The concerto is a pithy, concentrated work which states explicity very little of what it means, but has such a wealth of subtext - anguish, uncertainty, even despair - that it will repay many listenings. The quintet is the other really major work here; unsettled in mood yet exquisitely crafted, every phrase, every note seems pregnant with meaning. The Fibonacci Sequence.
We offered Baumann's appealing, superbly characterised ballet music Alice in Wonderland a few months back; anyone who enjoyed that should not hesitate to acquire this disc also. But he is not above pulling out a few aleatoric bars here and there as a special effect.
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The overall result is joyously appealing and challenging enough never to seem second-hand. Balakauskas developed a serial technique during his student years which fashions rows out of chord sequences or melodic cells, which can then be manipulated in all the usual ways. In practical terms, this comes out sounding not at all unlike chromatic harmony, with all the exploitation of harmonic tension that that implies. The composer himself refers to this as "consonant serialism".
Certainly the music is propelled by a sense of harmonic movement or development, as well as characteristically quirky rhythmic structures. There is an appealing boldness to this music; strong brush-strokes and overemphasized shapes, rather than subtly blended values. Unusual and individual, and full of unexpected twists and turns. These are recent works, from the last decade, except the Suite.
The two sonatas are especially impressive. The second sonata, with its programme of outrage at the atrocities carried out in China in the name of the "Cultural Revolution" has a pervading sense of anger and drama, while the sixth, no less tense and dramatic, explores a more purely musical, yet equally cogently argued, dialectic.
Dating from , this score for a ballet by Bournonville represents a new development for Hartmann's ballet writing. The epic character of the piece taken from the Gesta Danorum of the 12th century Saxus Grammaticus means that the music is much more symphonically conceived, with fewer dance forms, and with rich instrumentation to express the changing moods of nature and the various personalities of the characters who include Vikings, Sicilian Greeks, Anglo-Saxon warriors, mermaids and dwarves.
Mosonyi's third mass dates from , still firmly in his German period, and is richly romantic and dramatic with Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven still being the main influences. The Offertorium coupled here is from Mosonyi's second mass and employs an obbligato clarinet. Two of the finest unknown piano sonatas of the Romantic period, unknown only because their authors died at the age of The same applies to Schuncke, of whom Schumann thought the world and whose sonata dedicated to Schumann shows that master's characteristic freely imaginative, almost eccentric writing with touches of Mendelssohian frolicsomeness in its scherzo and an obsessive, demoniacally Schubertian anxiety in its finale.
Reubke's Mazurka and Scherzo the latter with technical hurdles equal to the sonata receive their world-premiere recordings. Mario Patuzzi piano. The year-old Czerny's first piano sonata is a remarkable five-movement work with a fugue using a theme from the finale added on to the traditional four movements. There are foreshadowings of Mendelssohn and Schubert in the intimate first movement and its turbulent central section while the agitated scherzo which follows was often performed by Czerny's most famous student Franz Liszt.
The adagio's profundity and striking modulations are positively Beethovenian while the following rondo shows unexpected polyphonic strength and intensity of emotion. The third sonata dates from and, in its wild passions, endearing tenderness, soaring melodies and compact expression may be seen as Czerny's F minor answer to his famous teacher Beethoven's Appassionata sonata.
Anton Kuerti piano. World-premiere recording of the very first version of what was to become the Symphonic Etudes: completed in January of , the ten Fantaisies and Finale were based on a theme by the amateur flutist father of Schumann's first betrothed Ernestine Fricken. Five of them are not in the final work and were published in by Brahms. The quasi Variazioni recorded here later became the slow movement of the F minor piano sonata and contain two more variations than the published version.
- 10 Kleine Vortragsstücke, Op.44 (Reger, Max).
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Gregorio Nardi piano. Alexandra Oehler piano. Although characterised as "symphoniques", the two duos of Lefebure-Wely and respectively are really just enjoyable romps with much glittering passagework and a dancing tarantella to close the first duo. As such, they, in their first recordings, make perfect companions to the more familiar five Gottschalk pieces.
Berlioz, feeling that this marvelous work was underappreciated in France due to its genre the Singspiel, with its spoken recitatives never caught the French taste , replaced all of the spoken text passages from the original with sung recitatives, carefully integrating these new musical elements into a coherent whole and instilling his own personality into the result.
French-English libretto. There is always something rather intriguing about an artist whose entire lifespan encompasses about as many years as most of us spend trying to figure out, vaguely, who we are.
The earliest works here - the quartet and Sinfonietta - are accomplished and spontaneous, if not especially individual. The works of a mere several years later - the last few years of her brief life, when the relationship with and influence of Martinu was in full effect, show far greater emotional range.
The impassioned Ritornell, her last completed work, has an emotional intensity only hinted at in the earlier works, and the Partita - rather Martinu-like, and none the worse for that - is clear, direct and urgently dynamic. Blacher's oratorio after Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov", with its themes of oppression and irrational yet systematically acted upon with the utmost efficiency intolerance, suggests a powerful metaphor for the Nazi-occupied Europe in which the composer found himself persecuted.
