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American Music for Strings / Schwarz, Los Angeles CO


Release Date: 12/01/2009 
Label:  Nonesuch   Catalog #: 79002   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Samuel BarberElliott CarterDavid DiamondIrving Fine
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 37 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Sensitive performances of beautiful and intense works that deserve a wider audience.

Barber's Serenade, Op. 1 has been overshadowed by his Dover Beach (Op. 3). Written in 1928 or 1929, it was, like the famous Adagio, originally for string quartet and was later arranged by the composer for string orchestra. It is very assured, but although quite likeable—more so, for the present writer, than much of his later work—it holds less interest than the other music here. Indeed, it is sad to think that although it contains some excellent things this record is unlikely to attract much attention because two of the composers, David Diamond and Irving Fine, are virtually unknown here, and both are unrepresented in the current
Read more Gramophone Classical Catalogue.

Dating from 1944, Diamond's Rounds is one of this prolific composer's most frequently performed pieces. There were in fact several early recordings, such as the mono Capitol one by Golschmann and the Concerts Art Orchestra (CTL7056, 9/54—nla). On the present disc one particularly appreciates the fine digital sound, as this vividly conveys the communicative energy of Diamond's writing. Canonic and fugal devices are quite prominent, and this pupil of Boulanger and Sessions is much concerned with precise structure and texture; the whole has a pleasing spontaneity and the Adagio is especially beautiful.

Carter and Fine both were pupils of Boulanger and Piston, and the former's Elegy, written c.1939, was originally for cello and piano, then arranged for string quartet, then string orchestra. Mainly it is a long, expressive melodic line with a slower-moving chordal accompaniment. Fine's Serious Song, too, as the composer said, is "essentially an extended aria for string orchestra". It dates from 1955 and possesses both clarity and intensity; it has warmth but also a degree of severity. Like the other pieces, it receives a most sensitive performance.

-- Gramophone [3/1982]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Serenade for Strings, Op. 1 by Samuel Barber
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; USA 
2.
Elegy for String Quartet by Elliott Carter
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USA 
3.
Rounds by David Diamond
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USA 
4.
Serious Song by Irving Fine
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; USA 

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