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American Classics - Rorem: Flute Concerto, Etc / Serebrier

Release Date: 05/16/2006 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559278   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ned Rorem
Performer:  Jeffrey KhanerPhilippe Quint
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a very easy call: marvelous music, exceptional performances, top-notch engineering--it all adds up to the strongest possible recommendation. Pilgrims is a lovely, lyrical work for string orchestra that makes an attractive disc-opener, but the two concertos are the standout items. Both are written as suites of brief movements, avoiding traditional forms. They actually resemble song-cycles more than anything else, and given Rorem's acknowledged mastery of that medium, not to mention the relationship between the concerto idea and vocal music generally, it's obvious that he is in his element.

The Flute Concerto is a world premiere. It was composed in 2002 for Jeffrey
Read more Khaner, and it's an exceptionally fine piece, beautiful to listen to and (evidently) quite grateful to play. We seem to be enjoying a bonanza of fine modern flute concertos, what with this work and the numerous pieces written for Sharon Bezaly as well. At about 30 minutes, it's a substantial piece, and Rorem's orchestration is beautifully calculated to give the soloist maximum opporunity for display, without the orchestra ever sounding excessively inhibited. Best of all, the thematic material really is memorable.

The same virtues characterize the Violin Concerto (1985), which was recorded previously by Bernstein and Gidon Kremer. Frankly, Philippe Quint plays better, with more attractive tone, and Serebrier offers a very fine account of the accompaniment. Rorem's orchestral music doesn't get the same amount of attention as his songs, but like the French music that he so admires, it allies expressive directness to a keen sense of instrumental color and superior craftsmanship. As a supplement to Serebrier's superb recording of the composer's three symphonies for Naxos, this disc is a must for collectors. [5/19/2006]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Pilgrims by Ned Rorem
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; USA 
Venue:  Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Notes: Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, England (06/16/2005 - 06/17/2005) 
Concerto for Flute by Ned Rorem
Performer:  Jeffrey Khaner (Flute)
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2002; USA 
Venue:  Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, England 
Length: 31 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, England (06/16/2005 - 06/17/2005) 
Concerto for Violin by Ned Rorem
Performer:  Philippe Quint (Violin)
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; USA 
Venue:  Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, England 
Length: 24 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, England (06/16/2005 - 06/17/2005) 

Sound Samples

Flute Concerto: I. The Stone Tower
Flute Concerto: II. Leaving - Traveling - Hoping
Flute Concerto: III. Sirens
Flute Concerto: IV. Hymn
Flute Concerto: V. False Waltz
Flute Concerto: VI. Resume and Prayer
Violin Concerto: I. Twilight
Violin Concerto: II. Toccata - Chaconne
Violin Concerto: III. Romance Without Words
Violin Concerto: IV. Midnight
Violin Concerto: V. Toccata - Rondo
Violin Concerto: VI. Dawn

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