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Friday, June 8, 2012

Sorgen-Rust-Stevens Trio - A Scent In Motion (2009)

Recorded March 23, 1994, Acoustic Recording, Brooklyn, NY

Review from All About Jazz:

Back in the 1990s, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, drummer Harvey Sorgen and bassist Steven Rust set in motion a trio project which would have them reassemle in a studio every year to improvise. The collaboration led to four albums: Novella (Leo, 2001), Aercine (Drimala, 2002), Decade (NotTwo, 2003), and now, A Scent in Motion.

Stevens, Sorgen and Rust have cast their roots as improvisers. All possess expressive intuition, allowing them to play off each other and work in tandem towards developing a concept with insight and imagination. They bring it to fruition both in the realm of a composition and in a completely improvised situation, as two of the selections—"Sentry" and "Camco"—convincingly show.

The melodically charged "Sentry" romps in on piano. Stevens lets the essence seep into his runs, with only an occasional emphasis on the chords and gentle shifts of pulse that add elegance to his playing. Cleaving to the piano on the ensemble passages, Sorgen and Rust move into hardier territory with their individual runs without losing the thread of forward movement and logic.

"Camco" is looser in its dynamic, and provides the logic abstract for the trio to feed on and interact. Motifs are created on the spur, with Rust and Sorgen initiating a dialogue. Stevens swells the context with rapid interjections of churning torrents and hammered notes that upend the initial quiet, interpolates blocks of thunderous chords and draws the rhythm section into the intensity.

Logic is a constant factor, even as they change the countenance of a song. Tension and slack, melody and atonality, suspension of time and the gathering of notes are lucid messengers that rise from the mainstream evocation of the lyrical "Fairy Tale" to the open ended interplay of "Cpac."

This music signals the potent force of Sorgen, Rust and Stevens.

  • Steve Rust - Double Bass
  • Harvey Sorgen - Drums
  • Michael Jefry Stevens - Piano

Track List:
  1. Sentry 5:36
  2. Fairy Tale 3:39
  3. Camco 3:20
  4. Cpac 6:05
  5. Freedom of Choice 3:56
  6. Magic Meadow 7:49
  7. Starter Set 3:10
  8. Something You Said 3:01
  9. Spirit Song 7:47

Download links: Enjoy the music, or here. (pswd:
Used copies of this recording are available at

Other recordings featuring these artists:

Sorgen-Rust-Stevens Trio
Harvey Sorgen

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Baldassare Galuppi - La caduta di Adamo (1987)

Liner notes:

The oratorio entitled Adamo, to an Italian text by Granelli, had it first performance in Rome in 1747. It was Galuppi's sixth oratorio; the five preceding ones belonged to an earlier phase in Galuppi's career which had started in 1740 with Sancta Maria Magdalena (to a Latin text, like most of Galuppi's oratorios), followed by Prudens Abigail, to a Latin text by Pasquali and performed in Bologna in 1743, then by Isaac and Judith, both performed in Bologna, respectively in 1745 and 1746. After Adamo (or The Fall of Adam), Galuppi had two oratorios produced in Venice, one in Florence, another in Rome and, well into old age, brought this lengthy series to a close with one in Venice. He showed a preference for texts in Latin generally provided by his friend, the Abbot Chiari.

Galuppi was born on 18 October 1706 in Burano, on the outskirts of Venice, and was thus nicknamed «il Buranello». He studied under Lotti, who taught him harpsichord and composition, and when his first work La fede nell'inconstanza ossia, Gli amici rivali met with failure, he reacted very intelligently by resuming his studies in order to perfect his craft.

In 1740 he became choir master at the Ospedale dei Mendicanti (Beggars' Hospital) in Venice, having already made his mark as a harpsichordist (as he had also done in Florence - a truly interesting body of sonatas testifies to this). In 1741 he travelled to London to take up operatic duties at the Haymarket Theatre for a few months, but later returned to Venice. In 1748 he was appointed deputy director of music at St. Mark's, then in 1762 full director and also choirmaster at the Ospedale degli Incurabili (Incurables' Hospital). He spent the years from 1765 to 1768 in Russia, at St. Petersburg. Returning to Venice, he worked at St. Mark's once again, and at the Incurabili where his appointment had been kept open for him, his chief duties being to compose oratorios. His last work in this genre was II ritorno di Tobia to a text by Carlo Gozzi in 1782. Galuppi died in Venice in 1785.

