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Weiss Family Woodwinds, Then And Now

Weiss Family Woodwinds
Release Date: 11/23/2010 
Label:  Crystal   Catalog #: 354   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Olivier MessiaenPaul HindemithTomás SvobodaCarol Worthey,   ... 
Performer:  Dawn WeissZita CarnoDavid WeissAbraham Weiss
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 55 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

WEISS FAMILY WOODWINDS, THEN AND NOW Dawn Weiss (fl); David Weiss (ob); Abraham Weiss (bn); Zita Carno (pn) CRYSTAL CD354 (55:18) Live: Los Angeles 4/3/2010 1

VIVALDI Sonata in g for Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, and Harpsichord. MESSIAEN Le Merle Noir. BOURDEAU Premier Solo for Bassoon and Piano. Read more class="COMPOSER12">HINDEMITH Oboe Sonata. 1 SVOBODA Trio. 1 WORTHEY Sandcastles

The Weiss siblings have been first-desk players of major symphony orchestras for a cumulative 95 years: Dawn with the Oregon Symphony, David with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Abraham with the Rochester Philharmonic. The first four pieces on this disc are reissues from a 1978 LP; the final two are world premiere live performances of works written for the Weiss trio. Let’s get one thing out of the way early: Every note, every phrase, every movement here is played superbly, not only with impeccable technique but with marvelous sensitivity for a wide range of music.

I’ve never been a Vivaldi fan, but I love every minute of this delightful sonata; the notes say it was probably written for two violins and continuo but may imply that the arrangement is not by the composer: “The version heard here captures the flavor so typical of Vivaldi.” If there’s a harpsichord in the mix, it is buried by the winds, which brings my only complaint: Almost all of the sonata is forte , and the instruments are recorded so closely as to put an edgy strain on the ear, no matter how low one sets the gain. Messiaen’s Blackbird , for flute and piano, is a calming zephyr after that burst of energy. Eugene Bourdeau (1850–1925) was professor of bassoon at the Paris Conservatory. His Premier Solo is so thoroughly musical that I would not have guessed it was written as a contest piece. Its gentle to passionate melodies are reminiscent of Saint-Saëns works for solo strings and piano. The reissues end with a rich performance of Hindemith’s Oboe Sonata; pianist Zita Carno’s solid, persuasive contributions show that both she and David Weiss understand the composer. I have heard more elegant renditions, but none that were quite as colorful.

The two contemporary works make it clear that the Weisses have not dropped a stitch (cut a lip?) over the 34 years. Perhaps it’s the change in recorded sound, but I sense a deeper ensemble, a new level of subtlety. Tomas Svoboda (b.1939) studied in Prague with Miloslav Kabelá? and in the U.S. with Ingolf Dahl and Halsey Stevens. His cyclical five-movement trio begins and ends with Andantes that honor deceased family members; its inner movements—Vivace, Lento, Vivace—recall happier times. Carol Worthey was born in 1943, and—lovely story!—a visiting Leonard Bernstein proclaimed she’s “gonna be a star” that very day; some years later, she studied with Milhaud and Persichetti. Her Sandcastles tells a story of a family at the beach, its main theme taken from the letters “DA vid, ABE, DA wn, then FA mill E .” Whatever; it’s a charming if lightweight piece.

This disc’s a keeper, primarily for the reissues.

FANFARE: James H. North
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Works on This Recording

Le merle noir by Olivier Messiaen
Performer:  Dawn Weiss (Flute), Zita Carno (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951; France 
Length: 6 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Sonata for Oboe and Piano by Paul Hindemith
Performer:  Zita Carno (Piano), David Weiss (Oboe)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; Switzerland 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Trio for woodwinds by Tomás Svoboda
Performer:  Dawn Weiss (Flute), David Weiss (Oboe), Abraham Weiss (Bassoon)
Period: Modern 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Sandcastles for flute, oboe, & bassoon by Carol Worthey
Performer:  David Weiss (Oboe), Dawn Weiss (Flute), Abraham Weiss (Bassoon)
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 6 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Trio Sonata for 2 Oboes and Basso Continuo in G minor, F 15 no 8/RV 81 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Abraham Weiss (Bassoon), David Weiss (Oboe), Dawn Weiss (Flute),
Zita Carno (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 8 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Premier Solo, for bassoon by Eugčne Bourdeau
Performer:  Abraham Weiss (Bassoon), Zita Carno (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Length: 5 Minutes 17 Secs. 

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