Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


 
REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline


Michael DAUGHERTY (b.1954)
Fire and Blood for Violin and Orchestra (2003) [28:16]
MotorCity Triptych for Orchestra (2000) [28:09]
Raise the Roof for Timpani and Orchestra (2003) [13:06]
Ida Kavafin (violin), Ramón Parcells (trumpet), Kenneth Thompkins, Michael Becker, Randall Hawes (trombones), Brian Jones (timpani), Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Järvi
rec. May 2003 (Fire and Blood), Jan 2001 (MotorCity Triptych), Oct 2003 (Raise the Roof), Max M Fisher Music Center, Orchestra Hall, Detroit, Michigan, USA
NAXOS 8.559372 [69:30]

Experience Classicsonline

It's one thing when you listen to a movie soundtrack and just enjoy it, as music. But it can be quite a different experience when you know the movie and its story. The music on this disc can also be appreciated on two levels. Just listen to it - and you'll probably like it, for it is colorful, brave, modern, beautiful, interesting. Then read the excellent, comprehensive notes by the composer, Michael Daugherty, and the listening experience will be much richer. There is helluva lot he wanted to put into the music. And what is remarkable, he really succeeded in doing it!

The music is not only recorded by its world premiere performers - these actually are the world premiere performances. So, it's pretty authoritative. This also adds the excitement of music newborn close to the real joy of creation. The playing is so good that the applause at the end of each piece comes as a shock: what, this was live? And the recording quality is very commendable, spacious, catching every detail of the exotic orchestration.

Detroit is the motto of the disc, and the first work on it, Fire and Blood for Violin and Orchestra, is inspired by the Detroit Industry murals by Diego Rivera. The first part could be a depiction of Rivera's fiery temperament. It could also reflect the fascination big, all-consuming fires - volcanos, industrial furnaces or revolutions - held for the artist. But conflagration also has a negative, destructive side, and this aspect is also present in the music. The middle part is dedicated to Rivera's wife, Frida Kahlo. From out of a "red river of blood" rises a hauntingly beautiful melody - more Yiddish than Mexican to my ears. There is suffering, compassion, love and grief. It is one of the most touching pieces I have ever heard, at times completely breathtaking. Finally, in the short third part we arrive at the murals themselves. The violin is now the worker on a conveyor belt, while the orchestra is the machinery it operates. Among the industrial clinks and clangs, the violinist brings the work to its triumphant close.

The entire composition leaves the aftertaste of a well-made movie. The violin part is ambitious, and the soloist, Ida Kavafian, does wonders with her brilliant, powerful playing, full of life. The orchestra matches her dazzling virtuosity with its own. Here Daugherty outshines himself in inventing sonic gestures and thrilling effects. Indeed, I daresay that this is one of the most dramatic, rich and just beautiful - in that old-fashioned sense - pieces of music written in this century.

There is less unity in the earlier MotorCity Triptych. It consists of three large-scale pictures, which can also be regarded as independent pieces. Motown Mondays evokes the sounds of the famous Detroit nightclub in the Sixties. Pedal-to-the-Metal is a drive through Detroit's Michigan Avenue, with its past and present colorfully mixed. Rosa Parks Boulevard is an imaginative essay on civil rights. The use of three trombones to depict voices of Afro-American preachers is unforgettable. The entire triptych creates a feeling of a large mosaic. Probably, it is too fragmentary. Still, this is a very effective orchestral triptych, with rich, inventive orchestration, superbly performed and recorded.

Imagine Rhapsody in Blue, where the piano part is taken by ... timpani! That's what happens in Raise the Roof, the last work on the disc. Yes, timpani, of all instruments, take the solo role. And they play melodies, and they have a virtuosic cadenza. The work is conceived as variations on two themes, which creates interesting constructs in the middle section. The first theme appears to be inherently Latin. This, together with bright orchestration, creates a festive, Gershwin-meets-Revueltas atmosphere. It’s tons of fun in the end.

The Detroit Symphony under Järvi plays with soul and style, and vividly brings to life all the eccentric twists of Daugherty's imagination. Michael Daugherty is certainly a composer to know. He is still and ever on the rise, and I can't even guess where his muse will take him in the future. But I can be sure that it will be interesting and beautiful: the properties that every composer strives to achieve, but not everyone can!

Oleg Ledeniov

see also review by Carla Rees 


 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews 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 Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.