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Air - Debussy & Takemitsu / Kondonassis

Release Date: 10/28/2008 
Label:  Telarc   Catalog #: 80694   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Claude DebussyToru Takemitsu
Performer:  Yolanda KondonassisCynthia PhelpsJoshua Smith
Conductor:  Bridget-Michaele Reischl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oberline 21
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Yolanda Kondonassis' latest Telarc album is a bit of a departure from her usual fare, as it offers a more "serious" music program. The title "Air" does suggest a breezy tranquility--and that's certainly what you get in her beguiling performance of Debussy's Danses sacrée et profane; but the album explores deeper notions as well. These can be found in Emily Dickinson's And Then I Knew 'Twas Wind, as rendered in Takemitsu's musical recreations, which sound edgy and stark after the tonally plush Debussy.

Takemitsu's Air takes us into the interior spaces where air, as in breath, comes almost to a standstill. But it gently flows again with Debussy's Syrinx, which
Read more relates the story of a nymph who transforms herself into a reed. Like Takemitsu's Toward the Sea II, Debussy's Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp explores tonal ambiguity and timbral austerity--not the usual territory for Kondonassis. But the music is so beautifully played by the harpist, as well as flautist Joshua Smith, violist Cynthia Phelps, and the musicians of Oberlin 21 conducted by Bridget-Michaele Reischl, that even fans of Kondonassis' "light" stuff will find themselves entranced--something the exceptionally vivid recording makes all the more likely. Highly recommended.

--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Danse sacrée et danse profane by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Yolanda Kondonassis (Harp)
Conductor:  Bridget-Michaele Reischl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oberline 21
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; France 
Length: 10 Minutes 20 Secs. 
And Then I Knew It Was the Wind by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Cynthia Phelps (Viola), Yolanda Kondonassis (Harp), Joshua Smith (Flute)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1992; Japan 
Length: 12 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Syrinx by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Joshua Smith (Flute)
Written: 1913 pub 1927 
Length: 2 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Air for Flute solo by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Joshua Smith (Flute)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1996; Japan 
Length: 5 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Toward the Sea II by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Yolanda Kondonassis (Harp), Cynthia Phelps (Viola)
Conductor:  Bridget-Michaele Reischl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oberline 21
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1983; Japan 
Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Joshua Smith (Flute), Cynthia Phelps (Viola), Yolanda Kondonassis (Harp)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 

Featured Sound Samples

Danse sacrée et danse profane (Debussy)
Air for Flute solo (Takemitsu)

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