Galuppi, admittedly, is not one of the figureheads of Italian oratorio (mainly owing to the lack of a major study on him). After Carissimi, the development of this musical genre ran from Stradella through to its consolidation by Alessandro Scarlatti, oscillating between Papal Rome and Naples, Florence (incidentally all cities where Galuppi's oratorios were performed) and Venice, where oratorios were given in either Italian or Latin. The former alternative was that chosen by specific churches, in accordance with the tradition of St. Philip of Neri; the latter by the churches of the various hospitals (Incurabili, Mendicanti, Derelitti, Pieta). In these hospitals, oratorios were sung in Latin, obeyed a two-part form and were set to subjects drawn in the main from the Holy Scriptures. All the parts were filled by women, by the girls cared for by the Hospitals (as can be seen from various manuscripts bearing the names of the singers - Annamaria, Elisabetta, Mariettina, etc.). This was the very opposite of the Roman custom, where all the parts were sung by male voices, and shows to what extent the XVIIIth century ear was attached to musical substance, regardless of the male or female attribution of the parts. 

Baldassare Galuppi, along with Francesco Bertoni, Francesco Gasparini, Giacomo Perti, Vivaldi, Lotti, Bonaventura Furlanetto and others, ranks among the most prolific composers of oratorios in the XVIIIth century. There were few oratorios to Italian texts and almost all of these were performed outside Venice. S. Maurizio e compagni martini was first performed in Bologna in 1743, Adamo in Rome in 1747, Il' Jepte o sia Il trionfo della religione in Florence in 1749, Gerusalemme convertita (to a text by Apostolo Zeno), in Rome in 1752, Il ritorno di Tobia in Venice in 1782. This last oratorio was not composed for a Hospital but had been commissioned by Lodovico Manin (later Doge) for the hall in the Incurabili, closed down for bankruptcy. Galuppi had already stopped composing oratorios to Latin texts six years earlier, precisely because of this closure. By this time, the tradition had passed into the hands of younger man such as Francesco Bertoni and Bonaventura Furlanetto. Galuppi also composed an oratorio in Latin on the subject of Adam, entitled Adam, to a text by Abbot Chiari drawn from Klopstock (Venice, 1771).

Oratorios were performed instead of opera everywhere during Lent. Venice's various conservatories were keen to put them on as this gave their students an opportunity to perform in public and it was for these conservatories that composers like Ariosti, Lotti, Marcello and Hasse wrote.

As can be seen from Galuppi's life, there is an obvious link between Venice's conservatory-cum-hospitals and the history of the oratorio. Galuppi started composing oratories in 1740, the year he was taken on at the Mendicanti, and it is easy to detect Vivaldi's influence both in the vocal parts and in the instrumental parts, with love of colourful, varied writing, the strings often enriched with wind instruments, and, in the case of Adamo, by two horns. It is thus hardly surprising to come across the following statement, written on 24 August 1750, in the Hospital's archives:

«Maestro Galuppi draws the attention of the congregation to two young sisters, Maria Elisabetta and Maria Girolama, aged 14 and 12 who play the «tromba di caccia» or hunting horn. Their father, Lorenzo Rossoni and one of their relatives, Giuseppe Pisoni, «who rank among the best teachers of this instrument», are to teach the two young girls daily, free of charge, until they are able to play any piece at sight. The congregation is invited to listen to the two players and to decide whether they should be admitted into the choir on the grounds of «the prestige brought to performances (...) and the present novelty value of the horn». The two girls would also have to play the other «ordinary» instruments. The vote was eleven «ayes», two «noes» and one «non sincero», the abstention of the period. A five-sixths majority was required, but owing to the
«particular circumstances», the «ayes» hat it.

Carlo BOLOGNA (translated by Elizabeth Carroll)

La caduta di Adamo

This oratorio, in Italian, is divided into two parts, with four voices for the following four characters: Adam, Eve, the Angel of Justice, and the Angel of Mercy. As was customary, the orchestra consists of strings and a harpsichord (or organ, or both instruments together), not to mention the use of two horns on five occasions, including the closing chorus. The use of these two instruments is perfectly suited to the requirements of the text. The various pieces are allotted strictly in accordance with the musical (and theatrical) customs of the day. Each voice is given three arias, Adam and Eve have a duet and a duettino, the two angels also have a duet and a final chorus involves all four voices.

