This music, long-known to me by reputation from a review in Fanfare, but
only heard recently, is a very free arrangement of music written by Purcell
for The Fairy Queen and The Tempest. Chihara clearly has no
aspirations to authentic style simply a wild and kaleidoscopic imagination
let loose on some promising material.
There are 31 tracks. The Drunk Trio is lugubriously boozy. A Spanish
warmth infuses the Table Dance. Sebastian's Solo is hefted
by some bruising brass. Chihara is very good at the lumbering grandeur of
Handel. Ferdinand's solo is a tremulously tuneful sax solo recalling Chihara's
Saxophone concerto. The trumpet pas-de-deux evokes a restoration dance. The
Lovers' Pas De Deux takes in Canteloube, Prokofiev and Friedhofer's music
for The Best Years of Our Lives - all ripe with sentimental fancy.
Rye Rag is a meretricious lapse in inspiration - all kitschy speakeasy.
Centaur's Solo suggested an influence by Malcolm Arnold. There is
a sleepy Danse Generale rising to a Handelian grand shindig. Invention
is at a lower order in the Lovers' Third Pas De Deux. The Farewell
retreats into gestures of antiquity not with Stravinskian neo-classicism
but with a clear-eyed mellow ripeness.
Perhaps you have discovered the ballet music of Paul Reade. This music, while
different, would enthuse anyone who warms to the late Paul Reade's ballets
or indeed to anyone curious about one of America's most overlooked masters.
Not to be missed.