Used Bin Troll Tweets JJ.

Ethelbert Nevin

[December 2018.]

Ghost Stories.” Tim SOUSTER: Hambledon Hill (1985). Michael ALCORN: The Old Woman of Beare (1994). Gavin BRYARS: The Sinking of the Titanic (1969; rev. 1994). James MACMILLAN: Memento (1994). Stephen MONTAGUE: String Quartet No. 1: in memoriam… Barry Anderson and Tomasz Sikorski (1989-93). The Smith Quartet: Ian Humphries, Darragh Morgan (vln), Nic Pendlebury (vla), Deirdre Cooper (vlc). Signum Classics SIGCD088 (1 CD) (

An excellent collection of memorials and elegies on the departed for string quartet plus tape (the terse MacMillan is for strings only). YES.

Kenneth FUCHS: Piano Concerto “Spiritualist” (After Three Paintings by Helen Frankenthaler) (2016)1; Poems of Life (Twelve Poems by Judith G. Wolf for Countertenor and Orchestra) (2017)2; Glacier (Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra) (2015)3; Rush (Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra) (2012)4. Jeffrey Biegel1 (pno), Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen2 (c-ten), Tim Hugh2 (vlc), Christine Pendrill2 (E-hrn), D.J. Sparr3 (e-guit), Timothy McAllister4 (a-sax), London Symphony Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta (cond.). Naxos 8.559824 (1 CD) (

The piano concerto shambles weakly across scattered late-Bartók moments, but do Frankenthaler’s paintings really inspire shabby tonality? NO.

Alexander MOYZES: Symphony No. 3 in B-flat major, Op. 17a, “Little Symphony” (1942); Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major, Op. 38 (1947; rev. 1957). Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ladislav Slovák (cond.). Naxos 8.573651 (1 CD) (

The second installment in a six-disc reissue of a foremost Slovak’s dozen. No. 3 is trivial. No. 4 is heftier but quickly forgettable. MAYBE.

Stephen Douglas BURTON: Symphony No. 2, “Ariel” (1975). Diane Curry (m-sop), Stephen Dickson (bar), Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Christopher Keene (cond.). Bridge 9436 (1 CD) (

Ariel might not be one of the great American symphonies, but its settings of Plath in a grand Mahlerian style ought to be less obscure. YES.

Michael NYMAN: Symphony No. 5 (2013); Symphony No. 2 (2014). The World Orchestra, Josep Vicent (cond.). MNRCD134 (1 CD) (

Oh dear! Nyman should do better than this. Both symphonies are tedious and half-hearted, as if forcibly recycled from abandoned schemes. NO.

Alfred BRUNEAU: Prélude from Act IV, and La Légende de l’or from Act III, Tableau I of Messidor (1897); L’Attaque du moulin: Suite (1893); Prélude from Act I of Naïs Micoulin (1907). Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Darrell Ang (cond.). Naxos 8.573888 (1 CD) (

Gushy, but gorgeous and rapidly paced: A smattering of bright French realism. Oddly, Jón Liefs’ quirkiness did flash to mind. A STRONG MAYBE.


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