Translated by Elizabeth Carroll

  • EVA/Eve: Mara ZAMPIERI
  • ADAM/Adamo: Ernesto PALACIO
  • ANGE DE MISERICORDE/Angel of Mercy/Der Engel der Barmherizigkeit: Susanna RIGACCI
  • ANGE DE JUSTICE/Angel of Justice/Der Engel der Gerechtigkeit: Marilyn SCHMIEGE
  • I SOLISTI VENETI: Direction/Conductor/Dirigent : Claudio SCIMONE
For track listings and full libretto, see the booklet scans contained with the mp3 files.

Download links: Enjoy the music, or here. (pswd:
Used copies of this recording are available at

Other recordings of music by Baldassare Galuppi:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sergei Vasilenko - Concerto for Balalaika and Orchestra, "Springtime," Suite for Flute and Orchestra (1973)

Liner Notes:

The composer S. N. Vasilenko (1872-1956), worked in many different musical forms. He is the composer of symphonies, operas, ballets, chamber music ensembles, vocal cycles and scores for theatre and movies. He puts special emphasis on folk music. His work is filled with songs and instruments of his native land. He is interested in finding ways to apply folk-music to new works for folk instruments.

In 1929, S. N. Vasilenko wrote a concerto for balalaika and symphony orchestra, it was acclaimed with enthusiasm by the listeners.

The most significant trait of this three-part work is, its national character: the music is saturated with Russian songs and motives of Russian musical folklore. It contains the folk-tune "Oh, you little night, little dark night", "Against the bright sun", "Our street is wide", also dance songs. The beauty of the Russian melodies and the mastery of the composer, which is obvious in his concerto, drew a wide circle of listeners. The concerto for balalaika and orchestra was the start to create many works dedicated to folk instruments.

In the late part of the last century, the talented musician Vasili Andreyev introduced to the public, the strange, and until then little known instrument, the Russian balalaika. Its rich, artistic possibilities, achieved very soon the conquest of the widest audience.

Andreyev's Orchestra of national instruments, performed with the greatest success in Russia and abroad.

Andreyev's tradition survives and develops in the art of excellent national ensembles and soloists. One of the foremost is Pavel Necheporenko, outstanding master, virtuoso balalaika player.
Upon graduation from the Leningrad Concervatory (1949) in conducting, Necheporenko became permanent conductor of the National instruments Orchestra, named after Andreyev. Simultaneously he performs as balalaika-soloist, he performs often in soviet cities and also abroad. The listeners, warmly applaud the art of Pavel Necheporenko.

He has a complete mastery of the virtuoso technique, the musician is also extremely sensitive and delivers the melodious span of the folksongs beautifully. The sound of his instrument is distinguished by its softness and harmony.

In Necheporenko's repertoire can be found—adaptations of various national and contemporary songs, works, written specially for the balalaika, by Russian composers: (Concerto for balalaika and orchestra by S. Vasilenko, variations by P. Kulikov and N. Budashkin, his own variation on the theme of Paganini etc.)
Necheporenko's adaptations of classical works are extremely exciting.

The mastery of Pavel Necheporenko has received wide acclaim. He is an award winner of the All union competition for performers of national instruments, he has been honored with a State prize and honorable mention as an artist of the RSFSR.

The concert suite by S. N. Vasilenko "In Springtime" is a repertoire piece. It conveys the poetry of spring, awakening of nature, light feeling of happiness and love.

There are five parts in the suite: 1—Prelude; 2—Valse caprice; 3—Across the desert; 4—In the forest; 5—Spring streams.

In the prelude we find a picture of the arrival of spring. You can hear the voices of its messengers—the voices of birds.

The rainbow colored sunshine is painted in an elegant and gracious "Waltz caprice". The procession of a caravan is pictured in the part entitled "Across the desert", the melody of an oriental song is played by a flute.

The poetic picture of "In the forest" whose music evokes the awakening of nature, is bathed in the beams of a rejoicing spring sun. The finale—"Spring streams" is written in an ever accelerating tempo. The music conveys the first murmurs of new brooks, flowing into the rushing waters of the streams.

