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An American Tour

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 1, 2014
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$17.48 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Editorial Reviews

The Weiss-Kaplan-Newman presents four recent American trios in white hot performances. These four works are ample proof of the huge variety of the 21st century American compositional scene. Also available on Bridge is the Weiss-Kaplan-Newman's brilliant recording of trios by Brahms and Smetana (BRIDGE 9362)
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Product Details

  • Conductor: *
  • Composer: Paul Schoenfield:, Lera Auerbach, Chen Yi, Clancy Newman
  • Audio CD (April 1, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bridge Records, Inc.
  • ASIN: B00IV4KLYC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #519,151 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
"An American Tour" presents a quick survey of American piano trio music in the 21st century. It's an ambitious program, but the Weiss-Kaplan-Newman Trio (WKNT) is more than equal to the task. The ensemble worked closely with two of the four composers featured, and counts one as a member. These personal relations let the ensemble go deep into the works to get at the essence of what the composers were trying to express.

Lera Auerbach's "Triptych" almost sounds like a musical collage. Eastern European cafe music mixes with extended instrumental technique, pointalistic melodies, and slightly off-kilter tonal passages. Yet, in the capable performances of the WKNT, it all blends together into a coherent - and highly expressive -- whole.

Chen Yi is another composer the WKNT has worked with. Her "Tunes From My Home," is a fascinating blend of Oriental and Occidental musical traditions. Yes, the source material is Cantonese, but it's been completely reworked. The pentatonic melodic outline is there, and occasionally the violin and cello mimic the plucked sound of Chinese string instruments. The working out of the material proceeds in a manner more familiar to Western audiences.

Clancy Newman is the group's cellist -- and also a talented composer. According to the liner notes, his piece" Juxt-Opposition" is based on a methodical working-out of an eight note motif. And it one that works. Like all good music, it lives on the merits of its own sound, and requires no extra-musical information to help the listener make sense of it. The work just naturally seems to unfold from its sparse opening, branching out in many directions in the process.
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The album shows how talented the musicians are, and the sounds they get from their instruments are pleasant, however the music is far too modern for my taste. Those who love modern music will thoroughly enjoy the album.
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