LARSEN: Barn Dances (Forward Six and Fall Back Eight. Divide the Ring. Varsouviaanna. Rattlesnake Twist. Oxford University Press). SIROTA: Birds of Paradise. BRANDT: Round Top Trio. TOENSING: Children of Light. SCHOENFELD: Sonatina.
The Webster Trio (Leone Buyse, flute. Michael Webster, clarinet. Robert Moeling, piano)
CRYSTALCD 717 TT: 67:20
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RESANOVIC: Sonata for Flute and Piano (Retrogression/Daydream/Blue-jam). RILEY: Moerae, The Fates. (Clotho/Lachesis/Atropos). NEWMAN: Improvisation, Somewhat Reasonable.DALEY: In Cynthia's Garden (Hostas/Strawberries/Willow).CHARNOFSKY: Four Characters (Reverie /Popcorn Music /Elegy /Octatomica).ZAHAB: ...some measure for living. MARKHOLM: Sonata for Flute and Piano (September Shuffle/Iris/Lester looks back).
George Pope, flute/Eric Charnofsky, piano
CRYSTAL RECORDS CD 718 TT: 72:47
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BARTÓK: 23 Duos for Viola and Cello (transcribed by Peter Bartók from Béla Bartók's 44 Duos for Violins.AUGUSTA READ THOMAS: Dream Character for solo viola. DAVID DEL TREDICI: Cello Acoustic. PISTON: Duo for viola and Cello.
Carol Rodland, viola. Scott Kluksdahl, cello.
CRYSTAL CD 880 TT: 55:37
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HUTCHESON: Rondo Brilliant. Nocturnes of the Inferno. MADSEN: Sea Change 2.WINKLER: Warhol Appassionata (Cries and Murmurs/In a Dream/ Night Creatures). GERSHWIN: Promenade
The Verdehr Trio David Renner, piano. Silvia Roederer, piano. Deborah Moriarty, piano.
CRYSTAL CD 972 TT: 68:05
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DAUGHERTY: Ladder to the Moon (Night, New York/ Looking Up). MADSEN: Sea Change, "Sea Change" by Genevieve Taggard read by Silvia Roederer. COHEN: Variously Blue. CHAMBERS: Thorn and Flair FLESHER: Three Segments (Burlesque/Valse Lente/Energerico).
Verdehr Trio (Walter Verdehr, violin. Else Ludewig Werdehr, clarinet. Silvia Roederer, piano/narrator).
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Crystal Records was founded in 1966 by Peter George Christ, an oboist and respected teacher. His concept was to create a record company that would focus on music for wind instruments and small ensembles usually overlooked by major companies. Crystal is committed to recognizing and encouraging American musicians.Over the decades, Crystal has provided collectors the opportunity to hear outstanding totally professional performances of music unjustly neglected. They have commissioned numerous works, often with collaboration between composes and artists, and recorded them as well. The library of wind music by American composers has surely been expanded . All of the performers are professional musicians and most hold major teaching positions at important colleges and universities. An admirable project indeed! Doubtless there is a somewhat limited market for this repertory, but many collectors will be intrigued by the new repertory now available.

The Webster Trio consists of Leone Buyse, flute; clarinetist Michael Webster, and pianist Robert Moeling. Founded in 1988 with a goal of enhancing repertory for flute, clarinet and piano, they have given numerous concerts of this repertory and already have to their credit a number of recordings for Crystal. This latest issue, called American, is a delight, often whimsical, and sometimes exotic as well (Sirota's Birds of Paradise). Recordings were made in Shepherd School of Music, Rice University in Houston.

George Pope, a master teacher and performer, is Professor Emeritus of Flute at the University of Akron. He also is a founding member of the Solaris Wind Quintet, which has recorded music of Alec Wilder for Crystal. On this latest CD, with pianist Eric Charnofsky, , he plays a varied program that features music by many American composers. It is a constant display of virtuosity, and the whimsical nature of much of the music is perfectly conveyed.

Carol Roadland is Professor of Viola at the Eastman School of Music On this new disk she is partnered by Scott Kuksdahl, who has an international career as a cellist in recital and concerts, as well as major teaching positions. On their new CD they play Peter Bartók's arrangement of 23 of his father's Duos for Two Violins. As an attractive filler, we have works for the instruments by three American composers. The rich sounds of the two related string instruments has been beautifully captured on this recording.

The Verdehr Trio started in the early 70s, and since that time has played a major role on the contemporary music scene. They have commissioned countless works, and recorded many of them. The two constant members of the Trio are Walter Verdehr violin, and Else Ludewig-Werdehr; various pianists join for different repertory; three can be heard on these two new releases. All feature music by American composers, much of which will challenge the listener (Gershwin's Promenade is a pleasant glimpse of the past on the American music scene). If you want to hear new music very well played, here it is in spades .

 

R.E.B. (April 2016)