The suite "Spring time" belongs to the most outstanding works in the literature of flute music. It was dedicated to its first performer, Alexandre Korneyev. Pupil of the Moscow Conservatory, Korneyev is the winner of many national and international competitions, he is the first flute player in the great Symphony Orchestra of the all union Radio and Television.

The mastery of his performance, is marked by great expressiveness and a fine artistic taste. These qualities permit him to perform with great success, a large and diversified repertoire.


Concerto for Balalaika and Orchestra
  • Pavel Necheporenko, balalaika
  • Gennady Rozhdestvensky conducting the Symphony Orchestra of the Moscow State Philharmonic

"Springtime:” Suite for Flute and Orchestra
  • Alexandre Korneyev, flutist
  • Nikolai Anosov conducting the Symphony Orchestra of the Moscow State Philharmonic

Track List:

  1. Allegro moderato
  2. Andante
  3. Allegro moderato
IN SPRINGTIME: Suite for flute and orchestra op. 138
  1. Prelude
  2. Waltz-caprice
  3. Across the desert
  4. In the forest
  5. Spring streams
Download links: Enjoy the music, or here. (pswd:
A vinyl copy of this recording can be found on

Other Recordings of music by Sergei Vasilenko:

Other recordings featuring flutist Alexandre (Alexander) Korneyev:

    The Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble - Alive and Well (1982)

    Liner Notes:
    A web of living links unites New Orleans with its musical past. When members of the LOUISIANA REPERTORY JAll ENSEMBLE went to Lafayette Cemetery for the jacket photo for this album, the man who unlocked the gate for them was the son-in-law of clarinetist Alphonse Picou. Descendants of other early jazz greats turn up constantly at performances of the Ensemble, people with names like Robichaux, LaRocca, and Dodds. They're proud of their heritage and their pride is enough to keep any musician on his toes.

    Yet in spite of these ties with the past, classic jazz in New Orleans by the 1970's had come to resemble a crumbling Creole mansion in the Vieux Carré. Important original features were long since destroyed. Inappropriate additions had been tacked on and were even being mistaken for the original. And over it all were daubed coat upon coat of gaudy colors.

    What remained underneath, however, was timeless and very much worth preserving. For two decades Preservation Hall has been reminding the world just how priceless is this musical legacy of New Orleans. The LOUISIANA REPERTORY JAll ENSEMBLE was founded in 1980 to further this work. Its goal is to recover the heroic era of classic jazz and to restore it to its original lustre. Its method is innovative: to assemble first-rate jazzmen from the New Orleans scene, people steeped in the music, and to get them to reexamine systematically the art of the pioneer generation of hot musicians. With this concept, a new phase in New Orleans' musical life began.

    The materials for such a reexamination are readily at hand. Surviving old-timers are frequently consulted and offer helpful critiques of the Ensemble. Rare early recordings are also studied. Still rarer written music, both published and in manuscript, is exhumed from the Jazz Museum at the old U.S. Mint in New Orleans and from the William Ransom Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University. The latter has proven so useful that the LRJE has affiliated itself with the Archive and contributes financially to its programs.

    The LRJE's search for classic New Orleans jazz has been rich with surprises. During its first season the Ensemble broadcast a syndicated weekly program over radio station WWNO. After one such session devoted to the music of Armand J. Piron, Fred Starr, LRJE's clarinetist, received a call from an elderly New Orleans matron. Her purpose in telephoning was to report that between 1916 and 1922 she had frequently hired Piron's Society Orchestra for private dances. "You all sound just like them," she stated, "but Mr. Piron played far more schottisches and waltzes than you do, and so did Mr. Joe Oliver." Further investigation proved that she was right. So the band turned its hand to waltzes and even a schottische.

    It is thrilling work, for as each later accretion is peeled away the original music appears all the fresher and more exciting. At first the project was nothing more than the private passion of a few professional musicians and dedicated amateurs. Then, in the autumn of 1980, the band burst into popularity. In addition to the radio broadcasts, several nationally televised feature programs on the band brought it to the attention of fans who could not get to the Crescent City. Performances in Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and Washington introduced the Ensemble to still more jazz lovers. Finally, a concert tour of France and broadcasts on European television in 1982 brought the LRJE to international notice.

    But the Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble remains basically a neighborhood band, rooted in the same area of uptown New Orleans that nurtured many creators of the art in the first place. Wherever else it may perform, the LRJE holds forth every Wednesday at the Maple Leaf Bar on Oak Street. Even during the steamy months of summer, the dark old hall is packed with sweating dancers, oblivious to the absence of air conditioning.

