Crystal and the Verdehrs continue their traversal of
music for trio. The open-minded approach has the merit of variety and
unpredictability even if it flirts with the dangers of lack of a theme.
Like the owner of Crystal, Peter Dinos Constantinides
is Greek. He is winner of the Delius Prize and is leader of the Baton
Rouge SO. The Oracle at Delphi dates from 1994 and won the 1997
Delius Festival competition. It is written for and dedicated to the
Verdehrs. Its modal caste makes the music folksy and accessible.
It is a privilege to have the Menotti work here. It
has about it an Eulenspiegel Straussian cheekiness and is a very
romantic work. It is intensely rhapsodic like the Bax Clarinet Sonata
and the Delius Cello Sonata. Its centre of gravity is a Romanza
in which Menotti might be Bellini reborn. The work has been long in
the evolution and it must have been touch and go whether it would be
The Bruch was written when the composer was 63 years
old. The current arrangement is new. It has a sweet cloaked tone mixed
with regret. The piano writing recalls Brahms in the Second Piano Concerto.
The Deak work is a gauntlet thrown down. The controversial
components include the sounds of a dog panting, swannee whistles, creaky
ragtimes and sentimentality. It is founded on the stories of Albert
Payson Terhune. It is rather like a wild ride version of Knoxville
but with gaps and potholes along the way.
Another stimulating and challengingly varied collection.