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Justin Henry Rubin: Constellations

Rubin / Aldridge / Rubin
Release Date: 09/13/2011 
Label:  Msr   Catalog #: 1398   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Justin Rubin
Performer:  Shannon WettsteinErin AldridgeGene KoshinskiJefferson Campbell,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Minnesota Duluth Faculty Woodwind QuDuo Gelland
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



RUBIN Ecloga. Variations on Wie Schön Leuchtet der Morgenstern. Ecossaises. Una Serenata per 5. 3 Chorales. Piccolo Scherzo per 3 Strumenti. Estemporaneo per 2 Musicisti. Samuel Greenberg Constellation. Fantasy on Pamina’s Aria. On Another Last Day Justin Henry Rubin, Shannon Wettstein (pn); Erin Aldridge, Cecilia Gelland, Martin Gelland (vn); Gene Koshinski (perc); UMD Wind Qnt MSR MS 1398 (71:51)


Pianist and organist Justin Henry Rubin is Read more the chair of theory and composition at the University of Minnesota in Duluth. On this compact disc he has recorded compositions written between 2006 and 2010. Working at a major university with an excellent music department, he has many fine instrumentalists to call upon to play his music. They, in turn, profit from his writing for their specific talents. The disc contains 10 pieces, beginning with the bucolic Ecloga for violin and piano, which he composed in 2006. Pianist Shannon Wettstein plays it with rose-petal-lovely tones while violinist Erin Aldrich demonstrates her virtuosity. The same duo plays the amber-toned variations on the Bach chorale for the feast of the Annunciation and the plaintive Estemporaneo per Due Musicisti . One of the most interesting pieces, Ecossaises, consists of four engaging movements: frettoloso (hasty), buffonesco (comical), vezzoso (charming), and ondeggiante (undulating). It pairs violin and marimba, a combination that works quite well because basically the percussive marimba has pitches that can replace the piano. The Piccolo Scherzo per Tre Strumenti is an amusing piece that uses the same pair of instruments with the addition of a bass line played by bassoonist Jefferson Campbell. Una Serenata per Cinque is a pleasing chamber work interpreted by the University of Minnesota’s Duluth Faculty Woodwind Quintet.


Two catchy folk dances are joined by a lyrical interlude and are brought to a fitting end in a rousing canon. Martin and Cecilia Gelland, Swedish violinists, form the Duo Gelland. They play the closely harmonized Three Chorales and the sometimes happy, sometimes lyrical Samuel Greenberg Constellation . Rubin’s disc continues with the fantasy on Pamina’s aria “Ach, ich Fühl’s” from Mozart’s The Magic Flute . Somehow, hearing the soprano’s music played on Campbell’s bassoon with Wettstein at the piano is rather unexpected, but it works. The finale is a short piece titled On Another Last Day , and it is the only work played by the composer. In it, he and violinist Aldridge celebrate the end of the school year, but their joy is tempered with sadness at the loss of companionship.


Rubin’s music is interesting and distinctive. He knows how to write for each of the instruments he calls for and he harmonizes them well. Recording engineer Eric Swanson provides good balances, especially for the quintet, and the sound of each instrument on every track is clear. This music may be a bit unusual for some listeners, but it’s very worthwhile for those who like to hear something new.


FANFARE: Maria Nockin
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Works on This Recording

1.
Egloga, for violin & piano by Justin Rubin
Performer:  Shannon Wettstein (Piano), Erin Aldridge (Violin)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2006 
Venue:  Sacred Heart Studios, Duluth, Minnesota 
Length: 8 Minutes 17 Secs. 
2.
Variations on "Wie Schön Leuchtet Der Morgenstern", for violin & piano by Justin Rubin
Performer:  Shannon Wettstein (Piano), Erin Aldridge (Violin)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2009 
Venue:  Sacred Heart Studios, Duluth, Minnesota 
Length: 7 Minutes 7 Secs. 
3.
Ecossaises, for violin & marimba by Justin Rubin
Performer:  Gene Koshinski (Marimba), Erin Aldridge (Violin)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2009-2010 
Venue:  Sacred Heart Studios, Duluth, Minnesota 
Length: 11 Minutes 47 Secs. 
4.
Una Serenata Per Cinque, for ensemble by Justin Rubin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Minnesota Duluth Faculty Woodwind Qu
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2007 
Venue:  Sacred Heart Studios, Duluth, Minnesota 
Length: 9 Minutes 9 Secs. 
5.
Chorales (3), for 2 violins by Justin Rubin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Gelland
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2009 
Date of Recording: 06/30/2010 
Venue:  Laxsjö Church, Sweden 
Length: 6 Minutes 6 Secs. 
6.
Piccolo Scherzo, for violin, bassoon & percussion by Justin Rubin
Performer:  Jefferson Campbell (Bassoon), Erin Aldridge (Violin), Gene Koshinski (Percussion)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2009 
Venue:  Sacred Heart Studios, Duluth, Minnesota 
Length: 4 Minutes 25 Secs. 
7.
Estemporaneo per Due Musicisti, for violin & piano by Justin Rubin
Performer:  Shannon Wettstein (Piano), Erin Aldridge (Violin)
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Sacred Heart Studios, Duluth, Minnesota 
Length: 6 Minutes 37 Secs. 
8.
Samuel Greenberg Constellation, for 2 violins by Justin Rubin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Gelland
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2009 
Date of Recording: 06/30/2010 
Venue:  Laxsjö Church, Sweden 
Length: 8 Minutes 34 Secs. 
9.
Fantasy on Pamina's Aria "Ach, Ich Fühl's", for bassoon & piano by Justin Rubin
Performer:  Jefferson Campbell (Bassoon), Shannon Wettstein (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2009 
Venue:  Sacred Heart Studios, Duluth, Minnesota 
Length: 7 Minutes 26 Secs. 
10.
On Another Last Day..., for violin & piano by Justin Rubin
Performer:  Justin Rubin (Piano), Erin Aldridge (Violin)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2009 
Venue:  Sacred Heart Studios, Duluth, Minnesota 
Length: 2 Minutes 47 Secs. 

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