    The Ensemble's home neighborhood is filled with musical memories. Buddy Bolden's band roused the crowds at Lincoln Park on Carrollton Avenue back at the turn of the century. In the same years one of the greatest jazz bassists, George "Pops" Foster, was growing up on nearby Adams Street along with his neighbor, the pioneer clarinetist Leon Roppolo.. The talented Dutrey brothers, Honore, Jimmy, Pete and Sam, had a pressing shop a few blocks away on Cherokee. The neighborhood boasted so much music that when Olympia Hall at the corner of Oak and Carrollton was booked, the local youths, who called themselves "jellybeans," would convert nearby dairies into dance halls between milkings.
    The LRJE's direct link with this world is through its seventy year-old bassist, Sherwood Mangiapane, who grew -up around the corner from the Maple Leaf. Mangiapane, incidentally, played for years with Tom Brown, leader of the first band advertised as playing "jass," in 1915. Other links are through John Chaffe, who learned his banjo from Lawrence Marrero, Edmond Souchon, and Johnny St. Cyr; Freddie Lonzo, veteran of the Olympia and other brass bands; and John Joyce, who studied drums with Paul Barbarin and Josiah "Cie" Frazier and performed frequently with Emile Christian and Harry Shields.

    What insights come from these various channels into the past? For one thing, they suggest that it is impossible to imagine classic New Orleans jazz without dancers. It was the dancers who demanded the distinctive rocking beat, who wanted hard-driving ensemble playing rather than solos, and who cared more for the right overall "sound" of a band than for its technical niceties or pyrotechnics.

    Guided by such notions, each member of the LRJE set to work. For trumpeter Leroy Jones it meant concentrating on only a part of his vast range. For pianist John Royen it meant shifting to slower tempos. For Fred Starr and Curt Jerde it even meant playing different instruments, the old style Albert system clarinet and the extinct helicon.

    The musicians on this recording have many decades of professional experience among them. They are concerned to recreate lost styles of early jazz but they are not mere imitators. Each member of the Ensemble has his own distinctive manner as an improviser. More than that, the band as a whole has developed a musical personality that is very much its own. THE LOUISIANA REPERTORY JAZZ ENSEMBLE speaks with a fresh voice, but strictly in the classic language of New Orleans.

    • CURTIS JERDE: HELICON (nos. 4 , 6 , 9 , 11 , 14 only)
    • SHERWOOD MANGIAPANE: BASS (all except nos. 4 , 6 , 9 ,11, 14)

    1. NEW ORLEANS WIGGLE (A. Piron and P. Bocage) - 2:46
    2. SWEET LOVIN' MAN (L. Hardin and W. Melrose) - 3:10
    3. GEORGIA SWING (F. Morton) - 3:05
    4. YAMA YAMA MAN (F. Morton) - 2:25
    5. SNAKE RAG (J. Oliver and A. Picou) - 3:53
    6. JUNGLE BLUES (F. Morton) - 3:31
    7. WEST INDIES BLUES (E. Dowell, C. and S. Williams) - 3:11
    8. NEW ORLEANS JOYS (F. Morton) - 3:06
    9. BUDDY'S HABIT (A. Nelson) - 3:27
    10. CAMP MEETING BLUES (J. Oliver) - 2:59
    11. TIGER RAG (Anon. [J. Morton?])       - 3:05
    12. IN THE UPPER GARDEN (Anon.) - 2:05
    13. BOGALUSA STRUT (S. Morgan) - 2:35
    14. SIDEWALK BLUES (F. Morton) - 2:38
    Download links: Enjoy the music, or here. (pswd:

    This recording was only released on vinyl. Two copies are available on

    Other recordings by The Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble:

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    American Masters: Douglas Moore & Marion Bauer

    Well, I am back to working on my blog again. No promises, but I hope to post a new out of print recording at least every two weeks. Time will tell. Enjoy the latest recording below!

    Liner Notes:
    CRI 101, the first record put out by Composers Recordings, Inc., consisted of Farm Journal by Douglas Moore (one of CRI's co-founders), and two works for string orchestra by Marion Bauer.

