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Ethelbert Nevin

[February 2014.]


Rodion Konstantinovich SHCHEDRIN: Concerto for Orchestra No. 4, “Khorovody” (1989); Concerto for Orchestra No. 5, “Four Russian Songs” (1998); Kristallene Gusli (Crystal Psaltery) (1999). Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Kirill Karabits (cond.). Naxos 8.572405 (1 CD) (

A distinct nostalgic voice whose Concerto No. 4 idly reconstructs a lost Russia. No. 5 is jaded and bittersweet. The encore levitates. YES.


Georges ONSLOW: String Quintet in C minor, Op. 38, “The Bullet” (1829); String Quintet in E major, Op. 39 (1830); String Quintet in B minor, Op. 40 (1830). L’Archibudelli and Smithsonian Chamber Players: Vera Beths, Lisa Rautenberg (vln), Stephen Dann (vla), Anner Bylsma, Kenneth Slowik (vlc). Sony SK 64 308 (1 CD) (

Op. 38 recollects how Onslow took a bullet to the head and lived. Explore the forgotten French Beethoven expertly performed on Strads. YES.


Karl-Birger BLOMDAHL: Symphony No. 1 (1943); Symphony No. 2 (1947); Symphony No. 3, “Facets” (1950). Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Leif Segerstam (cond.). BIS CD 611 (1 CD) (

Cut right to Facets’ hard edges, the developing-variation Third from Aniara’s composer. Nos. 1 and 2’s modernism wears acceptably. MAYBE.


George ROCHBERG: String Quartet No. 3 (1971); String Quartet No. 4 (1977); String Quartet No. 5 (1978); String Quartet No. 6 (1978). Concord String Quartet: Mark Sokol, Andrew Jennings (vln), John Kochanowski (vla), Norman Fischer (vlc). New World Records 80551-2 (2 CDs) (

Controversial and Romantic, but heartfelt and thusly courageous. But can you really ever go home? The Concord plays with determination. YES.


Giovanni BONONCINI: Asst. Cantatas and Sinfonias. Cyril Auvity (ten), L’Yriade: Léonor de Recondo, Birgit Goris (vln), Elisa Joglar (vlc), Isabelle Sauveur (hpsi), André Henrich (lute, guit). Ramée RAM 1006 (1 CD) (

Two bright sinfonias and four fine cantatas from the forgotten Bononcini most elegantly executed. I should collect every Ramée release. YES.


Roomful of Teeth.” Var comps. Roomful of Teeth: Martha Cluver, Estelí Gomez, Caroline Shaw, Virginia Warnken, Eric Dudley, Avery Griffin, Dashon Burton, Cameron Beauchamp, Brad Wells (cond.). New Amsterdam Records NWAM041 (1 CD) (

Eight voices with fine extended technique (yodeling, harmonics, throat singing, etc.) in 13 Swingle-esque and possibly annoying pieces. NO.