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  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


Late Conversations - American works for cello and piano
Robert CUNDICK Cello Sonata
David SARGENT Conversations
Michael HICKS Induction Coil
Reid NIBLEY Cello Sonata
Roger Drinkall (cello)
Dian Baker (piano)
rec. no details given
TANTARA RECORDS TCD 03960685 [51.01]

AVAILABILITY
KMB Music Office PO Box 24498
Provo, Utah 84602 1-800-879-1555
www.tantara.byu.edu
tantara@byu.edu

Sadly Tantara do not give dates for composers or works here. Going by the heard evidence these appear to be works from the second half of the last century. There are two cello sonatas one of which is in one songful movement (Cundick). Nibley's sonata is in three movements and Sargent's Conversations is also in three.

Cundick has the cello as the sweet singer with a faint touch of Oriental colour and Ravelian accenting. This he mobilises alongside a hoarsely singing way familiar from the Bax and Moeran cello sonatas. One of the themes steers desperately close to Korngold. Very appealing - as much as the Crawford Gates horn sonata on Tantara CD TCD0799LL4. While that horn sonata disc is rather uniform in style there are some real ‘gear changes’ in this one. Thus the transition between Cundick and Sargent is violent: singing impressionism gives way to a fractured and fractiously dissonant environment. Stern souls will love the theatre of it all. The Hicks work is further out on the avant-garde branch full of effects and fragmentation though finally retreating into the aural equivalent of a Garden of Death. The Nibley (didn't he record a disc of music by Gottschalk some years ago) takes us back to contoured lyricism encased in the aggressive bloodrush of a Bernstein or Prokofiev. While Steven Johnson's notes refer to Schumann I thought more of Fauré especially in the 'centre of gravity' provided by Nibley's elegiac Adagio.

Rather short playing time. A disc of contrasts created by the stylistic divide between the two sonatas on one side and the other works. The Cundick and Nibley works are outstanding. They are most beautifully performed and recorded.

Rob Barnett



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