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Chicago Concertos / Ramon Salvatore, Paul Freeman


Release Date: 12/10/1996 
Label:  Cedille Records   Catalog #: 28   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Rudolph GanzJohn La Montaine
Performer:  Ramon Salvatore
Conductor:  Paul Freeman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago SinfoniettaBratislava Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 54 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The CD is titled Chicago Concertos, as both composers, Rudolf Ganz and John La Montaine, are closely associated with the Second City. The concertos were written nearly fifty years apart but share some similarities: both are fully tonal, and borrow from popular forms such as jazz and film music. Temperamentally, however, they are very different.

The Ganz, written in 1940 for the fiftieth anniversary of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is the flashier of the two. Ganz was born in Switzerland, and studied with Busoni in Berlin before coming to Chicago. Ganz seemed to have a taste for snappy, martial music, replete with snare drum blasts, xylophone riffs, and triangles tinkling. His is a highly virtuoso writing, and although no
Read more great depths are plumbed here, this is good, splashy fun. La Montaine, who was born in 1920 in Oak Park, Illinois, studied with Ganz, and shares with him a fine sense for colorful and detailed orchestration. His concerto, written in 1989, operates at a lower temperature, but offers a broader and more interesting range of expression. Where Ganz echoes ragtime in his music, La Montaine is inspired by the blues. Ganz is propulsive and bracing; La Montaine is lyrical and thoughtful. The contrast is extremely satisfying.

The late Ramon Salvatore plays brilliantly, and receives alert, polished support from both orchestras. The Cedille recording is, as usual, demonstration quality.

-- Peter Burwasser, Fanfare [3/1997]
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Piano in E flat major by Rudolph Ganz
Performer:  Ramon Salvatore (Piano)
Conductor:  Paul Freeman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1944; USA 
Date of Recording: 02/27/1996 
Venue:  Rosary College, River Forest, Illinois 
Length: 25 Minutes 10 Secs. 
2. Concerto for Piano no 4 by John La Montaine
Performer:  Ramon Salvatore (Piano)
Conductor:  Paul Freeman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bratislava Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 02/1995 
Venue:  Bratislava, Slovakia 
Length: 28 Minutes 51 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto in E flat major, Op. 32: I. March-like: Allegro alla marcia
Piano Concerto in E flat major, Op. 32: II. Song-like: Andante piacevole quasi improvisando
Piano Concerto in E flat major, Op. 32: III. Scherzo: Dance-like (animato)
Piano Concerto in E flat major, Op. 32: IV. Finale: Molto allegro
Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 59: I. Very slow, mysterious: Bold and rhythmic
Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 59: II. Gently flowing, soaringly lyrical
Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 59: III. Slow: Moderate, incisive

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