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ClassicsOnline Home » Orchestral Music (American) - YIP, S. / LIFCHITZ, M. / MAVES, D. / CORY, E. / CONSTANTINIDES, D. (Sound Paintings) (Lifchitz)
Orchestral narratives come to life!
The new recording by Max Lifschitz's North/South chamber orchestra is a very interesting and welcome addition to the contemporary orchestral pallate. Entitled "Sound Paintings - Orchestral Narratives by American Composers" (North/South 1052) the five pieces represented each offer a way of writing for the orchestra as an impression - of words, of art, of history and each in its own way.
"Shun" (2003) by the Korean composer Stephen Yip is, essentially, a very attractive flute concerto, here played very well by Lisa Hansen with the NS chamber group. The piece exists in two movements, the Ying (or sun) and Yang (or mooon) The Ying is carefully an cleverly structured on two motives built on simple minor thirds. The Yang is a very pretty, somewhat mysterious movement that ends quietly. Flutists should all check out this wonderful piece and get it played more!
Lifschitz's own "Blood Orange" (2006) takes a wholly different approach. Based on a text by the true story of Norma Fire's emigration from Poland to avoid the Holocaust, the work contains some very attractive solo writing for English horn, bass clarinet and piano as well as the effect of some orchestral musicians echoing key words from the text, talking and commenting as a chain of oral disbursement. Built on traditional modology (the Hebrew Ahava Rabbah), the score is very provocative of Jewish melody while still infused with some interesting modern sound effects.
David Mave's (Oregon) " No Nonet" (2000) is another interesting departure. Written for piano and ensemble, (the composer notes that it was originally intended as the third movement to a never completed piano concerto) the "Nonet" is simple, tuneful and light hearted but very attractive in a Milhaud sort of way!
Eleanor Cory, from New York, offers "O'Keefe's Flora" (2002, rev. 2008) Cory indicates that each of the three short movements is intended as a depiction of one of Georgia O'Keefe's flower paintings: Two Jimson Weeds, Jack-in-Pulpit V and Red Poppy.more....
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