20 October 2009

From the Buckeye State

      You have read my comments in the past years . . . about how chamber music is not my favorite thing, in general, although there are exceptions: Borodin’s and Ravel’s quartets, the Bartok Sixth,  the frustrated symphony in the Bruckner Quintet, and Bernard Herrmann’s Echoes are the main ones.  You join this august group with no problem: the Germans say that no answer is an answer: if I did not care for the works, I would not reply and stay regretfully silent, which would still be a review!

      Heedless Watermelon shows an abundance of imagination: one measure of a work’s worth for me is how much did it surprise me, e.g.  could I guess the next note(s)?  Heedless Watermelon was a fun maze to hear, always intriguing and expressive.  Irreplaceable Doodles – I might have mentioned before – strikes me as being more meditative and serious than its title, and therefore on the CD led nicely into  The Angel Who Bears a Flaming Sword.  Since a flute always has a certain slight melancholy in its timbre, I wonder if the instrument does not express the idea behind the work even better than a trumpet.  Studies in Impermanence must by definition show a meditative nature: mysterious, ebullient, sad, and almost every other mood appears.  I find the work a Gregorian Chant summary of life.  Lost Waters is a perfect work for solo harp: the music contains an Americana flavor and provides the image from and for its inspiration without clich├ęs.  (Carlos Williams Passaic was particularly dramatic in a subtle way.)

      And the Tropes on Parasha’s Aria from White Nights – although under 3 minutes long – must enthuse every listener to want the completed ballet performed!  To paraphrase Rex Harrison’s Pope Julius to Charlton Heston’s Michelangelo: “When will you make an end of it, Karl?”

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