Notes and Editorial Reviews
This sampler from Chicago-based Cedille Records offers well-chosen highlights from what over the past 15 years has become a very impressive catalog. In this case, the program focuses on "soothing selections" that show off the label's Chicago-connected artists and/or composers. Most of the repertoire is 20th-century, and all of it is well worth hearing. It's especially gratifying to encounter rarely heard yet beautiful selections by composers such as Lita Grier (the Andante from her lovely concertino for flute) and Federico Mompou, along with African and African-American composers George Walker, William Grant Still, Chevalier J.J.O. de Meude-Monpas, and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson. Pianist Dmitri Paperno is well-represented
(including a track from Cedille's first recording), as is the Chicago Sinfonietta, which in my mind performs three of the disc's highlights--selections from Walker's gorgeous Lyric for Strings, Still's Symphony No. 1, and Perkinson's Generations: Sinfonietta No. 2 for Strings.
Like other samplers, there are differences in ambience and listener perspective among the 18 tracks, but it's not a big deal here as each selection benefits from Cedille's signature fine sound. Unlike most other samplers, however, this one provides important contextual information regarding each selection, along with a photo of the original release's CD cover art. So, rather than just a set of isolated tracks from a random assortment of recordings that leaves the listener to fend for himself, this one does what a good sampler should: it tells us what the music is, why it's special, and where to hear more. In my case, the music and performances actually made me want to hear more, so I'd say it's a success all around.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Lyric for Strings by George Walker
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1946/1990; USA
Mass in G minor: Kyrie by Ralph Vaughan Williams
His Majesties Clerkes
Period: 20th Century
Renascence: Andante by Lita Grier
Mary Stolper (Flute)
Czech National Symphony Orchestra
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