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Conversations With Daniel Perantoni, Gail Williams & Friends

Perantoni / Williams / Lenthe / Kim
Release Date: 09/11/2012 
Label:  Summit Records   Catalog #: 597   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  David GillinghamJohn StevensAlec WilderAnthony Plog
Performer:  Kay KimGail WilliamsDaniel PerantoniCarl Lenthe
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 56 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

CONVERSATIONS Gail Williams (hn); Dan Perantoni (tb); Carl Lenthe (tbn); 1 Kay Kim (pn); 2 SUMMIT 597 (66:12)

GILLINGHAM 2 Divertimento. STEVENS Dialogues III. 1 Triangles. WILDER Read more class="SUPER12">2 Suite No. 1. PLOG 2 Dialogue

The program for Conversations is built around the artistry of Gail Williams (horn) and Dan Perantoni (tuba). Williams spent 20 years in the Chicago Symphony, most of them as associate principal horn, and remains much in demand as a teacher, soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist. Perantoni’s career has focused mostly on teaching at Indiana University, but he too performs and records. While he never played in one of the top orchestras, he is certainly good enough to have had almost any job he chose. Together they make a formidable pair, especially to ears that may never have heard the tuba do much besides play “um-pah”s and long tones. These virtuosos play in all five works, and are joined in three of them by pianist Kay Kim and in one by trombonist Carl Lenthe. The music was recorded in November 2010, one month after the death of legendary tuba player Harvey Phillips, in whose memory this CD was produced.

The most attractive and engaging work is David Gillingham’s five-movement Divertimento for horn, tuba, and piano, which sounds much like what Samuel Barber might have written for this combination. In fact, the principal motif of the work corresponds almost exactly to that of the fugal subject in the finale of Barber’s Piano Sonata. A mood of fuming rage such as Barber depicted in his scores about Medea and Andromache simmers just below the surface. The music is tonally oriented, but emphasizes the intervals of sevenths and the ninths.

Purely by coincidence, I’m sure, Dialogues III for horn and tuba by John Stevens (not to be confused with Steven Johns, one of New York’s top freelance tuba players), also has five short movements with similar titles: a Prologue (instead of the Divertimento’s Fanfare), March, Scherzo, Lament (the Divertimento reverses the order of the previous two and has a Nocturne instead), and a final Dance. The title is justified in the way the two instruments share material, singing it together, discussing it, arguing and reaching uneasy truces. Again the writing is based on quasi-tonal motifs, puts both players through virtuosic paces, and exploits the vast combined range of the two instruments—nearly five octaves.

Alex Wilder’s Suite No 1 for horn, tuba, and piano (1963) was one of the first compositions for this combination. Wilder may be the best known name on the program, but I find his suite rather lame compared with the other repertory here. It definitely belongs on a program of “conversations,” as does Anthony Plog’s alternately eloquent and rambunctious Dialogue and Stevens’s playful Triangles (no points for guessing the reason for its title).

Needless to say, there are no audible technical challenges for these outstanding brass players. Pianist Kay Kim too deserves mention, both for her brilliant playing and for the enormous sound she gets from her instrument. The acoustic setting is exceptionally clean and alive. In some of the pieces the tuba is slightly too far forward compared to the horn, which cannot compete in volume or fatness of sound with its larger cousin.

FANFARE: Robert Markow
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Works on This Recording

Divertimento, for horn, tuba & piano by David Gillingham
Performer:  Kay Kim (Piano), Gail Williams (Horn), Daniel Perantoni (Tuba)
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 11/2010 
Venue:  Auer Hall, Jacobs School of Music, India 
Length: 11 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Dialogues for horn & tuba No. 3 by John Stevens
Performer:  Gail Williams (Horn), Daniel Perantoni (Tuba)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1987 
Date of Recording: 11/2010 
Venue:  Auer Hall, Jacobs School of Music, India 
Length: 14 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Suite for Horn, Tuba and Piano no 1 by Alec Wilder
Performer:  Kay Kim (Piano), Gail Williams (French Horn), Daniel Perantoni (Tuba)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2010 
Venue:  Auer Hall, Jacobs School of Music, India 
Length: 14 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Dialogue, for horn, tuba & piano by Anthony Plog
Performer:  Daniel Perantoni (Tuba), Gail Williams (Horn), Kay Kim (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1992 
Date of Recording: 11/2010 
Venue:  Auer Hall, Jacobs School of Music, India 
Length: 4 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Triangles, for horn, trombone & tuba by John Stevens
Performer:  Daniel Perantoni (Tuba), Carl Lenthe (Trombone), Gail Williams (Horn)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1978 
Date of Recording: 11/2010 
Venue:  Auer Hall, Jacobs School of Music, India 
Length: 10 Minutes 16 Secs. 

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