Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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Len Mullenger:

Maurice OHANA
Concerto for piano
(Jean-Claude Pennetier)
Concerto for cello (Sonia Wieder-Atherton)
Orchestre Philharmonique, Luxembourg/Arturo Tamayo.
timpani 1C1039 66 mins

This is just a brief review to welcome another important CD in the Ohana revival. T'Haran-Ngo is the first of his few works for large symphony orchestra, a powerful piece in five sections with a ritual dance and finally an episode for strings with harmonics and glissandi and a coda with dense dissonant chords eventually dissolving into darkness.

The second cello concerto is his last orchestral work and it alludes to the world of Blues and Jazz. It falls into two sections, separated by a Blues interlude, with every opportunity for the soloist to display the range of possibilities for his instrument.

The Piano Concerto (1981) is a complex virtuoso work, with an independent unbarred solo line, divided into four main sections. Not an easy piece, one needing several hearings, but rewarding to come to know.

A valuable CD, with exemplary performances and the usual good notes supplied by Harry Halbreich, who has no doubt been instrumental in bringing this project to fruition - I anticipate that his essays will be brought together as a book in due course.

I recommmend, however, that those unfamiliar with Ohana's unusual and somewhat elusive style should sample first the CD of the piano solo (and duo with percussion) Etudes [Harmonia Mundi H/CD 9354], also reviewed.


Peter Grahame Woolf


Peter Grahame Woolf

Reviews from previous months

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