    Douglas Moore and Marion Bauer had very different backgrounds and though their music is not, on the surface, very much alike, in fact,they had a lot in common. Born in the last decades of the century of romantic music, they both had distinguished careers as composers,writers and educators. They were trained in France and helped to shift the focus of American musical culture away from the heavy German influence that had been dominant for so long. And both represented moderate, eclectic views about music and musical expression in a scene often dominated by the sometimes shrill, opposing voices of experimentalism, neo-classicism, and expressionism.

    Douglas Stuart Moore, the more popular and the more populist of the two, came by his penchant for Americana very naturally. He was born, on August 10, 1893, in the colonial hamlet of Cutchogue in Southold Town, on the North Fork of Long Island, New York.Cutchogue's seventeenth-century heritage can still be seen in some of the oldest remaining domestic architecture in the United States and the settlement is still surrounded, as it was in 1893, by farms (the major difference is that wine grapes have replaced potatoes as the major crop). On his father's side, the composer was in the direct line of Thomas Moore who sailed from Connecticut in 1640 to foundSouthold Township; on his mother'sside, he was descended from both Miles Standish and John Alden. All his life, he maintained, as his permanent residence, the house in which he was born. He died in neighboring Greenport on July 25, 1969.

    Although it was not unusual for a well-brought young man in 19th century New England and New York to play the piano and dabble in music, a full-fledged musical career was usually considered out of the question. But Moore was consistently encouraged by his teachers and, after long hesitation, took the plunge. He studied at the Hotchkiss School, Yale (with Horatio Parker, who was also Charles Ives' teacher) and, after a World War I stint in the navy, with Vincent d'Indy and Nadia Boulanger in Paris.

    In 1921, he was appointed director of musical activities at the Art Museumin Cleveland where he continued his composition studies with Ernst Bloch. Four years later he returned to New York, started writing music for the American Laboratory Theater, and began his long association with Columbia University where he headed the music department for many years before his retirement in 1962. He was the author of two widely known music appreciation books and served as president of both the National Institute and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. It was in the autumn of 1954 that he co-founded Composers Recordings, with the composer Otto Luening also of Columbia University and the arts administrator Oliver Daniel.

    Moore's musical style—simple and direct, often to the point of homespun—is almost entirely organized around his gift for melody. Not surprisingly, he is best known for his twelve operas, notably The Devil and Daniel Webster (1938) which he wrote with Steven Vincent Benet, Giants in theEarth (1949) with E. R. lvag and which earned the 1951 Pulitzer Prize, and The Ballad of Baby Doe (1956) with John Latouche, perhaps the most performed American opera after Porgy and Bess and the work which launched Beverly Sills' career, and his final opera Carry Nation (1966). But the orchestra—chamber and symphonic—was also an important medium for him and his catalogue includes two symphonies and a number of suites and tone poems, many of them evoking American themes: P. T. Barnum, Moby Dick, Babbitt (later retitled Overture on an American Tune), Village Music, Down East.

    It is certainly fitting that CRI's first release included music by one of the most important American women composers. Marion Eugenie Bauer was born in WallaWalla, Washington, on August 15, 15,1887. She studied in Portland, Oregon, in New York and in France where she is thought to have been Nadia Boulanger's first American pupil. Beginning in 1919, she became part of a group of composers who regularly summered at the MacDowell Colony and which included a number of notable women, among them being Amy Beach, Mabel Daniels, Miriam Gideon and Ruth Crawford. Bauer began her long and distinguished teaching career in 1926 at New York University where she remained until her retirement in 1951; she also taught at Juilliard and lectured at the Chatauqua Institute in western New York and elsewhere. She helped to organize the American Music Guild and the League of Composers, served as music critic for the
    Evening Mail and Musical Leader, and was the author or co-author of a number of important articles and books, most notably, her Twentieth-Century Music, long a standard reference. In the 1920s, she was described as "a radical member of the musical left wing," but by the1940s her music was being described as a "middle-of-the-road impressionist." Neither view does justice to the range and accessibility of her works. She died in South Hadley,Massachusetts, on August 9, 1955.


