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Dring, Still, Damase / The Spectral Trio


Release Date: 02/19/2008 
Label:  Blue Griffin   Catalog #: 125   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Madeleine DringWilliam Grant StillJean-Michel Damase
Performer:  Jan EberleKimberly SchmidtRichard Sherman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spectral Trio
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



DRING Trio. 1,2,3 Danza gaya. 1,2 STILL Incantation and Dance. 1,2 Miniatures. 1,2,3 DAMASE Divertissements. 2,3 Trio 1,2,3 Jan Eberle (ob); 1 Kimberly Read more Schmidt (pn); 2 Richard Sherman (fl) 3 BLUE GRIFFIN 125 (57:30)


Amazingly, these pieces all announce themselves within a bar or two. No masterpieces, their full characters are as instantly revealed as in the Fifth Symphony or Le sacre . Madeline Dring (1923–1977) was an English composer of light music. Her works here overflow with grace and charm; there is not a cloud in the sky. In her Trio, two bouncy Allegros surrounding a lengthier, gentle Andante. Danza gaya is a flowing stream of gentle syncopations.


William Grant Still (1895–1978) was the first African-American whose works joined the canon of American masterpieces. Incantation and Dance arrives on a hesitant, plaintive piano solo, and the oboe proves the perfect vessel for the music’s wistful mien. Although tempo and beat pick up for the Dance , the mood remains as somber as it is beautiful. Still’s five Miniatures are Copland-like local scenes, extending from the American West (“I Ride Old Paint”) down to Mexico (“Aldorido”) and Peru (“Yaravi”). All capture the spirit of each locale, yet preserve Still’s personality. “Jesus Is a Rock in the Weary Land” incorporates a mixture of jazz and blues into its classical setting; even the humorous “A Frog Went a-Courtin’” clings to the world-weary atmosphere.


Track 15 makes a sudden 5,000-mile leap, to the heart of Paris. Jean-Michel Damase (b. 1928) is a Poulenc clone; his four brief Divertissements are virtually indistinguishable from the music of the French master, and all have his silken elegance. Damase’s Trio—at 20 minutes, the largest work on the program—brings a big surprise, opening with discordant woodwind shrieks that lead into a far more serious section; a second theme revisits Poulenc but retains some of the harmonic asperity. The second movement is light and humorous, the third even more high-spirited. The final Moderato turns serious again, working its way to a quiet coda.


These expert performers, billed as the Spectral Trio from which the disc takes its title, blend beautifully and have the full measure of every piece. The recorded sound is clean, fresh, and always exceptionally well balanced. The disc is mastered at a very high level, so you may wish to reduce the gain by at least one third. All three composers have much to offer, but I am especially taken with Still’s Miniatures.


FANFARE: James H. North
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Works on This Recording

1.
Danza Gaya for Oboe and Piano by Madeleine Dring
Performer:  Jan Eberle (Oboe), Kimberly Schmidt (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spectral Trio
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
2.
Incantation and Dance for Oboe and Piano by William Grant Still
Performer:  Jan Eberle (Oboe), Kimberly Schmidt (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spectral Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 5 Minutes 18 Secs. 
3.
Miniatures for Flute, Oboe, and Piano by William Grant Still
Performer:  Jan Eberle (Oboe), Kimberly Schmidt (Piano), Richard Sherman (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spectral Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; USA 
Length: 10 Minutes 12 Secs. 
4.
Divertissements (4) for Flute and Piano by Jean-Michel Damase
Performer:  Richard Sherman (Flute), Kimberly Schmidt (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spectral Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 6 Minutes 47 Secs. 
5.
Trio for Flute, Oboe and Piano by Jean-Michel Damase
Performer:  Jan Eberle (Oboe), Kimberly Schmidt (Piano), Richard Sherman (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spectral Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1961; France 

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