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First Day / Metcalf, Varga


Release Date: 04/29/2016 
Label:  Sono Luminus   Catalog #: 92201   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  José BragatoBohuslav MartinuCaleb BurhansAlberto Ginastera,   ... 
Performer:  Matei VargaLaura Metcalf
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The title First Day, in the words of the young cellist Laura Metcalf, refers to how "[t]his album represents many firsts, beginnings, and youthful sentiments" for Metcalf and her pianist collaborator, Matei Varga. It's a fair summary of the album's sunny, energetic mood, and it points to Metcalf's personal connections with a couple of the composers on the program. The program is significant, however, in a deeper and more innovative way: what Metcalf offers is a set of works deeply informed by popular music without being "crossover." She draws links among tango and Argentine creole music, Eastern European nationalism, contemporary North American rock, and the French Baroque, making these all fit together in a way no one Read more has before. The music never gets too heavy or too light, and Metcalf's enthusiastic, but perfectly controlled, tone in the weightiest work on the program, George Enescu's Cello Sonata in F minor, is worth sampling in itself (track 8). Her insistence that the works by composers she knows (Caleb Burhans and Dan Visconti) belongs alongside the national traditions of the early 20th century represents a way forward for classical music, and when she breaks into a little Poulenc song at the end, the listener is likely to have to be restrained from taking off into the stratosphere. Superb sound from Sono Luminus, one of the few American labels playing in the engineering big leagues, is a bonus.

– All Music Guide (James Manheim) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Graciela y Buenos Aires by José Bragato
Performer:  Matei Varga (Piano), Laura Metcalf (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 7 Minutes 44 Secs. 
2.
Variations on a Slovak folksong for Cello and Piano by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Matei Varga (Piano), Laura Metcalf (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; Switzerland 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 10 Minutes 7 Secs. 
3.
Phantasie by Caleb Burhans
Performer:  Matei Varga (Piano), Laura Metcalf (Cello)
Period: 20th/21st Centuries 
Written: USA 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 7 Minutes 5 Secs. 
4.
Pampeana no 2 for Cello and Piano, Op. 21 by Alberto Ginastera
Performer:  Matei Varga (Piano), Laura Metcalf (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950; Argentina 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 10 Minutes 4 Secs. 
5.
Hard-Knock Stomp, for viola by Dan Visconti
Performer:  Matei Varga (Piano), Laura Metcalf (Cello)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2000 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 2 Minutes 52 Secs. 
6.
Léocadia: Les chemins de l'amour by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Laura Metcalf (Cello), Matei Varga (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; France 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
7.
Allegro, sonata movement fragment for cello & piano in F minor by George Enescu
Performer:  Matei Varga (Piano), Laura Metcalf (Cello)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1897 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 9 Minutes 9 Secs. 
8.
Couplets de folies, Pieces de Viol, book 2: Variations on "La Folia" by Marin Marais
Performer:  Matei Varga (Piano), Laura Metcalf (Cello)
Period: Baroque 
Written: France 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 8 Minutes 46 Secs. 

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