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James Galway Plays Lowell Liebermann


Release Date: 10/13/1998 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 63235   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Lowell Liebermann
Performer:  James GalwayHyun-Sun Na
Conductor:  Lowell Liebermann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Mozart Players
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

As Stephen Hough's sparkling Hyperion coupling of his Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 readily demonstrated (9/97), the music of Lowell Liebermann communicates warmly and vividly. For all the lyrical fervour of Liebermann's beguiling idiom, it rarely cloys, thanks in no small measure to the formidable craft he so abundantly possesses (not for nothing was he a pupil of David Diamond at the Juilliard School). The substantial opening Moderato of the Flute Concerto (commissioned and premiered by Galway in 1992 with Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra) starts and finishes like some lost instalment from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, but the bulk of the movement is given over to a wistful chaconne which Liebermann then proceeds to work out Read more with a graceful fluency and imaginative resource that will surprise no one already familiar with the thirdmovement passacaglia of Liebermann's impressive Second Piano Concerto. If the two remaining movements aren't perhaps on quite the same level of inspiration, the solo writing is grateful, the scoring stylish and the whole work makes a most appealing addition to the genre.

In many ways, the Piccolo Concerto (1996) shares the same ground-plan as that of the Flute Concerto, its first two movements again displaying a mastery of variation technique, followed by a wittily ebullient finale (which quotes from Mozart's Symphony No. 40, Beethoven's Eroica and Sousa's The Stars and Stripes Forever). The central Adagio is especially reminiscent of Shostakovich in its icily atmospheric chill, but there are strong echoes of the Russian master throughout (whom Liebermann openly acknowledges as 'one of my biggest musical influences'). Again, the scoring is always deft and economical, as it is in the single-movement Flute and Harp Concerto of 1995, which adds just five instruments to the forces asked for in Mozart's predecessor. If I have a complaint about both these pieces, it would be that, for all their bewitching surface beauty, I found myself craving more in the way of emotional trenchancy and gritty argument. Liebermann's compositional gifts are not in doubt, but there's a restricted range of tonality and expression here that tends to pall after a while.

Galway is his usual immaculate self, as effortlessly assured an exponent of the piccolo as he is a flautist, and forming a sensitive partnership with Hyun-Sun Na in the Flute and Harp Concerto. Moreover, the London Mozart Players respond with enthusiasm under the composer's shapely lead. Vivid sound, too, though not without a touch of 0 multi-miked glare in some of the busier lulls (and there was even an occasional hint of overload in the Piccolo Concerto).

-- Gramophone [2/1999]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piccolo, Op. 50 by Lowell Liebermann
Performer:  James Galway (Piccolo)
Conductor:  Lowell Liebermann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Mozart Players
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1996; USA 
Date of Recording: 12/1997 
Venue:  Whitfield Street Studios, London 
Length: 25 Minutes 1 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Flute and Harp, Op. 48 by Lowell Liebermann
Performer:  James Galway (Flute), Hyun-Sun Na (Harp)
Conductor:  Lowell Liebermann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Mozart Players
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1995; USA 
Date of Recording: 12/1997 
Venue:  Whitfield Street Studios, London 
Length: 19 Minutes 47 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for Flute, Op. 39 by Lowell Liebermann
Performer:  James Galway (Flute)
Conductor:  Lowell Liebermann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Mozart Players
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1992 
Date of Recording: 12/1997 
Venue:  Whitfield Street Studios, London 
Length: 24 Minutes 35 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Andante comodo
Adagio
Presto
Moderato
Moderato
Molto adagio
Presto

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