Reviews Sounds of America piano (played alternately by Joanne Pearce Martin) in cheeky avant-garde tandem with electronic sonorities (the composer is at the controls). Along with Martin and Wolfgang, the excellent performers include a busy and nimble bassoonist, Judith Farmer, and indefatigable pianist Gloria Cheng, a master of the subtle colours in Still Waters. Donald Rosenberg
‘Cantilena’ Lyric Music for flute and organ Alain 3 Movements Bach Sonata, BWV 1032 Bonighton Cantilena Dupré Prelude Hiller Andante Religioso, Op 6 Király 3 Miniatures Lachner Elegie Martin Sonata da Chiesa Weaver Rhapsody The Marianiello-Reas Duo (Linda Marianiello fl Keith Reas org) MSR Classics M 1358 (79’ • DDD) Reading these ‘conspiratorial’ liner notes enhance this listening eperience
More than 79 minutes of music for flute and organ is nothing to sneeze at, especially if you’re an aficionado. The music is generally short in length but long on musical impact, which in St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chattanooga, where this recital was recorded, must be a very grand experience.
On record, where the experience is less physically overwhelming, the results may be more intimate, more intense.
The programme ranges from Bach to John Weaver, whose industrious yet haunted Rhapsody starts off the recital. Organ composer regulars include Marcel Dupré and Jehan Alain (each of whose Trois Mouvements, including a quietly spectacular “Allegro con grazia”, is a miracle of singular inspiration). Australian composer Rosalie Bonighton’s serenely beautiful Cantilena – keep an ear out for the didgeridoo – deserves its place as the CD’s title.
Tomas C Hernandez’s liner notes have the conspiratorial air of a romance novel writer whose hero and heroine are the organ and the flute. In each piece of music, Hernandez links the beauties of the music with the characteristics of the specific instruments that Marianiello and Reas are playing. As a result, reading the notes while listening to the music can be quite addictive.
The magnificent Casavant organ (Opus 3584, 1984/1997) is captured with spatial amplitude and timbral confidence set off by Marianiello’s sweet-toned, easy virtuosity. Laurence Vittes www.gramophone.co.uk
Wolfgang David: intimately involved in Gompper’s concerto ritten to z z
THRILL A reimagining for our time of the late-Romantic violin concerto
Gompper Flip. Ikon a . Violin Concerto a . Spirals b ab Wolfgang David, b Peter Zazofsky vns Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Emmanuel Siffert Naxos American Classics S 8 559637 (70’ • DDD) S
David Gompper (b1954) incorporates his person into his music to an astonishing degree. Resident since 1993 at the
University of Iowa, he has been composing music of persuasive originality and skill. On this new release, Gompper and the performers engage the listener with gratifying musical explorations and discoveries in all the component aspects of musical creation: rhythm, colour, melody.
The big three-movement Violin Concerto, beginning under a haunted veil as if it were the Sibelius Concerto, was written over a four-year period beginning in 2005 with Wolfgang David, a working relationship as close and meaningful as Brahms had with Joachim.
“Before each of the performances,” the composer writes in the booklet-notes,
“Wolfgang David and I reconsidered every note, phrase and section.” The careful plotting results in an entirely 21st-century reconsideration of the late-Romantic violin concerto, rich in emotional impact, spectacular in instrumental content and written to thrill; indeed, the concluding Presto would bring any audience cheering to its feet.
Less classically, the 10 minutes of Flip, written in 1993 for the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, make use of every imaginable cultural connotation, from Flipper to flipped-out, to direct and focus the composer’s responses. The result is less a collection of recognisable bits and pieces, more an intoxicating regathering of energy. The 25 minutes of Spirals, a charming homage to the Fibonacci series, develops vortices of surprising power as Gompper’s selfdescribed “contraption” builds up and progresses along its parameterrestricted lines.
The intense precision and complicity with which Siffert and the Royal Philharmonic play Gompper’s music has been captured in a recording of glowing audiophile depth, as if it were in 3D. Laurence Vittes
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P H O T O G R A P H Y
GRAMOPHONE AUGUST 2011 XIII