This program offers three lively, colorful, and captivating orchestral works by two United States composers, born almost a century apart. These pieces exhibit the fruitful exchange and flow of musical material between North and South America that has long played a role in popular music, apparent not only in commercial song and dance music using Latin American melodies and rhythms but also in early jazz and blues where tango rhythms are so often heard, as in W. C. Handy's St. Louis Blues. And both Gottschalk in the 1850s, close to the beginning of a creative American musical tradition, and Gould in the 1950s, when such a tradition had flowered considerably, show a combination of seriousness of approach with a popular touch.
One of the characteristics of Morton Feldman's music is the way silences are thrown into stark relief. Each silence - freighted with memory, charged with expectation - becomes a unique presence in the music more than merely an absence of it. Though his silences are measured in units of time, they also contain an intimation of infinity. The music of the "classical" tradition slows down, speeds up, layers and otherwise manipulates time. Of the other arts, only cinema plays with our temporal perception to a greater degree.
…Thanks to the unprocessed and fully natural audio signal, all of the nuances of Schleiermacher's touch are captured, yet there is also a slight background sound that apparently comes from the performance space, not from any defect in the all-digital recording. Listeners may find that this is only a mild distraction and easy to get past once the music takes hold. This important series is recommended for all Feldman aficionados and anyone interested in the sublime expressions of his late period.
…If you're unfamiliar with Feldman's nuanced, nondevelopmental music, this may not be the easiest point of entry, but . . . well, there probably isn't an easy point of entry after all, so why not just dive in?
…It's intriguing to imagine how a very slow performance would come off, but Schleiermacher's is a fully persuasive version of a piece that could have a number of very different but valid interpretations. MGD's natural, unprocessed sound is, as is typical for the label, immaculate and vivid.
"Johannes (Hans) Wolfgang Zender (born 22 November 1936 in Wiesbaden) is a German conductor and composer. (…) From 1988 until 2000 Zender taught composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. In 1997 Zender was awarded the Goethe Prize of the City of Frankfurt. Since 1999 he has been Permanent Guest Conductor of the Southwest German Radio (SWR) Symphony Orchestra in Baden-Baden and Freiburg…"
In the intimate atmosphere of one of New Orleans's premier jazz clubs, Lulu White's Mahogany Hall on Bourbon Street, the music that set the city on fire: the authentic sounds of Jelly Roll Morton's jazz is performed by the legendary Dukes of Dixieland and Danny Barker, one of Jelly Roll's own musicians. Ferdinand Lamothe aka Jelly Roll Morton was one of the first great composers and piano players of Jazz. He was a talented arranger and musician who wrote special scores that took advantage of the three-minute limitations of the 78 rpm record. Even more than this, he was a real character whose spirit shines brightly through history - like his diamond studded smile