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Riley: Cantos Desiertos


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Audio CD, June 17, 2003
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Mountain Songs: Barbara AllenJeffrey McFadden 2:55$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Mountain Songs: The House CarpenterJeffrey McFadden 2:07$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Mountain Songs: He's Gone AwayJeffrey McFadden 5:34$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Mountain Songs: CindyJeffrey McFadden 2:41$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Snow DreamsJeffrey McFadden 8:25$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Cantos desiertos: Cancion DesiertoJeffrey McFadden 6:28$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Cantos desiertos: QuijoteJeffrey McFadden 4:24$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Cantos desiertos: LlantoJeffrey McFadden 4:47$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Cantos desiertos: Tango LadeadoAlexandra Hawley 3:22$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen10. Cantos desiertos: Francesco en ParaisoJeffrey McFadden 5:26$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen11. Sonata for Flute and Guitar, Op. 25: I. NocturneJeffrey McFadden 8:39$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen12. Sonata for Flute and Guitar, Op. 25: II. AllegroJeffrey McFadden 4:03$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen13. Windows: PavaneJeffrey McFadden 1:32$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen14. Windows: CantilenaJeffrey McFadden 2:15$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen15. Windows: RefrainJeffrey McFadden 2:08$0.89  Buy MP3 


Product Details

  • Performer: Alexandra Hawley, Jeffrey McFadden
  • Composer: Terry Riley, Robert Beaser, Joan Tower, Lowell Liebermann, Peter Schickele
  • Audio CD (June 17, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos American Classics
  • Run Time: 65 minutes
  • ASIN: B00009NHBP
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,127 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joy Fleisig on August 20, 2004
Format: Audio CD
One of the things I love about the budget classical music label Naxos is that their CDs are so cheap that they make me willing to experiment on repertory that I would not normally buy or even listen to. Worse comes the worse, if I'm disappointed, I'm only out about one-third the money I would have paid for a full-price disc. Although there are exceptions, I tend to avoid most 'contemporary classical' music, finding it at best intellectually but not emotionally satisfying and at worst unmelodic, uninteresting, and existing only to puff up the composer's ego. Thankfully, this CD of music for flute and guitar by several living American composers is nothing of that sort. After listening to selections on a Tower Records listening station, I was intrigued enough to buy the entire album, and have never regretted it.

Four selections from Robert Beaser's folk-song based cycle 'Mountain Songs' begin the program. It is a pity they could not record the entire eight-song cycle, but then several of the other selections would have to have been cut for time. `Barbara Allen' probably has the most familiar melody, and the flute and guitar together give it a new voice and complexity. The sprightly tune of `The House Carpenter' belies its tragic story, although a sudden diminuendo at the conclusion is very ominous. `He's Gone Away' has two yearning, sorrowful stanzas separated by a jaunty interlude. `Cindy', the only item without origins in the Appalachians (it's a frolic tune based on a minstrel fiddle song), would be perfect music for a square dance.

Joan Tower's spiky and colorful 'Snow Dreams' uses the timbres of the flute and guitar to create images (although I would say sculptures) of many different types of snow from light flakes to swirls to blanketed landscapes and more.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a most unexpected recording from the bargain-priced Naxos label as it combines flautist Alexandra Hawley and guitarist Jeffrey McFadden for five lovely works, the centerpiece being an original suite, "Cantos Desiertos", composed expressly for flute and guitar by California minimalist Terry Riley. Initially, you would expect the result to be more appropriate on the meditative Windham Hill label, but there is enough variety here to make repeated listenings worthwhile. It begins with Robert Beaser's "Mountain Songs" which contains snatches of familiar folk melodies within the four pieces, effectively contrasting the dancing tone of Hawley's flute with the more percussive rhythm provided by McFadden's guitar.

Joan Tower's eight-minute "Snow Dreams" is more expressionistic with some jarring rhythms becoming increasingly unsettled as the elusive snowflakes in the piece become a blizzard, the sound of which is enhanced especially by McFadden's nimble fingering. The true highlight of the disc, Riley's composition has a pervasive Latin flavor that leads with the quiet, haunting "Canción Desierto" and changes dramatically to the more rhythmic "Quijote" and then the remorseful "Llanto". There is an improvisational jazz feel to the fourth movement, "Tango Ladeado", and the composition ends with the hopeful-sounding "Francesco en Paraiso", an elegy of sorts to French composer and countertenor Royon le Mee, who died from AIDS at age 40.

Lowell Liebermann's moving "Sonata for Flute and Guitar, Op. 25" starts in a dream-like trance with "Nocturne" but switches gears to the more rhythmic, kinetic "Allegro".
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By charlotte on January 16, 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very pleased
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Redgecko on April 18, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I generally like the music of Terry Riley and his Salomne Dances by the Kronos Quartet are especially worth a listen. But the innovative sounds for which he is known are missing in this composition. The Joan Tower composition, Snow Dreams, is the only piece that saves this bland recording. Snow Dreams is also on the recording "Black Topaz" along with other wonderful music. Do yourself a favor and go to the Naxos website to hear a sample before buying.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Darren O'Neill on February 13, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Hands down, the Cantos Desiertos by Terry Riley is worthy of a permanent place in the flute/violin and guitar repertoire. My first encounter with this great work was the recording made by David Tanenbaum (guitar) and Tracy Silverman (violin). It holds a special place in my heart and inspired me to order the printed music from Mr. Riley. I now have the opportunity to finally perform this work with a flutist. And so my initial delight when I encountered this recording by McFadden (guitar) and Hawley (flute).

What a terrible disappointment! Both musicians play through the entire work OUT OF TUNE!!! Did they not hear the problem upon playback in the mixing booth? The producers should have never let this one out of the gate. Such a pity since Hawley gave the world premiere of this work with Tanenbaum in 1998. Does she not have enough respect for either Mr. Riley or his music to turn in a respectable performance? As for McFadden: his credits may be knee-deep but his ears must be tin.

Spare yourself the sonic agony and pass this one up. Seek out the Tanenbaum/Silverman recording...you'll be in for some glorious music-making which pays Mr. Riley all the respect he deserves.
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