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Thoughts And Dreams - Contemporary Works For Piano Trio

Release Date: 04/03/2007 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 908   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Leif SegerstamHans Werner HenzeVache SharafyanJonathan Golove,   ... 
Performer:  Movses PogossianStephen ManesJonathan Golove
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baird Trio
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


SEGERSTAM Trio No. 2, “Of Thoughts in One Movement.” HENZE Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano, “Kammersonate (rev. 1963). SHARAFYAN Trio No. 2, “Dream of Dreams.” Read more class="COMPOSER12">GOLOVE Bad Dreams. MANSURIAN Bagatelles

These five pieces, from five composers, were written from 1948 to 2004. They are widely varied, so there should be something here for everyone to like. Since no two of us may agree on which ones, I will attempt to describe them without revealing my own preferences, although I don’t believe for a moment that I will succeed.

Leif Segerstam is the well-known Finnish conductor, who is also a full-time (to judge from his vast œuvre ) composer. His one-movement Trio, written in 1977, contains aleatoric elements; he notates the expressive moods in detail (at one point quasi sempre agitato e rubato con agressivita ) but asks the performers to choose the dynamics, after enough rehearsals to “come to an intuitive sense of its musical requirements.” The Baird Trio tilts to the piano side of the dynamic scale.

If one is listening consecutively, the brash opening of Henze’s Allegro assai breaks the spell. His early trio experiments with a few serialist elements, but he had no training in such techniques. As he later wrote, the 12-tone elements “merely flutter into occasional view.” Written in a few days at his first Darmstadt Festival, “Kammersonate” sounds like a young man trying to impress his gurus-of-the-moment. Each of five movements rolls along with its own feeling, the disc’s variety-of-five repeated in miniature.

Vache Sharafyan’s 2003 Trio, commissioned by the Baird Trio, strongly reflects his Armenian heritage, its traditions updated by Western modernism. As did Henze, he drops in a tone row here or there, but it is a Janá?ek-like intensity that holds this long single movement together.

Jonathan Golove is the cellist of the Baird Trio, for whom he wrote Bad Dreams in 2002–04. Its two movements, “Hurricane Street” and “Bad Dreams (The Seventeenth Murder),” represent scenes from an unfinished opera on Dashiell Hammett’s detective novel, Red Harvest , and employ well-disguised references to old-time popular songs. The booklet’s detailed synopses of each scene help the listener follow the music.

Tigran Mansurian is a leading Armenian composer, although his music is less reliant on local tradition than is Sharfyan’s. His 1985 five Bagatelles are perhaps the most conventional music here—works of weight and substance that conform to their title only in brevity.

The performances are competent and straightforward rather than inspirational, which allows us to understand and appreciate what these varied works have to offer. While there may be no revelations here, that variety and the presence of three recording premieres (Segerstam, Sharafyan, and Golove) make this disc eminently recommendable.

FANFARE: James H. North
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Works on This Recording

Trio no 2 "Of Thoughts in One Movement" by Leif Segerstam
Performer:  Movses Pogossian (Violin), Stephen Manes (Piano), Jonathan Golove (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baird Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977; Finland 
Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano "Kammersonate" by Hans Werner Henze
Performer:  Movses Pogossian (Violin), Stephen Manes (Piano), Jonathan Golove (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baird Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Germany 
Notes: Composition written: Germany (1948).
Composition revised: Germany (1963). 
Trio no 2 "Dreams of Dreams" by Vache Sharafyan
Performer:  Movses Pogossian (Violin), Jonathan Golove (Cello), Stephen Manes (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baird Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2003 
Bad Dreams by Jonathan Golove
Performer:  Jonathan Golove (Cello), Stephen Manes (Piano), Movses Pogossian (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baird Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: Composition written: 2002 - 2004. 
Bagatelles (5) for Piano and Strings by Tigran Mansurian
Performer:  Stephen Manes (Piano), Movses Pogossian (Violin), Jonathan Golove (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baird Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1985; Armenia 

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