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Détails sur le produit

  • CD (7 octobre 2002)
  • Nombre de disques: 1
  • Format : Import
  • Label: Mis
  • ASIN : B00005YY05
  • Autres éditions : CD  |  Téléchargement MP3
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x92f2d5ac) étoiles sur 5 2 commentaires
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92f462a0) étoiles sur 5 As always: fascinating Crumb, stern Sessions - a valuable reissue of an essential LP 30 novembre 2007
Par Discophage - Publié sur
Format: CD
Phoenix must be thanked for doing great service to the music lover by reissuing rare and valuable contemporary music originally released on LP on labels such as Everest and Desto. I reviewed elsewhere the second and third String Quartets of Karel Husa, originally on Everest (String Quartets No.2 and No.3). The present CD reissues Desto 7155, dating from 1973. Until 1991 and the publication of Crumb: Songs, Drones And Refrains Of Death by Bridge Records, it was the only recording of Crumb's "Songs, Drones and Refrains of Death" (a composition from 1968) and since then Naxos has published a third recording (George Crumb: Songs, Drones, and Refrains of Death). As for Sessions' Concertino, it remains to this day its only recording.

Crumb's composition is one of the many sets he wrote on the poetry of Lorca, and the one he himself called "the largest in conception and the most intensely dramatic in its projection of Lorca's dark imagery" (others are Night Music I, the Madrigals, Night of the Four Moons and Ancient Voices of Children). It bears all the hallmarks of his unique compositional style, his uncanny and mesmerizing timbral ingenuity, his fascinating melodic invention, all his experimentation with playing with resonance, partials and unusual playing modes. The work may not be as immediately striking as some of those mentioned above, if only because the baritone is seldom asked to really sing but rather to speak, whisper, hum and shout - and so are the other performers. Also, Lawrence Weller's voice isn't particularly rich and creamy. I haven't heard the newer recordings, so I do not know how they compare in that respect. The composition is scored for electric guitar, electric double bass, amplified piano/amplified harpsichord, and two percussionists. The electric guitar (preferred to the acoustic instrument because of its "more surreal" sound) does add its own fascination, and Crumb also uses, among the percussion instruments, three "Jew's Harps" (aka mouth harp) - the guitarist being asked to play one alongside the two percussionists.

The Phoenix reissue commendably provides the thorough explanation originally contributed by the composer himself, as well as the texts of the poems, with English translation. One thing that went lost - but I'll grant that it would have been asking too much - are the excerpts from the score that came with the original LP. Only the beginning of each number was provided, but it is fascinating to follow, the eye thus opening the ear to a wealth of subtle, minuscule and hypnotizing instrumental details that otherwise probably go unnoticed. And I can also vouch that, based on those excerpts, the players from the Philadelphia Composers' Forum under Joel Thome (and, one supposes, the composer's supervision) play with utmost precision and great imagination.

Roger Sessions inhabits a stylistic world that is poles apart from Crumb's. Where the Virginian composer is mesmerizingly seductive and eager to experiment in new timbral possibilities, the Brooklynian is stern, cerebral and happy with what an ancient tradition, dating back to Bach, has bequeathed upon him - if only to push that tradition to its limits. I've told my fondness for Sessions' orchestral music (see my reviews of Roger Sessions: Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 3, Roger Sessions: Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 5; Rhapsody, Roger Sessions: Symphonies 6, 7 & 9 and Symphony 8 / Concerto for Orchestra), and not in spite of its indebtness to Schoenberg but precisely because of it. The Concertino is a tougher nut to crack, because its chamber orchestra instrumentation makes it leaner to the point of "bare-boneness" and sterner; consequently, it sounds more like a cliché of serialism and less like a Schoenberg composition than usually. It is not the piece I'd advise to a beginner in Sessions then, but for the composer's admirers it, too, bears all the hallmarks of his style: the busy activity, the variegated instrumental colors (much highlighted here with the chamber orchestra), the complex counterpoint, the rhythmic vigor almost to the point of squareness, the stern atonal lyricism.

Excellent sound. At 45:36 TT is short for a CD, but still this is an essential disc for the admirers of both composers.
HASH(0x92f46360) étoiles sur 5 Expertly performed and wonderful program notes 18 octobre 2014
Par Susan R. Rogel - Publié sur
Format: CD Achat vérifié
Fascinating music! Expertly performed and wonderful program notes.
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