New & Noteworthy
Nocturnal Dances of Don Quixote; Rare French Works for Violin and Orchestra; Truls Mork, Edvard Grieg, Cello Sonatas; Oregon Festival of American Music presents William Grant Still; Quaruor Parisii
Nocturnal Dances of Don Juan Quixote. Yuli Turovsky, cello and musical direction; I Musici de Montreal. (Chandos 9973)
Finnish composer Aulis Sallinen is best known for his modern operas, but Moscow-born cellist Yuli Turovsky spins a fascinating musical yarn with Sallinen's 20-minute ode to the patron saint of dreamers, weaving his way through a foxtrot, tango, and 6/8 time jazz dance. Bernstein, Hindemith, Bartók, and Rossini round out this wonderfully diverse recording.
Rare French Works for Violin and Orchestra. Phillippe Griffin, violin; the Ulster Orchestra, Thierry Fischer, conductor. (Hyperion CDA 67294)
Griffin's reputation as a passionate chamber musician is bolstered by this striking collection of obscure works by Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Lalo, Guiraud, and Canteloube. Trained in America and debuted in the U.K. (under Yehudi Menuhin), Griffin is right at home with these French composers. One of the season's most alluring CDs.
Truls Mørk, Edvard Grieg, Cello Sonata, Op. 36; and String Quartet, Pp. 27. (Virgin Classics 724354550522)
Scandinavian cellist Truls Mørk lends his warm Russian-School melodic vibrato to chamber works by the composer best known for his Piano Concerto and the Peer Gynt suites. The Cello Sonata (with pianist Håvard Gimse) especially reflects the lyrical side of Mørk¹s playing. The String Quartet is a complex and beautiful affair.
Oregon Festival of American Music Presents William Grant Still. Oregon String Quartet, Victor Steinhardt, piano, Fritz Gearhart, violin. (Koch 3-7546-2H1)
Afro-American Symphony (1930) helped make William Grant Still the most successful black classical composer of the 20th century. These later and lesser-known chamber works are intricate scores that draw from such diverse inspirations as an Inca melody and jazz dance.
Quatuor Parisii. Darius Milhaud/The Complete String Quartets. (Naïve 4900)
It took Darius Milhaud, and one of the 20th century's most prolific composers, 40 years to complete these works and Quatuor Parisii 15 years to fulfill a promise to record them all. This ambitious five-CD set is arranged thematically, allowing the listener to savor Milhaud's exciting experimentalism.
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