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Mount Gretna Suite & Quintet 2

James Cohn Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Details

  • Composer: James Cohn
  • Audio CD (March 3, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Xlnt
  • ASIN: B000009JTU
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #857,525 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Concerto da Camera, Op 60: Andante comodo. Allegro con fuoco
2. Concerto da Camera, Op 60: Andante cantabile
3. Concerto da Camera, Op 60: Allegretto marcato
4. Wind Quintet No 2, Op 10/70: Sinfonia
5. Wind Quintet No 2, Op 10/70: Nocturne
6. Wind Quintet No 2, Op 10/70: Scherzo
7. Serenade for flute, violin & cello, Op 68: Aubade
8. Serenade for flute, violin & cello, Op 68: Nocturne
9. Serenade for flute, violin & cello, Op 68: Festival
10. Piano Trio, Op. 66: Allegretto
11. Piano Trio, Op. 66: Andante comodo
12. Piano Trio, Op. 66: Allegro scherzando
13. The Mount Gretna Suite, Op 69: 'A Wild Garden of the Forest'
14. The Mount Gretna Suite, Op 69: 'Development'
15. The Mount Gretna Suite, Op 69: 'Dwelling Places and Changing Times'
16. The Mount Gretna Suite, Op 69: 'An Evening Stroll Around Mount Gretna'

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This recording features five works by American composer James Cohn: 'Concerta da Camera' (1982), 'Quintet No. 2 for Winds' (1947/1992), 'Serenade for Flute, Violin and Cello' (1990), 'Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello' (1988), and the 'Mount Gretna Suite' (1991) for chamber orchestra. As with any of Cohn's works, it is a difficult choice to make, but in the interest of space limitations this review will address three personal favourites from the album.

'Concerta da Camera' is essentially a work for violin and piano which invites a woodwind quintet along for the ride. From the very opening bars, the violin assumes emotional control of the piece with a hauntingly evocative melody. As the violin is joined by the piano, and eventually by the five winds, we are gifted with an opening movement which could literally stand by itself as a chamber work. The interplay between violin, piano, and wind section is imaginative and constantly changing in form; Cohn writes with great economy and contrasts soloists and ensemble effectively. The second movement, Andante cantabile, is more conversational in tone, heightening the tension of the piece. The final movement is a complex free fantasia on historic Dutch melodies which brings the work to a satisfying close.

The 'Mount Gretna Suite' is another of Cohn's programmatic works. Although it is enhanced by paying careful attention to the liner notes, the composer has written a piece which would take the listener on a highly visual journey even if they had no knowledge of the work's origins. Interestingly, the work was commissioned for a thirteen-piece chamber orchestra, in the same combination used by Aaron Copland's masterful 'Appalachian Spring', and there are certainly similarities which can be drawn between the two pieces.
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