WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

From Hammers To Bytes - Wernick, Primosch / Lambert Orkis

Release Date: 05/27/2003 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9131   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard WernickJames Primosch
Performer:  Lambert Orkis
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

Back Order: Usually ships in 2 to 3 weeks.  
On sale! $19.98
CD:  $16.99
Back Order

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Known principally as the perceptive accompanist to Mstislav Rostropovich and Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lambert Orkis is a pianist whose sympathies run the gamut of the instrument’s aesthetic and technical evolution. The latter is especially evident here, with two substantial works from the turn of the new century demonstrating what is possible within the hallowed genre of the piano sonata.

The collaboration of Richard Wernick, now in his 70th year, with Orkis has already resulted in a sonata and concerto (3/87 and 11/98). The Second Piano Sonata is an ingeniously constructed piece in three parts. Part I frames an introspective Arioso with a lively Intrada and brittle Toccata – the material of each being reworked, in reverse order,
Read more in Part III. Between them, a sequence of Fantasy Variations intercuts developments of earlier ideas in a lengthy span of cumulative intensity, though the process is not completed until the theme itself returns to round off the work in tranquil repose. Musically, Wernick’s piano writing owes something to the rugged lyricism of Roger Sessions, though with an emotional expansiveness – powerfully articulated – which seems entirely personal.

A one-time pupil of Wernick, James Primosch is in his late forties, and his Sonata-Fantasia evinces an ear for keyboard sonority which is nothing if not inclusive. The work is composed for piano and synthesizer, cross-cut and superimposed so that the sound of one merges directly out of, or into, the other. The opening Theme and Variations explores these possibilities imaginatively, as in the intricate ambience of the central Interlude, and humorously – as in the high-flown Romanticism of Variation XI and the electronic parody that follows. This is proceeded by an adagio of arching intensity, then an allegro whose rhythmic vitality propels the piece to a visceral conclusion. In both instances, the two instruments combine in opening-out the timbral and dynamic spectrum to impressive effect.

Performances are as authoritative as one would expect, recorded in an acoustic which projects the music with clarity while giving it room to breathe. Informative notes from Orkis and the composers enhance appreciation of the disc, cordially recommended for highlighting aspects of American new music refreshingly at variance with the prescribed aesthetic now reaching these shores.

-- Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone [9/2003]
Read less

Works on This Recording

Sonata for Piano no 2 by Richard Wernick
Performer:  Lambert Orkis (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2000; USA 
Sonata-Fantasia for Piano and Synthesizer by James Primosch
Performer:  Lambert Orkis (Synthesizer), Lambert Orkis (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2002; USA 

Sound Samples

Piano Sonata No. 2: I. Part I - I. Intrada - in the form of a march
Piano Sonata No. 2: II. Part I - II. Arioso triste - in the form of a canon
Piano Sonata No. 2: III. Part I - III. Toccata - in the form of an etude
Piano Sonata No. 2: IV. Part II - I. Fantasy Variations
Piano Sonata No. 2: V. Part III - I. Tempo della Toccata
Piano Sonata No. 2: VI. Part III - II. Tempo del'Arioso
Piano Sonata No. 2: VII. Part III - III. Tempo della Marcia
Sonata-Fantasia: I. Theme and Variations - I. Prelude fantasico, quasi improvisando
Sonata-Fantasia: II. Theme and Variations - II. Tema semplice, ma espressivo e con poco rubato
Sonata-Fantasia: III. Theme and Variations - III. Variation I sognando, flessibile
Sonata-Fantasia: IV. Theme and Variations - IV. Variation II scampering; leggiero
Sonata-Fantasia: V. Theme and Variations - V. Variation III con fuoco
Sonata-Fantasia: VI. Theme and Variations - VI. Variation IV moderato, flowing
Sonata-Fantasia: VII. Theme and Variations - VII. Variation V moderato; like a mechanical toy
Sonata-Fantasia: VIII. Theme and Variations - VIII. Variation VI sempre delicato e legato
Sonata-Fantasia: IX. Theme and Variations - IX. Variation VII andante; a bit tipsy
Sonata-Fantasia: X. Theme and Variations - X. Interlude largo, contemplativo
Sonata-Fantasia: XI. Theme and Variations - XI. Variation VIII allegretto
Sonata-Fantasia: XII. Theme and Variations - XII. Variation IX pompous, a little grotesque
Sonata-Fantasia: XIII. Theme and Variations - XIII. Variation X molto vivace
Sonata-Fantasia: XIV. Theme and Variations - XIV. Variation XI grand; in romantic style
Sonata-Fantasia: XV. Theme and Variations - XV. Variation XII senza tempo; quasi cadenza
Sonata-Fantasia: XVI. Theme and Variations - XVI. Variation XIII cryptic
Sonata-Fantasia: XVII. Theme and Variations - XVII. Variation XIV presto
Sonata-Fantasia: XVIII. Theme and Variations - XVIII. Postlude fantastico, quasi improvisando
Sonata-Fantasia: XIX. Meditativo adagio molto, mesto
Sonata-Fantasia: XX. Daddy-O's New Groove, allegro

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook

Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Already a subscriber? Sign In