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What we have here are two recent works by one of America's most accomplished and successful composers, both written for the artists who perform them here, the members of Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. The first is "A Child's Reliquary," a 27-minute trio from 1999 written in response to the death of a child. The second is "In the Arms of the Beloved," a 26-minute double concerto for violin, cello and orchestra from 2001, written to celebrate the 25th wedding anniversary of its soloists, Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson. Its title acknowledges the inspiration provided by a volume of poetry by the great 13th-Century Persian poet Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi (the composer's family background is Iranian) eloquently expressing the belief that God is literally present in those we love.
From this background alone one can infer that this is a very different sort of music from what we've been accustomed to over the last century or so. Can anyone imagine a Boulez or Babbitt or Stockhausen work on subjects like these? As the perceptive writer of the notes accompanying this CD observes, what's been largely missing from the music of the 20th Century is, quite simply, emotion. And Danielpour's works are an effective antidote for that malady.
While far from "easy listening" or minimalism, this music is alternately stimulating and comforting, and always accessible. The trio is the more subtle of the two works, and may take more than one hearing to absorb; the concerto is a instant knockout, with plenty of old-fashioned aural excitement and moments of quite touching beauty. The performances are polished and sympathetic, and the recording does everything full justice. The CD is from Arabesque, not Koch Classics as suggested above. Highly recommended for anyone comfortable with Mahler and Strauss, and the milder works of Shostakovich and Samual Barber.
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A trio chamber work from 1999 and a orchestral double concerto from 2001 feature Jaime Laredo on violin and wife Sharon Robinson, cello. The piano of the trio is played by Joseph Kalichstein. These compositions of Richard Danielpour, an American academic well recognized for his romantically lyrical and contemporary jagged rhythmic pieces, reach back respectively to the history of classical music and to Middle Eastern themes.
A Child's Reliquary, the trio, was meaningfully written after the sudden death of the 18-month son of the director of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, where Danielpour had been in residence. Modeled on Mahler's Kindertotenlieder with the oscillating major and minor harmonies, its harmony midway in the first movement recalls Vaughan Williams' theme of Thomas Tallis. The lively beginning to the second movement seems far away from a lament, but soon it is the variant of Satie's Gymnopédie that leads into a nervous, disturbing swinging back and forth rondo of tones and themes. The last movement begins disjointed with alternating piano and strings seemingly on different pages. The instruments eventually come together but sadly, and from wisps of sweet melodies Brahm's Cradle Song emerges. The sections closes with the theme flipped over and the music fading into silence with dangling emotions.
The double concerto, In the Arms of the Beloved, stems from some of the mystical-romantic poems of Rumi and it too is commemorative, this time celebrating the anniversary of Laredo and Robinson. Danielpour is of Persian heritage. The first movement closes with a Middle Eastern flavor evoked with celeste, harp, and percussion. Ritual Dances is the lovely second movement, developed with swirls of rhythms and orchestral colors.Read more ›
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