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Orchestral Excursions - Richter, Harris / Suben, Et Al

Release Date: 03/11/2004 
Label:  Leonarda   Catalog #: 351   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Marga RichterHoward Harris
Performer:  Robert WeirichRenata Artman KnificPamela FrameGilbert Sabitzer
Conductor:  Joel Eric Suben
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Marga Richter’s Variations and Interludes on Themes from Monteverdi and Bach is designated as a single movement. Helpfully Leonarda has tracked this into eleven segments. This helps with study and assimilation. The Prologue from Monteverdi’s Orfeo was used as the foundation for this set alongside Bach’s C Major Prelude from The Well-Tempered Clavier. The always tonal and fresh music runs to a minute more than three-quarters of an hour. It is magnificently serious (Cello Cadenza) and this is is completely in keeping with the points of origin. The music is grand (the Var 3a-5, limpid (Chorale 4-6, Trio Cadenza, Piano Cadenza), imaginatively glittering, cold, strange and flightily prim (Violin Cadenza), Read more imperiously urgent Var 6-7 and finally serene and rounded in its oratory. Interestingly the work was originally titled “ … beside the still waters”. The three soloists seem, as far as one can tell, to be completely in tune with the music; nothing grates.
The movements of the Richter are:-
1. Introduction, Theme, Var. 1-3 [3:32]
2. Var. 3a, 3b, Interlude, Var. 4 (Chaconne) -5 [6:15]
3. Var. 6-7, Interlude, Chorale 1-3 [5:14]
4. Two before Chorale 4, - Chorale 6, Var. 8-9 (Fantasy) [4:32]
5. Var. 9 (cont), Var. 10 [4:00]
6. Trio Cadenza [3:20]
7. Cello Cadenza [4:46]
8. Violin Cadenza (Part I) [2:55]
9. Violin Cadenza (Part II), begin Piano Cadenza [2:42]
10. Piano Cadenza (cont), Interlude (tutti) Var. 11-12 [6:03]
11. Chorale 7-9, Theme, Coda [2:54]
12. Stately [3:05]
13. Sweetly, Flowing, Simply, Sweetly, Quirky, Flowing [6:09]
14. Explosive [4:00]
15. With a Latin Feel [1:52]
16. Hymnlike, Mad Procession, Serioso/Explosive; Hallucinatory [4:55]
17. With Dignity, Quasi Religioso [3:47]
18. Restless, Stately, Celebratory [3:15]
Howard Harris studied at Juilliard with Sessions, Carter and Hall Overton. His half hour one movement Musicke for Dauncing Judicially is a saxophone concerto. It is tracked in seven segments. The inspiration came from a re-reading of Hesse’s Steppenwolf. The music explores the tension between jazz and the baroque music that forms the object of adulation for Hesse’s hero. The jazz is, by and large, voiced by Gilbert Sabitzer’s alto saxophone – I never became aware of the other members of the Carinthian Sax Quartet. The music’s grave and even melancholic mien fits adroitly with the austere beauties of the Richter. The harpsichord stalks Harris’s pages which are sometimes fraught with dense-woven complexity. The synergy and conflict between classical sources and jazz in all its slinky wonderment are sold for all they are worth – magnificently so at the start of the Quasi Religioso. The stately finale at times touches on similar moments of Handel and Gabrieli in Hovhaness. Nyman also came to mind once or twice though I can assure readers that this is by no means a minimalist piece.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Variations and Interludes on Themes from Monteverdi and Bach by Marga Richter
Performer:  Robert Weirich (Piano), Renata Artman Knific (Violin), Pamela Frame (Cello)
Conductor:  Joel Eric Suben
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1992 
Venue:  Katowice, Poland 
Length: 46 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Notes: Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra 
Musicke for Dauncing Judically by Howard Harris
Performer:  Gilbert Sabitzer (Alto Saxophone)
Conductor:  Joel Eric Suben
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1996 
Venue:  Katowice, Poland 
Length: 227 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Notes: full title: Musicke for Dauncing Judically, proving the true observation of time and measure in the Authenticall and laudable use of Dauncing for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra  

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