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Ethelbert Nevin

[January 2017.]

Jean-Pierre DROUET: Vie de famille (1999). Ensemble Aleph: Monica Jordan (sop), Dominique Clément (clar), Christophe Roy (vlc), Sylvie Drouin (accordion, synth), Françoise Matringe (pno), Jean-Charles François (perc). Hérissons Prod. LH07 (1 CD) (https://www.facebook.com/label.herisson/).

A modest perplexing explosion as a small, nervous troupe gives life to various French texts while playing. Move over Aperghis and Kagel. YES.

Mark ANDRE: …22,13… A Music-Theatrical Passion (2004). Vocalconsort Berlin, work in progress – Berlin, EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO des SWR, Gerhardt Müller-Goldboom (cond.). Neos 11067-68 (2 SACDs) (http://www.neos-music.com/).

In Andre’s universe, the Apocalypse will be subtle and its schedule will be decided by man-vs.-machine chess games. This needed a DVD. MAYBE.

Peter MAXWELL DAVIES: Symphony No. 2 (1980). BBC Philharmonic, Peter Maxwell Davies (cond.). Collins 14032 (1 CD) (http://www.collinsclassics.co.uk/).

Latterly reissued on Naxos 8.572349, this constipated modernism refuses to lift or sparkle, sonically dull despite ambitious intentions. NO.

The Romantic Piano Concerto – 15.” Jules MASSENET: Piano Concerto in E-flat Major (1903). Reynaldo HAHN: Piano Concerto in E Major (1931). Stephen Coombs (pno), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Jean-Yves Ossance (cond.). Hyperion CDA66897 (1 CD) (http://www.hyperionrecords.co.uk/).

Composed late in both their careers, the Concerto of Massenet is drab and unidiomatic, whereas that of Hahn surprises at every corner. MAYBE.

Gefunden (Found).” Joseph HAYDN: Trio in C-dur für Violine, Violoncello und Klavier, Hob. XV: 27 (1797). Friedrich SCHNEIDER: Trio in Es-dur für Violine, Violoncello und Klavier, Op. 38 (1816). August KLUGHARDT: Trio in B-dur für Violine, Violoncello und Klavier, Op. 47 (1886). TrioSono: Hiroko Kudo (pno), Karl Heinrich Niebuhr (vln), Matthias Wilde (vlc). Genuin GEN 16426 (1 CD) (http://www.genuin.de/).

Three impeccably delivered trios. Schneider and Klughardt are finds, the former a calmer Beethoven and the latter a bold Romantic voice. YES.

Antonín DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From the New World.” (1892). Edgard VARÈSE: Amériques (1921). Seattle Symphony, Ludovic Morlot (cond.). Seattle Symphony Media SSM1006 (1 CD) (http://www.seattlesymphony.org/).

An inspired sequencing of two great “American” works. Unfortunately, the cool Varèse can’t possibly make up for the lackluster Dvořák 9. NO.