The First Carnegie Hall Euphonium
Recital Antonio CAPUZZI (1755-1818)
Andante and Rondo [8:41] Arthur FRACKENPOHL (b.1924)
Sonata for Euphonium and Piano (1973) [13:12] Walter ROSS (b.1936)
Partita for Euphonium and Piano [9:38] Samuel ADLER (b.1928)
Four Dialogs for Euphonium and Marimba (1974) [10:12] John BODA (1922-2002)
Sonatina for Euphonium and Synthesiser (1970) [10:24] Ermano PICCHI
Fantasia Originale arranged by Simone Mantia [8:46]
Marjorie Lees (piano)
Steven Harlos (piano)
Gordon Stout (marimba)
rec. 1978, except Frackenpohl and Picchi, which were recorded
in 2008 CRYSTAL RECORDS CD393 [61:25]
let the title mislead you. These arenít live performances from Carnegie
Hall. Itís a 1978 recreation of an event given two years
earlier by the virtuoso Brian Bowman, though lacking two
items. In 2008 he added, for good measure, the missing
Frackenpohl and Picchi to bring the discís total timing
to a respectable hour plus.
first course and dessert are provided by Capuzzi and Picchi.
The opener is a jaunty affair arranged for tuba or euphonium
by the British player Philip Catelinet, whose recording
of Vaughan Williamsís Tuba Concerto is well known. Thereís
plenty of legato room here and testing of breath control Ė all
surmounted with considerable brio by Bowman. The typically
warm, Italianate Andante is followed by an avuncular and
virtuosic Rondo workout. Frackenpohlís Sonata was written
in 1973. It sounds perky, humorous and maybe just a touch
satiric but the lyric drift in the slow movement is a fine
contrast, and takes the euphonium quite high. Articulation
is tested in the witty finale Ė fully tonal and great fun.
Frackenpohlís is a none-too-serious affair, Walter Rossís
Partita is written in a different vein. Opening as a taut
toccata it embraces a Pastorale central movement in which
the reflective outer material is strongly contrasted with
a fast-as-a-flash B section. The Furiant is not quite the
kind of affair that DvořŠk knew and espoused but itís
full of verve and a soupcon of bristle Ė if you can have
such a thing as a soupcon of bristle, this is it. Samuel
Adler contributes Four Dialogs for euphonium and marimba
which was written the year after the Frackenpohl. There
are quasi-improvisational moments here and plenty of quirky
exchanges between the two unlikely sounding concert bedfellows.
In the second movement the euphonium plays Jack Benny to
the marimbaís Mel Blanc - or maybe George Burns to the
marimbaís Gracie Allen (take your pick). Thereís a sinuous
third movement and a whiplash finale Ė as whiplash, that
is, as the euphonium can allow.
Boda contributes a Sonatina for euphonium and synthesizer.
The 1970 piece is a groovy opus somewhat redolent of kaftans
and strange cigarettes. Fortunately I am too young to have
experienced the full effects of this kind of thing. The
Sonatina soon embraces some more reflective and listlessly
lyric moments but the groove is still there Ė as is the
haze of tape noise and the general larking about. And so
onto the Picchi, a virtuosic showpiece cast in time honoured
theme and variational form. Not much is known about the
composer and the work may not even entirely be by him Ė Simone
Mantia of Sousaís band did much to popularise it and may
have had a hand in its composition. But itís a great way
to end this delightfully varied recital.
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