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DUKE: Piano Concerto / Cello Concerto / Homage to Boston

Composer(s):Duke, Vernon
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category ConcertosInstrumental
Catalogue 8.559286
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

The Russian-born composer Vernon Duke (Vladimir Dukelsky) produced a distinguished body of concert music. His Piano Concerto was written for Arthur Rubinstein, who had requested a 'one-movement piano concerto, pianistically grateful and not too cerebral', but it was never orchestrated by the composer and therefore never performed in his lifetime. The American conductor and painist Scott Dunn completed the work and gave its première at Carnegie Hall on 1999 to great accalim. Duke's Cello Concerto is a mature, overtly romantic work in which the influences of Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Shostakovich can be heard. Dating from the same period, his Homage to Boston suite is dedicated 'to the members of the Boston Symphony', and portrays various people and places


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Review By Steven Suskin,Playbill,April 2008

It has long been known, by people who know such things, that the 23-year-old George Gershwin was duly impressed—and no doubt amused—when in 1922 he met Vernon Duke, an 18-year-old, conservatory-trained, modernist composer just off the boat from Russia (via Constantinople).

(Duke, of course, was the highbrow composer who would write a dozen Broadway musicals, most of them over the head of the general audience, including Cabin in the Sky and Ziegfeld Follies of 1936 and songs such as “April in Paris,” “Taking a Chance on Love” and “I Can’t Get Started.”)


Review By Giv Cornfield,The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics,November 2007

His real name was Vladimir Dukelsky, who studied composition at the Kiev Conservatory under Reinhold Glière. One of his fellow students was Sergei Prokofiev. He became a U.S. citizen, and served as a lieutenant in the Coast Guard (1939–44). He is best known for song hits of the 1930s, such as ‘April in Paris’,‘Taking a Chance on Love’, et sim. He was a great friend of George Gershwin, who suggested the name change. But Duke also had a serious side to his composing, such as several ballets (one of them, Zephyr et Flore, commissioned by Diaghilev), an opera, 3 symphonies, a violin concerto, and many other works in various forms. He had formed the Society for Forgotten Music (SFM)that championed the performance and recording of worthwhile music by


Review By David Denton, Naxos,December 2007

Vernon Duke, as he became known in the United States, was born in Russia in 1903 as Vladimir Dukelsky, and at the age of twelve was admitted to the Kiev Conservatory as a composition student of Glière, sharing that privilege with Prokofiev. The Revolution saw the family fleeing and eventually arriving in the States in 1922. There the young man drew interest from influential musicians including the pianist, Arthur Rubinstein, who suggested that he should write a Piano Concerto for him. That reached the stage of a two-piano score awaiting orchestration when Rubinstein took him to Paris where the young man, together with the composer, Georges Auric, on the second piano, played the concerto to Dyagilev. He requested the twenty-one year old to write a score for the Ballets Russes,



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