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John McDonald: Airy, Music for Violin and Piano

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, September 9, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

This recording includes compositions written over a 22 year span, with performances by virtuoso violinist Joanna Kurkowicz and the composer at the piano. John McDonald is Music Department Chair and Professor of Music at Tufts University. McDonald was named the 2007 MTNA Shepherd Distinguished Composer of the Year by the Music Teachers National Association, and received the 2009 Lillian and Joseph Leibner Award for Distinguished Teaching and Advising from Tufts University. In 2010, he received the Waring Prize from Western Reserve Academy. John McDonald's recordings appear on the Albany, Archetype, Arsis, Boston, BMOP Sound, Bridge, Capstone, Hungarton Classics, Innova, Neuma, New Ariel, and New World labels, and he has concertized widely as composer, pianist, and collaborative performer. Andrew Rangell's performance of McDonald's Meditation Before A Sonata: Dew Cloth, Dream Drapery is on BRIDGE 9295 and Joanna Kurkowicz's recording of violin works by Alfred Schnittke is on BRIDGE 9104.

Product Details

  • Conductor: *
  • Composer: John McDonald
  • Audio CD (September 9, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bridge Records, Inc.
  • ASIN: B00EMAGGN4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #648,813 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Airy brings together John McDonald's music for violin and piano, mixing lighthearted miniatures with more serious long-form compositions. It's an appealing program that's full of variety. Mad Dance, Op. 66 and the Suite of Six Curt Pieces, Op. 326 are just plain fun, while the major work, the Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 219 is more complex composition with greater emotional depth.

In the program notes, McDonald says he considers many of these works to be songs without words -- and it's an apt description. Poem, Op. 12, for example, is based on the poetry of Samuel Beckett. The shape of the music is determined by the poem, although not a word is sung. That's also the case with Lily Events, Op. 97 (inspired by poetry collection), and the Lines After Keats, Op. 336.

There's an audible chemistry between violinist Joanna Kurkowicz and the composer (who accompanies her). Airy is the title of the release, and airy it is.
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