Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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Len Mullenger:

ARTHUR FOOTE (18.53-1937) Chamber Music Vol. 2   James Barbagallo (piano) Jeani Muhonen Foster (flute) Da Vinci Quartet  Lamont School of Music, Denver, Colorado, 27-30 August, 11-14 December 1995 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559014 [71.05]

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Piano Quartet (1890)

String Quartet No 1 (1883)

Nocturne and Scherzo for flute and string quartet (1918)

Barbagallo is much associated with the four Naxos volumes of Macdowell piano music. The present recording is amongst Barbagallo's last recordings before his tragically early death.

The Piano Quartet is a Brahmsian effusion of some élan dedicated to John Knowles Paine ( a contemporary of similar reputation). The first movement echoes with Mendelssohnian feather-down and the second's brilliance is out of the pages of Mendelssohn's Octet for strings. The Adagio is all Schubertian sweetness and reflective repose (Schubert's String Quintet). Perhaps a tad overlong, it is followed by a bustling Allegro Non Troppo.

The 1883 String Quartet No. 1 is again Mendelssohnian - fresh, genuine and with no hint of artifice. It is dedicated to the conductor Theodore Thomas. The latest work in the two volumes is the Nocturne and Scherzo - a work of sensuous delight rather in contrast to the golden age Teutonic romanticism of many of these pieces. Its tart and chiming counterpoint is quite original but a more conventional air settles on the scherzo with more charming Mendelssohnian chatter.

Good notes and attractive unconsidered music.


Rob Barnett


Rob Barnett

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