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New Record Roundup 2

July 19, 2009

More albums:

phenomenon: Music by Narong Prangcharoen (Albany) – This is a fun album.  Moments of it have an impressionistic approach while others feel very romantic, but all within a bit of a 20Th Century mentality.  The work for band, Chakra, feels very fresh, and is an awesome contribution to that repertoire. I also liked the solo cello piece Far From Home a lot.  Bonus points to this album for having lots of mixed colors and ensembles, making it really easy to listen to beginning to end.  Performers include Texas Tech University Wind Ensemble, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra, Christopher Janwong McKiggen, and Nick Dinnerstein.

The Little Match Girl Passion (Harmonia Mundi).  The feature and title work on this album of music by David Lang is simply incredible.  A thirty five minute work for four voices that also play percussion simultaneously, it is a gorgeous and dark work based on a tragic story by Hans Christian Andersen.  Lang approached the story not to lament the girls death and call out the oppressive forces that caused it, but placed it emotionally on the same plane as the Passion stories..  The other five works are all also really beautiful, all taking on religious themes and texts for its material.  Performers include Theatre of Voices, Ars Nova Copenhagen, and Paul Hillier conducting.

Fennimore: Jeffrey Middleton plays… (Albany) is an album of piano music by Joseph Fennimore.  It contains three works: Cathay, Tourmaline, and 5 Romances.  Some of this music is so gorgeously simple.  (parts of Cathay in particular) and other moments are just maniacal (Thirteenth Romance, marked ‘somewhat grim, wary, cranky).  Jeffrey Middleton is the only performer.

Xenakis: String Quartets (Mode) Performed by the JACK Quartet, these four works are absolute monsters to perform and play.  Because of the difficulty, I couldn’t tell you if they put on note perfect performances, but they are absolutely intense and virtuosic performances.  The music on the disc might not be the best introduction to Xenakis, but for one familiar and interested in his music, these are highly recommended.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Joseph Fennimore permalink
    October 25, 2009 2:11 pm

    Dear Mr. Doug,

    In the interests of accuracy, in the item above in reference to an album of my pno music, you incorrectly list Jeffrey Mills as “the only performer.” The pianist’s name is Jeffrey Middleton.

    Thank you for yr kind attention,

    Sincerely,

    Joseph Fennimore

  2. Doug permalink*
    October 25, 2009 6:53 pm

    Please send my apologies to Mr. Middleton for the error!

    DL

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  1. Narong Prangcharoen CD release | Brian Hinrichs

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