Piccolo Concerto (2001), 1st mvt; Mandolin Concerto (2006), 1st mvt; Piano Concerto (1995)
Mindy Kaufman, piccolo; Avi Avital, mandolin; Eliran Avni, piano; Metropolis Ensemble/Andrew Cyr, director;
Intrigued by Baroque music since childhood, Dorman has created a collection of 'modern' pieces imbued with the formal clarity and rhythmic energy of 18th century music. Make no mistake, these pieces sound 'new', but they also sound fresh and friendly, and surprisingly 'original', despite the obvious derivations. Performances are breathtakingly fine, and if you pass by this album you're missing out on a disarmingly satisfying production. Go for it! 10:03 p.m.
Flute Sonatas, Op. 11 (No. 3 in A);
Claire Genewein, traverse flute; Nicoleta Paraschivescu, harpsichord; Maya Amrein, cello
Though his Calvinist neighbors may not have given much encouragement to this Swiss-born, German/French trained composer, he found the support he needed among the 'foreigners' who lived in Geneva (and had his works published in London and Paris, for good measure). In an agreeable and engaging 'galant' style, Fritz's sonatas might be better known if the listed composer were named Leclair or Quantz. The Swiss period-instrument ensemble needs make no excuses for these overlooked jewels. Finely done. 10:24 p.m.
Guitar Pieces (Gran Vals; Capricho Arabe; Vals)
Michael Erni, guitar
Another Swiss performer of top-rank, recorded with a warm intimacy, Erni reminds us of the path-breaking originality of Tarrega's scores (made possible by advances in instrument building he championed). A sweet listening diversion. 10:35 p.m.
Symphony No. 1, Op. 17, no. 2 ("Exile") (1936), 2nd mvt; Symphony No. 1, Op. 210 (1939), 1st mvt
Alan Hovhaness; Darius Milhaud
NBC Symphony Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski, conductor (r. 1942/1943)
Though better known for his connection to the Philadelphia Orchestra, Stokowski was under contract to the NBC Symphony, too, and his performances from the 1940s provide premieres of first performances by early symphonies by four noteable composers (Copland and Serebrier, from Houston in 1957, also included). Indeed, his championing of Hovhaness provided that composer with his first American triumph (Stokowski soon afterwards premiered Hovhaness's Second Symphony, "Mysterious Mountain", and the die was cast). Relive some authentic historic moments. Archive sonics are more than passable. 10:46 p.m.
Simple Lines of Eternity
Eve Egoyan, piano
This Canadian composer employs minimalist techniques to the 12-tones, creating haunted, stress-free soundscapes, delicately presented by Ms. Egoyan. Good for meditation, or unobstreperous background. 11:00 p.m.
String Quartet No. 3 ("Old Time"), mvts 2/3
Ida Kavafian & Mark O’Connor, violins; Paul Neubauer, viola; Matt Haimovitz, cello
O'Connor continues to evolve his blend of country-vernacular and classical idioms, and is backed by a stellar ensemble of fellow string players. 11:15 p.m.
Symphony No. 6 in C, Op. 61 (1928)
NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini (r. 1943)
Winner of a 1928 competition, Atterberg's symphony is one of relatively few contemporary scores championed by Toscanini. This performance, still vivid after all these years, projects all of the conductor's best characteristics...incredible sense of form, flawless ensemble, and ironclad rhythmic drive. Atterberg's score is good, but Toscanini's performance makes it sound 'great'. A delightful adventure, with other stunning 'classic era' performances of works by Barber, Strauss and Ravel. Breathtaking!! 11:26 p.m.