an engaging and invigorating composer Surinach was – and
how enjoyable it’s been listening to these Louisville restorations
courtesy of the voluminous First Edition Reissue series,
as enticing a prospect in its own way as Lyrita. His writing
is fervent and colourful, full of rhythmic excitement – and
in his more voluptuous, Stokowskian moments he simply sweeps
one up with the involving aural spectacle of it all.
start with the Melorhythmic Dramas – rather a Stan
Kentonish name for seven character pieces of unimpeachable
drama. The Festive second movement is bursting with
rhythmic bite, brass surges, and cinematic voluptuary. Play
this to keep the Blues at bay. To follow we have the terse
Herrmann-Hitchcockian Poignant – though its urgency
might be construed as more Pregnant than Poignant. The brass
is to the fore in Tragic – richly layered and textured
and intensely powerful. There’s something – how can one put
this – almost Cleopatran about the Voluptuous movement.
For Vehemence Surinach constructs a brusque brass-heavy
argument full of rhythmic insistence. And to conclude with Mournful means
more of the same and plenty more besides – an active, toughly
Variations, composed in 1962, was recorded three years
later. The drama quotient is no less here and the seamless
theatrical projection as inspired. There’s a certain Stravinskian
dynamism to the writing and a big broad sweep of lush Iberian
melody. The brassy summations are a crowning splendour
as are the heavily striding ritual-sounding figures that
conclude the work. Surinach here corrals rhythm, colour,
melody, massed and solo lines (solo trumpet especially)
and forges them all into an invigorating catalogue of pleasures.
some way the earliest work is possibly also the most sheerly
infectious. Composed in 1950 Sinfonietta Flamenca serves
up a heady tapas of an opening movement – full of vivacious
flamenco and swirling dynamism. Yes, there’s a hint of danger
too, a half glimpse of blade in the stocking in the Andantino but
in little more than twelve minutes we are suffused in fiery
chatter and riotous energy. Don’t worry – Surinach knows
better than to go too far. And so too with his overture,
which is draped in carnival vivacity.
is a cure for low spirits. There’s nothing fatuous or crude
about his writing – it’s on the contrary excellently constructed;
and the Variations illustrate how well. The Louisville
Orchestra really digs into them. Despite the mono origins
of two of the four works the sound stage is still wide enough
to appreciate the broad colour and teem of these invigorating
and exciting scores. Surinach splendour is guaranteed here.
from previous months Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the
discs reviewed. details We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to
which you refer.