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Allen Bonde: Sound Spectrum


Release Date: 11/15/2011 
Label:  Navona   Catalog #: 5286   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Allen Bonde
Performer:  Allen BondeMara BondeMaria Bonde
Conductor:  Toshiyuki Shimada
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

It’s not every composer who has either the interest or resources to revisit previous musical inspirations but Allen Bonde, blessed as he is with a pianist wife and a soprano daughter, apparently has everything he needs close by. A particular highlight of this musical family gather are two competing settings of the same texts, entitled Three Elizabethan Songs (1965) and Three Elizabethan Songs Revisited (1991), where the elegant simplicity of Bonde’s initial conception—written for a student, the composer reveals in his notes—gives way to a more theoretically developed virtuosity, resulting in equally compelling works. Little of that verve, however, is noticeable in Bonde’s Fantasia (1961), a pseudo-concerto for piano and orchestra from early Read more in the composer’s career that opens the recording with largely unfulfilled promise.

More rewarding on the orchestra front, both structurally and emotionally, in his two-movement Symphony No.1 (1968), which articulates its loosly designed 12-tone schematic with impressive timbral variety.

On a purely musical level, Bonde’s piano music falls somewhere between his songs and symphonic works. Whether solo, as in Sonus I (1972), or duoi, as in Rose Window (2001)—performed with his wife Maria Kushmerick and written for the unveiling of the rose window in the chapel of Mount Holyoke College, where the composer is professor emeritus—Bonde has a way of harnessing a wide range of modernist influences into a structure that can still often sound spontaneously random. Ultimately, though, that range becomes rather a fault. After picking out Bartok, Berg, Stravinsky and Webern, one is still left looking for more Bonde himself.

-- Gramophone
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fantasia for Piano and Orchestra by Allen Bonde
Performer:  Allen Bonde (Piano)
Conductor:  Toshiyuki Shimada
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra
2.
Elizabethan Songs (3) by Allen Bonde
Performer:  Mara Bonde (Soprano), Allen Bonde (Piano)
3.
Elizabethan Songs Revisited (3) by Allen Bonde
Performer:  Mara Bonde (Soprano), Allen Bonde (Piano)
4.
Shakespeare Songs (4) by Allen Bonde
Performer:  Mara Bonde (Soprano), Allen Bonde (Piano)
5.
Sonus I by Allen Bonde
Performer:  Allen Bonde (Piano)
6.
You Were the One by Allen Bonde
Performer:  Mara Bonde (Soprano), Allen Bonde (Piano)
7.
Rose Window by Allen Bonde
Performer:  Allen Bonde (Piano), Maria Bonde (Piano)
8.
Encore Blues by Allen Bonde
Performer:  Allen Bonde (Piano)
9.
Symphony no 1 by Allen Bonde
Conductor:  Toshiyuki Shimada
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra

Sound Samples

Fantasia
3 Elizabethan Songs: No. 1. Counsel to Girls
3 Elizabethan Songs: No. 2. A Ditty
3 Elizabethan Songs: No. 3. Winter
3 Elizabethan Songs Revisited: No. 1. Counsel to Girls
3 Elizabethan Songs Revisited: No. 2. A Ditty
3 Elizabethan Songs Revisited: No. 3. Winter
Symphony No. 1: I. Prelude and Variations on Two Themes
Symphony No. 1: II. Cadenza and Passacaglia
Rose Window
Sonus I
4 Shakespear Songs: No. 1. I Am Ashamed
4 Shakespear Songs: No. 2. Was This Fair Face
4 Shakespear Songs: No. 3. The World's Comforter
4 Shakespear Songs: No. 4. Sigh No More, Ladies
You Were the One
Encore Blues

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