    F. Charles Adler Conductor
    Alfredo Antonini Conductor
    Japan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra Orchestra
    Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra Orchestra
    Eric Salzman Liner Notes
    William Strickland Conductor
    Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Orchestra

    Track Listing:

    Douglas Moore (1893-1969)

    FARM JOURNAL (1948)
    1. I.  Up Early
    2. II. Sunday Clothes
    3. III. Lamp Light
    4. IV. Harvest Song
    1. I.  Grand March (2:08)
    2. II. Polka (1:29)
    3. III. Waltz (3:35)
    4. IV. Gallop (2:01)
    5. V.  Cake Walk (1:56)
    6. VI. Quickstep (2:57)
    SYMPHONY IN A (1945)
    1. I.  Andante con moto; Allegro giusto
    2. II. Andante quieto simplice
    3. III. Allegretto
    4. IV. Allegro con spirito
    Marion Bauer (1887-1955)

    1. I.  Prelude
    2. II. Fugue
    1. I.  Prelude
    2. II. Interlude
    3. III. Finale: Fugue
    Download links: Enjoy the music, or here.
    A used copy of this recording is available at

    More recordings of music by Douglas Moore:
    More recordings of music by Marion Bauer:

    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Berlioz & Duparc - Les Nuits d'été, etc.(1989)

    Liner Notes:

    To their contemporaries, Berlioz and Duparc must have seemed unlikely torchbearers for the rarefied art of French song. Whereas the langourously heavy-lidded Fauré was surely made for what Pierre Bernac has described as the 'sensitive perceptions and impressions' of the French mélodie (in itself a more gently evocative word than its German counterpart, the lied), Berlioz appeared too much a fiery revolutionary, and Duparc a bluff and sensible bourgeois.

    As the poet Théophile Gautier wrote: 'Berlioz represents the romantic musical idea: the breaking up of old moulds... unexpected effects in sound, tumultuous and Shakespearean depth of passion.' In prosaic contrast, Duparc was described by a friend as 'broadly built, stout, rather florid, with rosy cheeks, a golden moustache, a hearty voice and manner, and ever a twinkle in his eye'.

    But for both men the outward form masked an extraordinary sensitivity to poetry and the singing voice: a genius for the fusion of French language and music. Gautier went on to say of Berlioz—and the description could just as easily apply to Duparc—that he also displayed 'an amorous and melancholy dreaminess, longings and questionings of the soul, infinite and mysterious sentiments, and that something more than all which escapes language but may be divined in music.' In Duparc's case, this well disguised, but extreme sensibility resulted in a debilitating nervous illness which prevented him from composing from 1885 until his death almost fifty years later in 1933.

    Gautier was the poet whose texts Berlioz chose for his uniquely expressive song cycle Les Nuits d'été, originally composed for voice and piano in 1840-41. The fourth song, Absence, was the first to be orchestrated, in 1843, and Berlioz completed the others in 1856. The cycle opens optimistically with Villanelle—a pastoral love song—but then the mood changes to the gentle lament of Le Spectre de la rose and the yearning for dead and absent love in Sur les lagunes and Absence. The final two songs are visions of mythical places: the sombre Au cimetière, 'the white tomb... where at sunset a solitary dove sings her sad song', and L'Ile inconnue, the elusive island where love is eternal.

    That last image held a particular fascination for 19th century French artists as they rediscovered the wistfully nostalgic world of the fêtes galantes, typified by Watteau's painting L'Embarquement pour Cythère. It is not surprising, therefore, to find Baudelaire's complementary poem, L'Invitation an voyage, among the texts chosen by Duparc. Duparc's setting, which dates from 1870, was dedicated to his wife, and as Lotte Lehmann observed: 'the music begins with a delicate weaving, like billowing veils of mist, warmed by the sun, light and silvery'. The atmosphere is similar to that of the almost mystical mountain landscapes of Charles-Marie Dulac—a contemporary painter much admired by Duparc who owned several of his canvasses.

    The other Duparc songs recorded here include two from his first set published in 1868: Chanson triste, on a poem by Jean Lahor, dedicated to Duparc's brother-in-law (an excellent amateur singer); and the wistfully intimate Soupir, on a poem by Sully Prudhomme, dedicated to Duparc's mother. Next in chronological order comes the dramatic Le Manoir de Rosemonde (1879), dedicated to Robert de Bonnières who supplied the text. Here we can imagine Duparc following the advice he once gave to a fellow composer: 'Do not write the music to even one line of verse without declaiming it to yourself out loud, with the stresses and gestures'. Sérénade Florentine (1880) again draws on the poetry of Jean Lahor, while Phidylé (1882), dedicated to Ernest Chausson, and La Vie antérieure (1884), dedicated to Guy Ropartz, are settings of Leconte de Lisle and Baudelaire.

