and that understanding gives his composition “Memory of Trees” a unique style. The harmony and melodic passages are stunningly combined in a tapestry of moods. Kondonassis’ performance is flawless in bringing out the splendor of this work.
Five Minutes for Earth is a powerful project by a virtuosic harpist with the heart and mind to take action for a worthy cause. “As a musician, I see the profound impact of the arts all around us on a daily basis. That is why I founded Earth at Heart,” Kondonassis says. “When we see an idea expressed in the language of music, dance, visual art, or poetry, those sensory experiences often open the mind and heart to interaction and reaction in ways that mere facts may not. With every passing moment, we lose ground in the battle to protect our environment from the dire consequences of waste, neglect, and abuse. Action is the goal, but a visceral call to engagement can be the catalyst. There is not a minute to lose in our battle to protect the future of our planet, and an open heart and inspired commitment can make all the difference.” An excellent album and worthy of much support.
Release Date: April 1, 2022
Label: Azica Records