Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

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

 


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!


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
 


Availability
CD & Download: CD Baby

Jackson BERKEY (b.1942)
21 st Century Romantic
Rainydark and Fireflight from Suite for two pianos (2003) [7:30]
Time Twisters;
Samba-Rhumba Walla-Walla [2:02]
Sakura [4:13]
Delaware Bay Ice [1:58]
Beach Caterpillar [1:43]
Bernadette’s Salsa Egg Dish [1:38]
Vivaldi’s Winter from Hood Canal Pastels [4:48]
Nocturnes:
No. 5 in D Major, Dorian - Sunny Blues [4:29]
No. 12 in G-sharp Minor - Homage to Sergei Rachmaninoff [7:29]
No. 22 in G Minor [4:06]
No. 23 in F Major - Playin’ in the buff [3:45]
No. 24 in D Minor [3:57]
Suite for two pianos (2003-07) [23:20] ²
Playin’ in the buff [3:25] ¹
JJ’s Toy Box [13:25] ³
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Sonata in E Major, Opus 109 [21:55]
Jackson Berkey (piano and harpsichord ¹)
Bobby Kunkle (piano) ²
JJ Toy (piano) ³
rec. William Schmoller Music Mansion, Omaha. (Beethoven rec.1988)
SDG RECORDS SDG091-2 [47:43 + 62:10]

Experience Classicsonline


Jackson Berkey has composed widely for a variety of forces, choral and instrumental included. He’s also a pianist, and has notched up an impressive several decades service as keyboardist with Mannheim Steamroller - of Christmas albums fame (try Wikipedia for details, or the band’s website).
 
The music on this double album - let’s stick with old time nomenclature - catches him in wholly pianistic mode. Rainydark and Fireflight is from Suite for two pianos which is heard in its entirety in the second disc, but its first appearance on side one comes in a version for solo piano. It’s a warmly nostalgic opus with reflective, refined textures - in places filigree - but also with rich chords, suggestive triads and plenty of limpid, pliant Gallic suggestibility. Berkey collected some of his pieces into ‘Time Twisters’ and we hear six of them. Samba-Rhumba Walla-Walla - groovy title - is extrovert, jazzy, with plenty of rhythmic charge, whilst the following piece is deliberately contrastive, being an evocative quiescent piece conjoined with tuned wind chimes. He investigates Japanese hues in Sakura but really goes to town in Delaware Bay Ice which generates a motoric Boogie beat. Cannily constructed this selection of pieces also includes the rippling arpeggios of Vivaldi’s Winter.
 
Honouring traditional forms, as he also does, Berkey is an assiduous composer of Nocturnes and plays five of his set of 24. Jazz and Blues hues illuminate No.5 whilst 15 is explicitly dedicated to Rachmaninoff; melancholy is the ethos, with deep bass bell tolls; the melody line at around 3:00 actually sounds a little like Leo Sayer’s When I Need You. The F major Nocturne is redolent of hymnal Americana. In general though, the influences range from the obvious Rachmaninoff, to Debussy, and maybe Copland.
 
We hear the whole of the Suite in its two piano version, where Berkey is joined by young protégé Bobby Kunkle. There are certainly minimalist grooves in the work but its warmly textured central movement - the one we heard in the first disc in its solo guise - gives it emotive ballast. The work’s memorial cast indeed deepens in the finale, in a kind of affecting recessional, and ends in a gauzy, hazy quietude. Very satisfying. Berkey plays Playin’ in the buff on harpsichord in disc two; you can hear it in a modified piano version in its guise as the F major Nocturne noted above. I prefer the delightful harpsichord version. The buff of the title refers to the ‘peau de bouffle’ or ‘buff’ stop which simulates a lute. I suspect Berkey himself remained fully clothed.
 
JJ’s Toy Box refers to the youthful Master Toy himself who plays alongside Berkey in these two piano pieces. There are amusing Keith Jarrett moments, as well as Pop ones, waves and chime overdubbing, Debussian harmonies, and lots of action and enjoyment. Finally there is a 1988 recording of Berkey playing Beethoven’s Op.109 sonata. He takes the theme and variations finale very slowly indeed, with a gentleness that sometimes almost comes to a full stop.
 
Berkey’s music is engaging, thoughtful and amusing, and he’s been well served by the recorded sound.
 
Jonathan Woolf  

Editor's note: The label that this recoridng is published on has nothing to do with John Eliot Gardiner's label.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.