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Schuller: Sextet, Fantasy-suite, Duologue / Finn, Et Al

Release Date: 10/26/1999 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9093   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gunther Schuller
Performer:  Michael FinnCharles AbramovicDavid StarobinGregory Fulkerson
Conductor:  Gunther Schuller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Miró String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

At 75, the American composer, conductor, and scholar Gunther Schuller is one of the world's most hyperactive musicians. These three chamber music works show him at the peak of his creative activity. Written for the unusual combination of bassoon, string quartet, and piano, the Sextet (1986) starts in a dark, tense mood "ŕ la Schnittke", to end with a light, vivacious, jazzy toccata. In between, the instrumental timbres intertwine to create a densely chromatic harmonic texture of great effect, somewhat reminiscent of Schoenberg, and the bassoon finds space in the slow movement to sing a lament-like melody. Surprisingly--as the guitar isn't exactly the best-suited instrument for this kind of exercise--the same taste for full-bodied Read more sonorities and complex polyphony is at work in the Fantasy-Suite for solo guitar (1994), where Schuller cleverly quotes the Forlane from Ravel's Tombeau de Couperin for piano. The composer's perfectly idiomatic writing, combined with David Starobin's astonishing virtuosity, make this work into a little masterpiece. Finally, the Duologue for violin and piano (1981) displays a tasty blend of Szymanowskian refinement and voluptuousness with humorous, motoric drive. A short conversation between the composer and David Starobin completes this important release, which is as well recorded as it is authoritatively performed.

--Luca Sabbatini, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Sextet for Bassoon, Piano and Strings by Gunther Schuller
Performer:  Michael Finn (Bassoon), Charles Abramovic (Piano)
Conductor:  Gunther Schuller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Miró String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1986 
Date of Recording: 12/1998 
Venue:  Mastersound Studios, Astoria, NYC 
Length: 17 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Fantasy-Suite for Guitar by Gunther Schuller
Performer:  David Starobin (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994 
Date of Recording: 12/1998 
Venue:  Mastersound Studios, Astoria, NYC 
Length: 15 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Duologue for Violin and Piano by Gunther Schuller
Performer:  Gregory Fulkerson (Violin), Charles Abramovic (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1983; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Mastersound Studios, Astoria, NYC 
Length: 24 Minutes 37 Secs. 

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