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Wyner: Orchestral Music / Spano, Wyner

Release Date: 03/10/2009 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9282   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Yehudi Wyner
Performer:  Maximilian HornungRobert Levin
Conductor:  Susan Davenny WynerRobert Spano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Festival OrchestraOdense Symphony OrchestraBoston Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

IN time for Yehudi Wyner’s 80th birthday, on Monday, the Bridge label has released a splendid recording of four major works by this respected American composer, including his piano concerto “Chiavi in Mano,” awarded the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for music.

A comprehensive musician, Mr. Wyner is an elegant pianist, a fine conductor, a prolific composer and a revered teacher. His works show a deep understanding of what sounds good and is technically efficient. His musical interests range widely. I have heard him discuss insightfully both Monteverdi’s approach to recitative and Frank Sinatra’s legato singing.

All these qualities come together in the concerto, written during a stay at the American Academy in Rome in 2004.
Read more “Chiavi in Mano,” a term used by car salesmen and real-estate brokers in Italy, translates as “Keys in Hand.” This 19-minute, single-movement concerto is run through with American vernacular. Yet the overall language is distinctively modern. Mr. Wyner absorbed the idioms of 12-tone music without practicing the technique strictly.

“Chiavi in Mano” was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a project instigated by the pianist Robert Levin. And this live recording from Boston in 2005, conducted by Robert Spano, is a knockout. Mr. Levin plays with fleet technique and rhapsodic freedom. The piece ends with an odd outburst of what seems pummeling honky-tonk, further evidence of Mr. Wyner’s free thinking.

Susan Davenny Wyner, his wife, conducts three other searching works. She leads the Odense Symphony Orchestra of Denmark in Mr. Wyner’s 1994 cello concerto “Prologue and Narrative” (with Maximilian Hornung as soloist), a 25-minute piece rich in ruminative lyricism and quick-changing moods, and in his “Epilogue: In Memory of Jacob Druckman.” She also leads the Festival Orchestra of Boston in a rapturous account of Mr. Wyner’s “Lyric Harmony.”

-- Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times
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Works on This Recording

Lyric Harmony by Yehudi Wyner
Conductor:  Susan Davenny Wyner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Festival Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Length: 18 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: USA (1995 - 1996). 
Prologue and Narrative by Yehudi Wyner
Performer:  Maximilian Hornung (Cello)
Conductor:  Susan Davenny Wyner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Odense Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994; USA 
Length: 25 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Epilogue "In memory of Jacob Druckman" by Yehudi Wyner
Conductor:  Susan Davenny Wyner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Odense Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1996; USA 
Length: 8 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Concerto for Piano "Chiavi in mano" by Yehudi Wyner
Performer:  Robert Levin (Piano)
Conductor:  Robert Spano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Written: 2004; USA 
Length: 19 Minutes 18 Secs. 

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