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Reviews in Miniature pt. 3

August 20, 2010

This is going to undoubtedly become a semi-regular feature for a while.  Truth be told, I have about 30 albums I’m really excited to talk about that have been released since Mid-May and I’ve barely mentioned any of them.  Admitting defeat or realistically accomplishing my goal?  You decide….

Music from Eastern Europe performed by the Turbulent Winds is a disc of four multi-movement works by the composers Ferenc Farkas, Endre Szervansky, Gyorgy Ligeti, and Pavel Haas.  This is a cute album of mostly light works, and the playing really captures the delicate nature the music has most of the time.  The Ligeti has some of the most aggressive moments, but even that is some of his most playful music I’ve experienced.  The fact that the album contains mostly lighter music isn’t meant to be a knock, its actually a refreshing set of works to listen to by players that really gel together as an ensemble.  The quintet’s approach on the Farkas piece, Early Hungarian Dances from the 17th Century, is my favorite.

Quicksilver: Songs and Dances of the Americas is an album of works by Bonita Boyd (flute) and Nicholas Golwes (guitar) (with vocal support from Kathryn Louise Lewek on one piece).  I’ve never heard Piazzola’s Histoire du Tango for the original instrumentation, which this album corrected, and it was one of those experiences where you decide to burn all of those fake impostors that deceived you previously.   Its really a magnificent piece designed for flute and guitar and Boyd and Goluses rhythmically drive the piece from start to end.  As for the other two works, Beaser’s Mountain Songs does a great job at what its trying to do, but its not really my thing.  Songs for Persephone by Davaid Liptik is an interesting work because the voice is such a powerful element in the piece while both the flute and guitar are approached with very delicate hands.  Its an interesting contrast to my ears that Liptik really milks through all five songs.

The Harpsichord in the New Millenium is a collection of music by Asako Hirabayashi with the composer on the harpsichord and contribution from Gina DiBello and Gail Olszewski on some tracks.

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