Purcell Archive

BRITTEN: String Quartet No. 2, No. 3;  PURCELL: Fantasias & Chaconne –  Emerson String Quartet – Decca Gold

BRITTEN: String Quartet No. 2, No. 3; PURCELL: Fantasias & Chaconne – Emerson String Quartet – Decca Gold

Chaconnes and Fantasias = “Music of BRITTEN and PURCELL” – BRITTEN:  String Quartet No. 2 in C Major; String Quartet No. 3 in G Major; PURCELL:  Fantazias No. 6, 8, 10, and 11; Chacony in g minor – Emerson String Quartet – Decca Gold 26509, 73:42, (4/21/17) ****; A meeting of England’s two most famous composers played brilliantly by the newly reconstituted Emerson String Quartet. (Eugene Drucker, Philip Setzer; violin/ Lawrence Dutton; viola/ Paul Watkins; cello) England was the world leader in industry and science in the 18th and 19th centuries.  In terms of patronage and audience, too, the London music scene was the the envy of artists elsewhere. Thus, it was all the more puzzling that, for almost exactly two centuries, England produced few composers beyond middling status. The death of Purcell in 1695, became increasingly seen as an endpoint, ushering in an age of lead. The 20th century saw the emergence of fresh talent in Edward Elgar and William Walton, national musicians of real stature, who duly feted in turn. However, the cruel terms of Modernism demanded more than talent and cutting edge sensibility, something to challenge if not chastise bourgeois tastes. It was Benjamin Britten who satisfied […]

“Dragon” – Works for alto sax & sax quartet – Albany / DANIEL SMITH: Jazz Suite for Bassoon – Summit

“Dragon” – Works for alto sax & sax quartet – Albany / DANIEL SMITH: Jazz Suite for Bassoon – Summit

A nice classical-jazz couple of CDs featuring bassoon & sax. “Dragon” – Works for alto sax & sax quartet [TrackList follows] – William Perconti, alto sax/ Alloy Sax Quartet – Albany TROY1440, 49:25 ****:  DANIEL SMITH: “Jazz Suite for Bassoon” [TrackList follows] – Daniel Smith, bassoon/ Bruce Boardman & Steve Grey, p./others/ The Caravaggio Ensemble – Summit DCD 656, 40:37 ****: These works represent traditional Western classical music combined with jazz, pop, folk music, and even Asian and African music. The Alloy Saxophone Quartet was formed in order to explore contemporary music, Perconti is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, Baldwin Wallace Conservatory and the U. of Iowa. He is currently on the faculty of Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho. There are eight separate works on the disc, by composers such as Rzewski, Joan Tower, Allen Blank, Hilary Tann and Joseph Martin Waters. Four works by Frederic Rzewski are performed: They consist of his various Spots.  The Allan Blank work is titled Contrasts, and consists of give separate numbered movements. The combination of sax and sax quartet seems to be much more to the point than that of sax and piano. Smith is allegedly the most-recorded bassoonist in the […]

“British, Now!” (Works of BRITTEN, BERKELEY, BRYARS & NYMAN) – Dogma Ch. Orch./Mikhail Gurewitsch – Audio Max

“British, Now!” (Works of BRITTEN, BERKELEY, BRYARS & NYMAN) – Dogma Ch. Orch./Mikhail Gurewitsch – Audio Max

A nice chamber orchestra disc in surround of British music from four composers. “British, Now!” BRITTEN: Simple Sym.; BERKELEY: Antiphone for Strings; BRYARS: In Nomine; NYMAN: When Ingrid Met Capa – Dogma Ch. Orch./ Mikhail Gurewitsch – Audio Max (D&G) 912 1944-6, 48:52 multichannel SACD [4/29/16] (2+2+2) ****: This enjoyable program was inspired by the diversity of recent British music. It brings together minimalism, Romanticism and modernism with a portion of underlying humor. The four movements of the early Benjamin Britten work – the best known here – are adaptations of Baroque dances and show the composer’s childish sincerity. Berkeley and Britten were good friends and after Berkeley’s conversion to Catholicism the composer wrote more and more works on religious themes, including this one. The Antiphony was a music genre in the early Christian church. The genre also forms the basis of the Gavin Bryars’ piece on the SACD. The work is based on the music of both Taverner and Purcell and is subtitled “After Purcell.”  Michael Nyman began composing in a Hindemith/Shostakovich style, and came to public attention with his score for the film The Piano. His ten-minute work, written especially for the Dogma Chamber Orchestra, uses themes from […]