WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

American Classics - Schifrin, Schuller, Shapiro: Piano Trios

Release Date: 01/16/2001 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559062   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Lalo SchifrinGunther SchullerGerald Shapiro
Performer:  John EakenNancy BaunGloria Whitney
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eaken Piano Trio
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $12.99
CD:  $11.49
In Stock

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Lalo Schifrin, Gunther Schuller, & Gerald Shapiro: Apart from the phonic compatibility of these composers' last names and the fact that they are notable contemporaries, their piano trios featured here (written within a decade of each other) also happen to work very well together as a musical set. Schifrin's Hommage à Ravel (he is, by the way, the composer of the Mission: Impossible theme!) is angular and barky, sounding more like Los Angeles-style Bartók than Ravel, and it bounces well against Schuller's smoky, post-bop atonal piece. Gerald Shapiro rounds out the disc with an unabashedly beautiful and melodic work that also has its playful moments (as in his Scherzando à la Russe movement). If some of Schuller's Read more "cool" jazz infusions--such as a walking bass line played by the cello or taps on the bodies of the instruments to simulate drums--seem dated or vulgar, they were new and fresh when composed, even in 1984, and this was part of a style (called "Third Stream") that Schuller was instrumental in devising.

The Eaken piano trio gives rollicking readings of each piece, displaying its collective virtuosity and seemingly endless color palette. Schifrin's "Tango" is appropriately brash, Schuller's "With Swing" does, in fact, swing, and Shapiro's subtle and beautiful harmonies are not cheezed up but are played with finesse and focus. This group has given each of these pieces serious thought, offering intelligent performances all around. Intimately recorded for all possible nuance, this disc is a worthwhile investigation of some obscure, interesting repertoire, especially attractive at the Naxos price. Next up: trios by Schoenberg, Schreker, and William Schuman? Maybe Harold Shapero? Elliot Schwartz? The possibilities are endless.
--Daniel Felsenfeld, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Hommage ŕ Ravel by Lalo Schifrin
Performer:  John Eaken (Violin), Nancy Baun (Cello), Gloria Whitney (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eaken Piano Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Trio for Piano and Strings by Gunther Schuller
Performer:  Gloria Whitney (Piano), Nancy Baun (Cello), John Eaken (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eaken Piano Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; USA 
Trio for Piano and Strings by Gerald Shapiro
Performer:  Nancy Baun (Cello), Gloria Whitney (Piano), John Eaken (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eaken Piano Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; USA 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title