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Rendezvous and Dreams - Biggs, Kosins, Muradian, La Traille / Peter Christ

Release Date: 07/21/1998 
Label:  Crystal   Catalog #: 723   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Vazgen MuradianMartin Scot KosinsJohn BiggsGregory La Traille
Performer:  Bruce McIntoshPeter ChristDebbie DareDaniel Rouslin,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Crystal Chamber Soloists
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Peter Christ and his collaborators are the soul of enthusiastic discretion and sensitive response.

"The Muradian has all the life and slender sprightliness of the Benjamin versions of the oboe concertos by Cimarosa and other figures of the Italian baroque. Vivaldi must surely also have been an influence crossed with the fruitiness of Villa-Lobos. In the midmost of the three movements the sun-warmed attentive dialogue amongst the strings prompted thoughts of Mozart's delightful Sinfonia Concertante K364. It must be my fixation on the neo-Baroque-romance of it all that obscures my hearing the Armenian folk flavour claimed for the works by the liner notes.

Muradian is a fascinating figure. He was born in
Read more Ashtarak, Armenia on 17 October 1921. He studied at the Spendiarian School (surely a reference to the composer Spendiarov, one of whose orchestral pieces, Almast, was once included on an HMV Melodiya LP). He moved to the US in 1950 and has played viola in various US orchestras including the New Orleans Symphony (presumably he was in the orchestra when they recorded Rorem's memorably phantasmagorical Lions). He has written 68 concertos for 35 different instruments. Muradian writes that 14 of these concerti are the first in world musical literature and 26 are the first in American and Armenian music. He has written 56 songs for voice and orchestra and eight for chorus and orchestra - in six languages.

Kosins' piece lends its name to the title of this hallmark Crystal anthology. The four brief movements are simple and beguiling. This is the best of light writing with no awkward moments of pastiche to get in the way of sincerity. Kosins is active as a pianist in the USA's supper clubs. This heritage plays its role in its guileless avoidance of affectation and complexity and its unfeigned lyrical address. The movements are: Rendezvous for one; La Tango de la White Butterflies; The Love I Saw But Once; Adieu Piaf, Adieu; Morning Must Come. His Love Letter and Winter Moods is on Crystal CD314.

John Biggs' Suite (Tango, Waltz, Basse Danse; Grecian Dance) is altogether more tart - under the Bartok's hegemony. This work was written for Peter Christ expressly for this disc. It is extremely well played by all concerned.

La Traille studied with Grant Fletcher (a totally neglected figure but every bit as deserving of recording as Robert Ward and Don Gillis). The useful notes tell us that he has written a mammoth four movement symphony, a viola concerto and a ballet Ojibwa based on the legends of the Chippewa Indians. His father was Chippewa. He has also composed two string quartets, Arizona Nights (dedicated to the memory of Ronald LoPresti) for clarinet, harp and strings and a Concertino for soprano sax and clarinet ensemble. The Oboe Quintet is fashioned on the fast -slow-fast model. There are moments of great and memorable tenderness in this writing - try the andante. The flicker-chaffing Presto Vivo is part Malcolm Arnold and part Britten.

I would very much like to hear more of La Traille's other works and indeed Muradian's. Peter Christ and his collaborators are the soul of enthusiastic discretion and sensitive response.

- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International


“Christ’s musicianship is unequivocally dead-on, and the same can be said for his colleagues.” - Fanfare


“The oboe’s many facets are explored in colourful and listener-friendly ways…Muradian’s three movements abound in lively and lyrical writing that lends itself beautifully to this intimate setting. Kosins’ Rendezvous and Dreams [has] considerable panache…Biggs trips the international light fantastic to vibrant effect. LaTraille whips up spicy melodic and rhythmic ingredients.” - Gramophone
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Oboe, Op. 25 by Vazgen Muradian
Performer:  Bruce McIntosh (Cello), Peter Christ (Oboe), Debbie Dare (Violin),
Daniel Rouslin (Violin), Joseph Gold (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Crystal Chamber Soloists
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962; USA 
Rendezvous and Dreams by Martin Scot Kosins
Performer:  Peter Christ (Oboe), Lisa Bergman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1980; USA 
Dance Suite by John Biggs
Performer:  Peter Christ (Oboe), Daniel Rouslin (Violin), Charles Noble (Viola),
Bruce McIntosh (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Crystal Chamber Soloists
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1999-2000; USA 
Quintet for Oboe and Strings by Gregory La Traille
Performer:  Daniel Rouslin (Violin), Peter Christ (Oboe), Michael Grossman (Violin),
Abigail Stoughton (Viola), Bruce McIntosh (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Crystal Chamber Soloists
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 

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