Records tends to cast its net wide and handsome when compiling
its CDs and this one is no different. Composers both known
and obscure in works both little known and under-recorded
are the constituency of this latest disc, one that focuses
on the talent of Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida.
Ripper – whom
I’d never heard of before – was born in Rio de Janeiro in
1959. He wrote his Kinderszenen in obvious admiration for
Schumann – in fact the composer’s name appears in the opening
of the three movements in which the model is deliberately
evoked. There are some energetic Brazilian moments in the
Children’s Song round that forms the finale – percussive
raps and wide dynamics. Dubois’s Ballade Medievale is
a warm and self-defining piece, published by Leduc though
the notes don’t say when. Dubois studied with Milhaud
but this piece could have been written by Louis
de Caix d'Hervelois.
Arthur Bliss’s Conversations doesn’t seem to be
available other than in this new performance, which is
welcome. The chatter and drone of the Committee Meeting
are well caught, as is the sheer warmth of In the Wood.
the plangency of Soliloquy, with its solo-Bach like moments,
as I did the vivacity of In the Tube at Oxford Circus.
This was once recorded on acoustic 78s but that recording
only been re-issued by Symposium (CD 1202).
Patrick Stoyanovich’s Seven Short Pieces zip by in nine and
a half minutes. The piano often exudes a jazz tinge but they’re
not otherwise especially memorable. Coste’s Three Pieces
are again undated but are presumably from the mid-nineteenth
century. Coste was a fine guitarist and wrote widely for
the instrument and here we have three pieces for oboe and
guitar. They’re mellifluous and rather charming. Sinigaglia
is much better known but his music tends to languish in libraries
or lies yellowing in drawers. I can’t prophecy resurrection
for his Schubert variations which are, to be frank, rather
youthful works but it is interesting to hear some of the
influences on him at the time – around 1894-1900 - when he
was studying in Vienna. Dvořák looms large, a touch
of Brahms as well, and some residual Schumannesque voices
as well. It’s relatively youthful as noted but I have
to say rather wittily done.
Ponchielli’s arching operatic Capriccio is a song without
words. It’s full of his accustomed lyrical gift but is severely
over-extended at over eleven minutes and could do with pruning
to a third of its size. Finally there is Freidlin’s piece,
the one that gives its name to the disc, Mist over the
Lake. He was born in Siberia in 1944, became head of
Music Theory at the Stolyarsky College and then moved to
Israel in 1990. Mist over the Lake was originally
written as part of a suite for violin and piano called Forest
Pictures. Given his background it seems odd to say
it but there’s something of the County Kerry about Freidlin’s
Another typically adventuresome venture from Crystal.
Not much is top drawer – in fact nothing is if we’re being honest
- but then that’s not the point. There’s variety and instrumental
colour all along the way, a fine recording, the usual “where
next?” foldout booklet (they confuse me every time).
One for the questing oboe maven.