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No Seasons / Malikian, Non Profit Music Chamber Orchestra

Piazzolla / Malikian / Non Profit Music Chamber
Release Date: 04/13/2010 
Label:  Non Profit Music   Catalog #: 903  
Composer:  Joan ValentJorge GrundmanAstor Piazzolla
Performer:  Daniel del PinoAra MalikianSusana Cordón
Conductor:  Ara Malikian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Non Profit Music Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

Non Profit Music specializes in contemporary tonal music, and that's exactly what we find on this very enjoyable CD. As a "concept" album it works unusually well, much better than most of its type. The Piazzolla piece is quite well known; it's performed here in the arrangement for solo violin and chamber orchestra made for Gidon Kremer, but it has to be said that conductor/violinist Ara Malikian plays the piece better than Kremer did, with more guts in the hard-driving passages and sweeter tone in the lyrical episodes. Equally substantial is Joan Valent's Four Seasons in Mallorca. The style is somewhat minimalist, though with more
Read more variable harmony, some atmospheric percussion effects, and a lovely melody or two (particularly in "Summer", with its evocative pizzicato accompaniment). It's a fine work, well worth getting to know.

Jorge Grundman's Four Sad Seasons Over Madrid is effectively a lengthy concert aria setting four poems about a woman's coming to grips over the course of a year with the death of her lover. The first three "seasons" (summer, autumn, and winter) effectively flow together, while the tempo increases to create a natural climax in "spring". The poems are set in English, and I will give the performers the benefit of the doubt where the printed text looks a bit, uh, strange grammatically (i.e. "leaved" rather than "left" in the last poem). The idiom is unashamedly sentimental and cinematic in the same way that, say, Malcolm Arnold is in the slow movement of his Fifth symphony, and the scoring for strings and piano is very effective. Best of all, soprano Susana Cordón offers a really excellent account of the solo part--remarkably good diction, excellent intonation, and lovely timbre in all registers.

The whimsically-named Non Profit Chamber Orchestra is obviously a "pick-up" ensemble, but a very good one nonetheless. The group plays excellently for Ara Malikian, and the SACD multi-sonics are lifelike, warm, and well-balanced. This production really does showcase the ongoing vitality of traditionally tonal music, and it repays repeated listening. Very appealing indeed.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Quatre Estacions A Mallorca by Joan Valent
Performer:  Daniel del Pino (Piano), Ara Malikian (Violin)
Conductor:  Ara Malikian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Non Profit Music Chamber Orchestra
Period: 21st Century 
Written: Spain 
2. Four Sad Seasons Over Madrid by Jorge Grundman
Performer:  Susana Cordón (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ara Malikian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Non Profit Music Chamber Orchestra
Period: 21st Century 
Written: Spain 
3. Las estaciones porteñas (4) by Astor Piazzolla
Conductor:  Ara Malikian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Non Profit Music Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967-1970; Argentina 
Notes: English title: "Four Seasons in Buenos Aires" arranged by Leonid Desyatnikov. 

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