Notes and Editorial Reviews
Mississippi born Samuel Jones (b. 1935) is Composer in Residence of the Seattle Symphony, though he has had a decade-long relationship with the Amarillo Symphony, which commissioned Roundings (premiered in 2000) for its 75th Anniversary. Jones' musical style falls within the great American symphonic tradition of Copland, Barber, Hanson, and Piston, utilizing a primarily tonal language accented by occasional dissonant and atonal elements. The title Roundings: Musing and Meditations on Texas New Deal Murals refers to the Depression-era public murals painted under the auspices of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. Each of the five murals, connected by a motto theme on the solo cello, depicts an aspect of American life, presenting Jones with the
challenge of illustrating them sonically. He does so with some pretty clever orchestral devices, such as the baying French horns imitating a passing train in "Locomotive", and actual mechanical sounds, like the pre-recorded tractor in "Plow". The music's beauty and narrative quality keeps you ever attentive and listening for the next sequence, which is always rewarding. This effect is no doubt enhanced by the Amarillo Symphony's enthusiastic and expert playing in all sections, and the imaginative leadership of James Setapen.
Jones' Cello Sonata was commissioned in 1996 by the Fischer Duo for their 25th wedding anniversary (it's persuasively played here by Emmanuel Lopez and Denise Parr-Scanlin). It's a warmly melodic work, in a neo-romantic vein typified by the music of Samuel Barber. The slow movement quotes from the allegretto of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 (a favorite of the pianist), ingeniously incorporating it into the music's structure. Like Roundings, the Sonata is a rewarding musical experience worthy of repeated listening. Naxos has provided beautiful sound for both works.
--Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Sonata for Cello and Piano by Samuel Jones
Emmanuel Lopez (Cello),
Denise Parr-Scanlin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1996; USA
Date of Recording: 05/2000
Venue: Turner Hill, Ipswich, Massachusetts
Length: 21 Minutes 34 Secs.
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