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The Medinah Sessions / Chicago Pro Musica


Release Date: 08/07/2001 
Label:  Reference Recordings   Catalog #: 2102   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard StraussAlexander ScriabinIgor StravinskyKurt Weill,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Pro Musica
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Tangy ensemble works heard in superbly lucid playing and recording technology to match.

The content of these two discs was first issued by Reference as RR16, RR17 and RR29.

As you can see it's a pretty eclectic mix with the 20th century almost counting as the only unifying element apart from this conductor-less chamber ensemble and the halcyon recording sessions at Medinah Temple, Chicago. The collection was first issued in this format in 2001 and now enjoys a new lease of reissued life as do Reference's other doubles of Serebrier's Janá?ek and Chadwick.

The CPM tap straight into Walton's jazz age Facade, eager and lazy-hazy, salty and witty. The Till reduction for 25 musicians
Read more captures Strauss's cheeky essence. It is followed by the sultry little Scriabin waltz - almost a siesta - certainly not a fiesta. The Nielsen Serenata in Vano is a sleepy little charmer in CPM's hands. The Stravinsky suite is typically alert and benefits from the nasal pepper and klaxon blare imparted by the ever well-judged playing and apt recorded ambience. It's a startlingly apposite recording. From this it's not a long stride to Weill's Threepenny Opera Suite. Weill's acrid hybrid of diesel fumes, sleazy dances and melody is put delightfully through its paces. Paul Bowles' eight movement suite is a series of concise, raucously witty and sometimes Poulencian sketches. The four movements of the Martin? are in a similar gawky and oddball jazzy idiom. It was written during one of his experimental phases in Paris in 1927. Varese's Octandre in three short movements is the most elliptical of the works here. CPM's reading feels completely collegiate with Varese's intentions. We shake free of the 1920s ascendancy with a final and grippingly close-up reduction of Rimsky's Capriccio Espagnol. It would have been good if the clearly delineated episodes in the Capriccio had been separately accessible.

The CPM certainly benefit from its elite line-up that included composer pianist Easley Blackwood (his piano sonatas and symphonies both recorded on Cedille) and clarinettist John Bruce Yeh.

The English-only liner notes are by Edward Kaufman and Patrick Rucker.

Superbly lucid playing and recording technology to match these tangy ensemble works largely from a time that will soon be a century ago.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28 by Richard Strauss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Pro Musica
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894-1895; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1983 
Venue:  Medinah Temple, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 8 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Franz Hasenöhrl
This arrangement was titled "Til Eulenspiegel - Einmal Anders!" by the
arranger. 
2.
Waltz for Piano in A flat major, Op. 38 by Alexander Scriabin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Pro Musica
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; Russia 
Date of Recording: 08/1983 
Venue:  Medinah Temple, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 5 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Willard Elliot 
3.
L'histoire du soldat: Suite for Chamber Ensemble by Igor Stravinsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Pro Musica
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918; Switzerland 
Date of Recording: 08/1983 
Venue:  Medinah Temple, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 26 Minutes 34 Secs. 
4.
Die Dreigroschenoper: Suite by Kurt Weill
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Pro Musica
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1988 
Venue:  Medinah Temple, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 20 Minutes 48 Secs. 
5.
Music for a Farce by Paul Bowles
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Pro Musica
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1988 
Venue:  Medinah Temple, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 12 Minutes 36 Secs. 
6.
La Revue de Cuisine by Bohuslav Martinu
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Pro Musica
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/1988 
Venue:  Medinah Temple, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 13 Minutes 58 Secs. 
7.
Octandre by Edgard Varčse
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Pro Musica
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; New York, USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1988 
Venue:  Medinah Temple, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 7 Minutes 14 Secs. 
8.
Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Pro Musica
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Russia 
Date of Recording: 08/1983 
Venue:  Medinah Temple, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 14 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Easley Blackwood 
9.
Serenata in vano for Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Cello and Double Bass, FS 68 by Carl Nielsen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Pro Musica
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; Denmark 
Date of Recording: 08/1983 
Venue:  Medinah Temple, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 6 Minutes 44 Secs. 
10.
Façade Suite by Sir William Walton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Pro Musica
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; England 
Date of Recording: 08/1983 
Venue:  Medinah Temple, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 20 Minutes 48 Secs. 

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