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   Wind Concertos

Master of Orchestral Texture

Timpani 1C1125

Vincent d'Indy

Symphony #1 "Italian" in A Major (1870-72)
Concerto in E Flat Major for Piano, Flute, Cello & Strings, Op. 89 (1926)

Brigitte Engerer, piano
Magali Mosnier, flute
Marc Coppey, cello
Orchestre de Bretagne/Lionel Bringuier
Timpani 1C1125 63:44

These works, the first and last orchestral works d'Indy wrote, are in different ways, hommages. Although his main musical sympathies lay elsewhere, a sojourn in Italy inspired the young composer to write a Symphonie italienne using Rome, Florence, Venice and Naples as the basis for the four movements in which the influence and model of Mendelssohn's Italian symphony are inescapable. At one point, I'm reminded incongruously of Randall Thompson's third symphony!

The concerto at first evokes J.S. Bach and eventually becomes a sort of neo-classical concerto grosso. This rarely-recorded music helps to round out our knowledge of the composer who to many would perhaps be known only by his Symphony on a French Mountain Air (Symphonie sur un chant montagnard français).

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]

[ Sheet music by this composer: Sheet Music Plus - ]

Orchestral Music from Down Under

ABC Classics 476226-7

Carl Vine
(b. 1954)

Oboe Concerto (1996) 1
Canzona (1985)
Suite from The Tempest (1990)
Smith's Alchemy (1994)

1 Diana Doherty, oboe
Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Ola Rudner
ABC Classics 476226-7 70:16

The Australian composer Carl Vine has a number of CDs to his credit including a set of the six symphonies, also on ABC Classics, and one of piano music on Tall Poppies which includes the first two sonatas and the Anne Landa Preludes. This CD offers different facets of his work. The concerto is by turns dramatic and lyrical, while the Canzona for strings and Smith's Alchemy are somewhat grittier. The Tempest, which has some affinity with the Copland of Appalachian Spring, has its climax in a memorable theme for the horns.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic ]

[ Sheet music by this composer: Sheet Music Plus - ]

Sejong Plays Ewazen

Albany 577

Eric Ewazen
(b. 1954)

Concerto for Violin & Strings (2000) 1
Concerto for Oboe & Strings "Down a River of Time" (1999) 2
Sinfonia for Strings (2001)

1 Adele Anthony, violin
2 Linda Strommen, oboe
International Sejong Soloists/Hyo Kang
Albany TROY577 64:27

Listening to this as a blindfold test, you might consider Vaughan Williams or a less well-known English composer such as Howells or Rubbra, or occasionally John Adams, or even Thomas Newman. Ewazen was born in Cleveland and on the evidence of this CD, writes extremely approachable music with passages of great beauty, which is a good enough reason for checking this out.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]

[ Sheet music by this composer: Sheet Music Plus - ]

A Czech Anthology

Supraphon 3944

Ilja Hurnik (b.1922)
Four Seasons-Chamber Suite (1952)
Ondráš-Ballet Music (1951)

Jan Kapr (1914-1988)
In the Soviet Country-Cantata (1950) 3

Julius Kalaš (1902-1967)
The Nightingale and the Rose (1956)

Viktor Kalabis (1923-2006)
Violin Concerto #1 (1958-59) 4

Jan Seidel (1908-1998)
Oboe Concerto #2 (1955) 5

Ivan Jirko (1926-1978)
Piano Concerto #3 (1958) 6

Petr Eben (1929-2007)
Piano Concerto (1961) 7

Pavel Bořkovec (1894-1972)
Symphony #2 (1955)

Václav Dobiáš (1909-1978)
Build Up Your Country to Reinforce the Peace-Cantata (1947) 2

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (1946) 1

1 Eric Schilling, narrator
2 Jan Soumar, baritone
4 Václav Snítil, violin
5 Josef Shejbal, oboe
6 Viktorie Švihlíková, piano
7 František Rauch, piano
2 Prague Philharmonic Choir
2 Kühn Children's Choir
3 Prague Radio Choir
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Karel Ančerl
Supraphon SU3944-2 4CDs 258:17

Volume 43 of the Karel Ančerl Gold Edition apparently collects a number of short works left over from the mainly single-CD releases which make up the rest of the series. Apart from the Britten, the remaining works are by composers of what was then Czechoslovakia, Ančerl having left his homeland for Canada in 1968, the year of the Soviet suppression of the Prague Spring. This set gives an interesting insight into the sort of music being written during the fifteen or so years after the war.

Most of the music is upbeat, some even jaunty. The two vocal works remind me of such pieces as Prokofiev's Summer Day, but the words are best avoided! Of the concertos, the standout for me is the Kalabis, but all are worth getting to know. Some of the recordings are in mono but the transfers have been very well done. The set is attractively priced. Recommended for those who like to explore the byways of the byways.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]