Schlaf, mein Kindelein
Given Blacher's penchant for craftsmanlike, effervescent music painted in bold primary colors, this work, somber in its tonal harmony, spare and ascetic in its textures, and strained and uneasy in mood, may strike some as atypical. Yet the ingenious, propulsive rhythms are here, and the sense of dynamic drama which never failed Blacher.
A work approachable and unsettling in equal parts. The composer is also a percussionist who has worked extensively with symphony orchestras and "ethnic" percussion ensembles. He also works as a professional drag artiste, as the liner notes gleefully inform us.
Max Reger | The Classical Composers Database | Musicalics
The first of these parallel careers is rather more apparently reflected in his music than the second. There is a great deal of colorful percussion, imaginatively used, in these works, often suggesting Gamelan music. Farr seems from his commentary on his pieces to have adopted a stridently anti-nuclear-testing stance, but if this and his titles suggest a well-meaning New Age-y aesthetic, the music is rather tougher than that.
There is a great deal of youthful ardor and a genuine sense of atmosphere and foreboding in his portrayal of the ravaged islands of the Pacific. Perhaps Your Humble Correspondent should come clean and admit that I was prepared to thoroughly dislike this disc after brief acquaintance with its packaging; it has now found a place in my permanent collection. With fewer opportunities to explore the manifold sonorities of the large-scale orchestral percussion battery the composer appears as marimba soloist in Kembang Suling, and there is ample percussion in the hectically humorous nightmare Cadenza, but nowhere else here , this disc displays Farr's considerable melodic gift and sense of humor.
Cadenza is a particularly enticing piece of black humor - it has the horrifying relentless logic of a J. Ballard decay fantasy set succinctly to music. Sepuluh Jari has a slighly sophomoric joke as a program note, but the music itself is a very effective piano toccata. This one's now on my shelf alongside the orchestral disc.
Various artists. It follows, then, that his music has an introspective and questing quality. Atonal and based on the interaction of small cells by way of development, the music has the quality of fantasy, sometimes surreal, sometimes with its own internal logic. An unhackneyed program of music by "Les Six" brings works by Durey, Tailleferre, Honegger and Auric which are not currently in the catalogues: Durey offering two pieces of polytonal impressionism , , Tailleferre recalls childhood pastimes , Honegger's Partita is austere, sonorous and monumental and Auric's waltz is popular and refined.
Gerhard's unique use of serial techniques combined with bright tonality and recurrent Spanish motifs enrich his textures without descending into "folksy" local color.
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Like the passionate Schoenberg of the First Chamber Symphony, this music carries a great deal of emotional weight, and renders irrelevant the precise techniques used to attain its ends. The slow movement of the harpsichord concerto is dodecaphonic, but it attains such a pitch of shadowy, sinister figuration as to distract one entirely from the mechanisms that propel it.
These works are among Gerhard's most engaging and dynamic, and would provide an excellent example to anyone unsure of his true worth as a major figure in 20th-century music. This second volume of a series contains two rare pieces: the Quartettino which is a truly remarkable work for a year-old - its restless, chromatic lines as radical as anything in Britain at the time Bridge was his teacher and Britten had proposed using a travel grant to study with Berg , placing the work in the tradition of the Second Viennese School; and the Alla Marcia, a sinister, Mahlerian movement which later accompanied the penultimate Parade of the song-cycle Les Illuminations.
Maggini String Quartet. This series of zarzuelas continues with one of the all-time "greatest hits". Marina was premiered in and proved such a success that the composer was persuaded to add recitatives, add extra numbers and turn it into a three-act opera in which form it was produced in This is the version recorded here.
This disc is largely devoted to new music produced for later performances of these operas; the overture to Maria Stuarda is new the other two are rare and there is a new love duet for Anna Bolena, a new finale for Caterina Cornaro and a wonderful cabaletta inserted into Maria di Rohan. With the usual deluxe packaging and copious notes which one has come to expect from Opera Rara.
10 Kleine Vortragsstücke Op. 44
This disc presents Cage's precisely controlled and surveyed anarchy through the medium of chamber works - violin, percussion and glass harmonica. There are many sounds here which do not qualify as "music" in conventional terms - but that is largely the point, as is the lack of pre-ordained structure arising out of the random rearrangement and interpretation of the composer's precisely notated directions. There is, as often in Cage, a great deal of boundary-crossing here; the boundaries between media and performance styles, for example, with the violinist interpreting phonemes in speech and sung texts as articulation and gradations of bowing pressure - quite unlike conventional violin playing.
Whiskus by the way, is a Cagean neologism, formed by telescoping "whistle" with "Haiku", and descriptive of the kind of writing suggested above. Malcolm Goldstein violin , Matthias Kaul percussion, glass harmonica. Well, we all know about Morricone, don't we? Spaghetti westerns, right? Lots and lots of big, broad, neo-romantic film scores with just enough "ethnic" special effects to achieve heaps of atmosphere - yes we know him, all right. So what's this disc all about? Electroacoustic music? More-or-less atonal piano studies in free rhythm?