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From The Heart - 20th Century Music for Basoon and Piano / Morelli, Kalish

Sluka / Boutry / Erod / Morelli / Kalish
Release Date: 10/08/2013 
Label:  Msr   Catalog #: 1458   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Lubos SlukaRoger BoutryIvan ErodAlexandre Tansman,   ... 
Performer:  Frank MorelliGilbert Kalish
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

FROM THE HEART Frank Morelli (bn); Gilbert Kalish (pn) MSR 1458 (69:04)

SLUKA Sonata for Bassoon and Piano. BOUTRY Interferences. ERÖD Sonata Milanese. TANSMAN Sonatine. HINDEMITH Bassoon Sonata. Read more class="COMPOSER12">DUBOIS Sonatine-Tango. RAVEL Kaddish

Frank Morelli was the first player to receive a doctorate in bassoon performance from the Juilliard School and for many years he has been a member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Gilbert Kalish was the pianist for the Boston Symphony Chamber Players for 30 years. On this disc they play a wide-ranging array of 20th-century music for bassoon and piano. Its title, From the Heart, denotes not only affection for the music, but the fact that the composers were born in the heart of Europe. Lubo? Sluka is a contemporary Czech composer who wrote his Cello Sonata in 1956 and adapted it for bassoon in 1971. Morelli took some bassoon passages back to the cello register for this recording. French composer Roger Boutry’s 1972 work Interférences has a jazzy opening and more than a few tricky rhythms, as well as expressive melodies that show the influences of Debussy and Ravel. Hungarian composer Iván Eröd’s 1989 S onata Milanese gets its name from Milan Turkovi?, for whom it was written, not from the city or the style of cooking. After a sprightly opening, Morelli’s bassoon sings the Andante tranquillo with a truly beautiful legato that leads into a melodic Lento . The final Presto section ties all the loose ends together and the work ends in a triumph of technique and artistry. Although he was born in Poland and passed a few years in the United States staying safe from the Nazis, Alexandre Tansman spent most of his life in France. His 1952 neoclassical Sonatine shows the influence of both French and Polish-Jewish music. Christopher Millard plays it on a 2005 Summit Recording, but I don’t think his interpretation is any more interesting than Morelli’s rendition.

Paul Hindemith is best known for his opera Mathis der Mahler , but it is important to hear some of his other works as well. His Sonata for Bassoon and Piano belies the situation of the year 1938, perhaps because he and his wife were safe in Switzerland. His music is light and melodic. The final movement contains a march, but it never threatens. Morelli and Kalish play it with a soulful quality that embodies the best in the German musical heritage. Klaus Thunemann and Ensemble Villa Musica also perform it beautifully on a 1998 MDG recording. Pierre-Max Dubois was a student of Darius Milhaud who promulgated the ideas of Les Six. The first movement of his 1984 Sonatine-Tango purports to be a violent dance. Its rhythms do suggest aggressive motion, but dancing takes over and aggression subsides into lightness and melody. Later, there is a slow dance that culminates in a fast and lively Finale. The last selection is Maurice Ravel’s Kaddish , a religious work that Morelli considers one of the most beautiful pieces he has ever played. Its music includes traditional Jewish prayer modes and some themes from the liturgy for the High Holydays. There are other versions of this work, such as the 2002 Leggiero recording by cellist Richard Locker with pianist Susan Walters, but only Morelli plays it on the bassoon. As with all the selections on this disc, Morelli and Kalish play it with consummate artistry and technical brilliance. The sound is good on this recording, too. Each instrument is heard equally and clearly in every selection. This music may be of greatest interest to bassoon players, but it is good listening for everyone.

FANFARE: Maria Nockin
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Bassoon and Piano by Lubos Sluka
Performer:  Frank Morelli (Bassoon), Gilbert Kalish (Piano)
Interférences by Roger Boutry
Performer:  Frank Morelli (Bassoon), Gilbert Kalish (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1972; France 
Sonata for bassoon and piano, “Milanese” by Ivan Erod
Performer:  Frank Morelli (Bassoon), Gilbert Kalish (Piano)
Sonatina for Bassoon and Piano by Alexandre Tansman
Performer:  Frank Morelli (Bassoon), Gilbert Kalish (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; France 
Sonata for Bassoon and Piano by Paul Hindemith
Performer:  Frank Morelli (Bassoon), Gilbert Kalish (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; Switzerland 
Sonatine Tango by Pierre Max Dubois
Performer:  Frank Morelli (Bassoon), Gilbert Kalish (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984 
Mélodies hébraďques (2): no 1, Kaddisch by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Frank Morelli (Bassoon), Gilbert Kalish (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1919; France 
Transcribed for bassoon and piano by Frank Morelli. 

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