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Ethelbert Nevin

[January 2016.]


Antonio Casimir CARTELLIERI: Symphony No. 1 (ca. 1790-1800); Symphony No. 2 (ca. 1790-1800); Symphony No. 3 (ca. 1790-1800); Symphony No. 4 (ca. 1790-1800). Evergreen Symphony Orchestra, Gernot Schmalfuss (cond.). cpo 777 667-2 (1 CD) (

With the recently discovered Nos. 3 and 4 in hand, the Viennese Cartellieri emerges distinctly as a bridge between Mozart and Beethoven. YES.


Friedrich CERHA: String Quartet No. 3 (1991-92)1; String Quartet No. 4 (2001)2; Eight Movements after Hölderlin Fragments (1995)3. Stadler Quartett1,2,3: Frank Stadler, Izso Bajusz (vln), Predrag Katanic (vla), Peter Sigl (vlc); Ulrike Jaeger3 (vla), Sebestyén Ludmány3 (vlc). Neos 11217 (1 CD) (

Mottled modernist and expressive flavors of Viennese despair for quartet and sextet, but once the sun sets, all is transient and gray. MAYBE.


John CAGE: Six Melodies (1950); Thirteen Harmonies (1985). Annelie Gahl (vln), Klaus Lang (Fender Rhodes). col legno WWE 1CD 20292 (1 CD) (

Not at all naïve, but simple and engaging the way good music ought to be. The bright Fender Rhodes sound is a welcome contrast to piano. YES.


Edgar MEYER: Quintet (1995)*. Ned ROREM: String Quartet No. 4 (1994). Edgar Meyer* (cbs), Emerson String Quartet: Philip Setzer, Eugene Drucker (vln), Lawrence Dutton (vla), David Finckel (vlc). DG 289 453 506-2, also reissued as DG 0289 474 3212 8 (1 CD) (

Despite the Emerson’s precision advocacy, Meyer’s modest vehicle and Rorem’s brisk Picasso-inspired movements probe neither far nor wide. NO.


José VIANA DA MOTA: Sinfonia, Op. 13, “À Pátria” (1895); Inês de Castro (1886); Chula do Douro (n.d.; orch. Frederico DE FREITAS); Três improvisos sobre motivos populares portugueses (n.d.); Vito (n.d.; orch. Álvaro CASSUTO). Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Álvaro Cassuto (cond.). Naxos 8.573495 (1 CD) (

The folksy miniatures could stand in for À Pátria’s scherzo. Otherwise this Portuguese Romantic emphatically follows Wagner and Liszt. MAYBE.


Mason BATES: Mothership (2010)*; Sea-blue Circuitry (2010); Attack Decay Sustain Release (2013); Rusty Air in Carolina (2006); Desert Transport (2010). Jason Moran* (keyboard), Su Chang* (guzheng), Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose (cond.). BMOP/sound 1045 (1 CD) (

Incomprehensibly hip, these primitive orchestrated-by-number knickknacks are immediately forgettable. Everything else seems like genius. NO.


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