TO . . ., 3
Veddy British Music
(Kraft) <> Going Into 'Understated Drive' (Kroll), 6
DOTTED NOTES from … Kraft, Kroll, Greenfest, Hickey, BLC, 16
SPEAKING OUT! Thoughts on the Pulitzer Prize, 17
THE PRINTED WORD Berger's Reflections (Kraft), 20
THE SCOREBOARD Sperry's Encores (Drogin), 21
Mini but Not Mousy
(Cleary) <> Bell's Echoes of Bela (Cleary) <> Just a Few Will Do (Cleary),
RECENT RELEASES, 24
THE PUZZLE CORNER, 25
COMPOSER INDEX, 27
BULLETIN BOARD, 27
Modern Orchestra Project
Shadows: Laurel Ann Maurer
Steele by Finegold, et al Show Their Mettle
Just In Time: Foreign Influences Brought Home. Music by Sarkissian, Steele, Rossi, Boyadjian, Grossmann and Pamela Marshall. Various performers. Follen Church, Lexington, MA. Friday, April 11, 2003
The latest Just In Time concert was subtitled "Foreign Influences Brought Home." Despite this, only a few of the nine works heard truly fit the description.
John Sarkissians Grand Waltz from his opera Nicholas and Alexandra filters 19th century Viennese gestures through an intensely dissonant prism without overtly suggesting Schoenberg. Scored for piano four hands, its an entity both curious and intriguing. Two Pieces for Guitar by Jeffry H. Steele looks south of the border for inspiration; the title of its first movement, "Samba de Dos Ninos," illustrates this clearly. Theyre short, slight, and charmingtwo exotic sorbets. Techniques from the musical storehouse of India manifest themselves in a very personal way in the flute/cello duet Fantasy in Adi Talam by Marc W. Rossi. Western pop idioms cross-pollinate Saraswati ragas and cadential figures called tehai in this sunny, able listen. Stephen Jamess solo piano Nocturne more obliquely touches base with overseas approaches, containing mild Chopin hues in its lush Romantic substance. Its a capable elaboration on an opening cascading chord progression.
By contrast, Jamess other entry, a violin/piano duo titled Dedication, is as American as Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Coplandand makes no secret of that sound world throughout its duration. And Hayg Boyadjians excellent Homage a Charles Ives, a trio for flute, violin, and viola, bases a decent bit of its material on snatches from that masters portfolio. But Boyadjian is no style study composerin fact, this rondo-like piece sounds thoroughly like no one but Boyadjian, nicely pacing moments of supple repose and edgy intensity. Backyard Scenes by Jorge V. Grossmann also makes a lasting impression, a collection of brief character pieces for violin and piano that in no way lack substance. Theyre well made, imaginative, and effective.
Of the two offerings by Pamela J. Marshall, the trio Through the Mist for flute, violin, and guitar proved more tonally consonant in sound. Its a laid-back, graceful, expressive selection that possesses more depth than its gentle surface might suggest. The Suite for piano solo notably shows its origins as a harpsichord work, often dry and thin textured, though not without its merits.
Performances were good, with the strongest coming from the Rossi pairing (Michael Finegold, flute and Emmanuel Feldman, cello), the Boyadjian trio (Claude Cobert, flute; Piotr Buczek, violin; and Don Krishnaswami, viola), guitarist Steele, and pianist James.