    La Vie antérieure was Duparc's last song, and with its closing reference to 'the sorrowful secret that made me languish' it poignantly reflected the tragedy of Duparc's own creative life. 'Since then', he later wrote, 'I have never been able to compose. Many people believe I have a number of works in my files. There is nothing. I live in regret for what I have not done, without caring about the little that I have done'. Nevertheless, the slim legacy of mélodies by both Duparc and Berlioz was to prove a vital inspiration for succeeding generations of French composers.
    Edward Blakeman

    Bernadette Greevy is recognised and acclaimed internationally as one of the finest mezzo-sopranos singing today. She has sung in concert with many of the great orchestras and has given innumerable recitals in all the major capitals of the world.

    While it could be said that the art of recital is her first love, she has sung, with conspicuous success, several major operatic roles, including Eboli in Verdi's Don Carlos, Charlotte in Massenet's Werther, Delilah in Saint-Saëns' Samson and Delilah, the title role in Massenet's Hérodiade and Orfeo in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice.

    Bernadette Greevy has made many highly successful recordings, among them a nomination for Gramophone's Record of the Year. She has a particular affinity with the music of Mahler and has recently taken part in a major Mahler series in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Charles Dutoit, and another highly acclaimed series with the RTE Symphony Orchestra under Janos Furst.

    Among the awards with which Bernadette Greevy has been honoured are the Harriet Cohen International Music Award for 'outstanding artistry' and the Order of Merit of the Order of Malta. She has been given an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the National University of Ireland. Most recently the honour of 'Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice' was conferred on her by the Holy See.

    In 1985 at the invitation of the Chinese Ministry of Culture, Miss Greevy toured the People's Republic of China where he gave recitals and Master Classes. She has also given Master Classes in New Zealand and gives regular series at the National Concert Hall in Dublin and on RTE Radio and Television.

    In March 1988, and as part of the Dublin City Millennium, Trinity College, University of Dublin, conferred on Bernadette Greevy the degree of Doctor of Music.

    Yan Pascal Tortelier was born in Paris in 1947. He studied piano and violin from the age of four and at fourteen won first prize for the violin at the Paris Conservatoire. Following early studies with Nadia Boulanger, he went to study conducting with Franco Ferrara in Siena. From 1974 -1983 he was leader and Associate Conductor of the Orchestre du Capitole in Toulouse. From 1989/90 he is Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Ulster Orchestra in Northern Ireland.

    Tortelier has worked with all the major symphony and chamber orchestras in London and throughout the United Kingdom. Guest engagements worldwide include the Cincinnati Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Chamber Symphony of New York, Vancouver Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Barcelona Symphony, Madrid Radio Symphony and Tokyo's Yomiuri Nippon Symphony.

    His operatic debut was in 1978 in Toulouse with 'Cosi fan tutte'. He has guested in the opera houses of Paris, Lyon, Naples, Scottish Opera and has done several productions for English National Opera.

    Tortelier now makes his home in London and records exclusively for Chandos Records.

    • BERNADETTE GREEVY - mezzo-soprano
    • ULSTER ORCHESTRA - Leader, Richard Howarth
    • YAN PASCAL TORTELIER - conductor
    Track List:
    1. Hector Berlioz - Les Nuits d'été, op. 7 I. Villanelle
    2. Hector Berlioz - Les Nuits d'été, op. 7 II. Le Spectre de la rose
    3. Hector Berlioz - Les Nuits d'été, op. 7 III: Sur les lagunes (Lamento)
    4. Hector Berlioz - Les Nuits d'été, op. 7 IV. Absence
    5. Hector Berlioz - Les Nuits d'été, op. 7 V. Au cimetière
    6. Hector Berlioz - Les Nuits d'été, op. 7 VI. L'Ile inconnue
    7. Henri Duparc - Chanson triste
    8. Henri Duparc - Le Manoir de Rosemonde
    9. Henri Duparc - L'Invitation au voyage
    10. Henri Duparc - Soupir
    11. Henri Duparc - Phidylé
    12. Henri Duparc - La Vie antérieure
    13. Henri Duparc - Serenade florentine
    Download Links: Enjoy the Music, or here.

    Other recordings by Bernadette Greevy