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American Classics - Cowell: Chamber Music / Continuum


Release Date: 02/22/2005 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559192   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Henry Cowell
Performer:  Joel SachsEllen LangCheryl SeltzerMia Wu
Conductor:  Joel Sachs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Continuum
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

“Continuum’s compelling disc, the first of two issued on Naxos’s American Classics line, is a first-rate introduction to [Cowell’s] multi-faceted musical character.” -- Music Week, March 12, 2005

"Naxos' disc of Cowell's chamber music [is the] label's far-reaching survey of American music. Continuum is a superb 12-member New York-based new music ensemble led by Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, who take turns with the difficult piano solos. The program includes several unpublished pieces and one, 'The Leprechaun' (a movement from the Irish Suite), that Seltzer had to reconstruct from Cowell's notes (it calls for striking piano strings with a darning egg and pencil, among other things).
We get an enjoyable variety of
Read more instruments and moods: a set of solo piano pieces, followed by the Quartet for Flute, Oboe, Cello and Harpsichord (a lovely, 'retro' work, written in 1954); three funny 'Anti-Modernist Songs' (sung by mezzo Ellen Lang, these are send-ups of Wagner and Strauss that suggest why Cowell's generation turned to folk and the baroque); the baroque-tinged Suite for Violin and Piano; and the Irish Suite for string piano and small orchestra. The three-minute 'Polyphonica' illustrates Cowell's ideas of 'dissonant counterpoint.' Each piece has its charm, its rhythmic charge, and each is carefully worked through." -- DAVID PERKINS, Correspondent, www.newsobserver.com

( Volume 2 is available on Naxos 8559193)
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Works on This Recording

1.
Deep Color by Henry Cowell
Performer:  Joel Sachs (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; USA 
2.
The Fairy Answer by Henry Cowell
Performer:  Joel Sachs (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; USA 
3.
Fabric by Henry Cowell
Performer:  Joel Sachs (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; USA 
4.
Tiger by Henry Cowell
Performer:  Joel Sachs (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1928; USA 
5.
Quartet for Flute, Oboe, Cello and Harp by Henry Cowell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Continuum
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962 
6.
Anti-Modernist Songs (3) by Henry Cowell
Performer:  Ellen Lang (Mezzo Soprano), Cheryl Seltzer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; USA 
7.
Suite for Violin and Piano by Henry Cowell
Performer:  Mia Wu (Violin), Cheryl Seltzer (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Continuum
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; USA 
8.
Polyphonica by Henry Cowell
Conductor:  Joel Sachs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Continuum
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925 
9.
Irish Suite for String Piano and Chamber Orchestra by Henry Cowell
Performer:  Cheryl Seltzer (Piano)
Conductor:  Joel Sachs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Continuum
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; USA 

Sound Samples

Set of 2 Movements: Deep Color
The Fairy Answer
Fabric
Tiger
Quartet for Flute, Oboe, Cello and Harpsichord: I. Con moto - Allegro
Quartet for Flute, Oboe, Cello and Harpsichord: II. Lento
Quartet for Flute, Oboe, Cello and Harpsichord: III. Allegro moderato
Quartet for Flute, Oboe, Cello and Harpsichord: IV. Molto vivace
3 Anti-Modernist Songs: A Sharp where you'd expect a Natural
3 Anti-Modernist Songs: Hark! From the Pit a Fearsome Sound
3 Anti-Modernist Songs: Who wrote this fiendish 'Rite of Spring'?
Suite: I. Largo
Suite: II. Allegretto
Suite: III. Andante tranquillo
Suite: IV. Allegro marcato
Suite: V. Andante calmato
Suite: VI. Presto
Polyphonica
Irish Suite: The Banshee
Irish Suite: The Leprechaun
Irish Suite: The Fairy Bells

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