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The Chamber Music of David Amram

UAV-5987.cover.600.trim.UPDATED“David Amram is arguably the most American of American composers. His music has drawn from a diversity of sources and styles: the American ‘classical’ style, theater and film music, the ‘great American songbook’, folk, jazz, blues, native American melodies and instruments, beat poetry, and many other influences. His music reflects America’s virtues of innovation, independence, and multiculturalism. And it’s a blast to listen to!”

– Gene Gaudette, Urlicht AudioVisual

David Amram – composer, conductor, multi-instrumental virtuoso, and author — is one of the most versatile, acclaimed, and truly unpredictable musicians America has produced. His surprising litany of achievements include the world’s record for number of performances of the Brahms Horn Trio (during his military service in the 1950s), musical collaborations with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsburg, numerous film scores including his acclaimed music for “The Manchurian Candidate”, pioneering work in promoting native American and world music, advocacy for music education and youth music programs, and a tour of Cuba in 1977 with Stan Getz and Earl “Fatha” Hines (the first visit by American musicians since the trade embargo of 1962). In 2012, the New York Chamber Music Festival presented an evening of Amram’s chamber music performed by acclaimed flutist Carol Wincenc, violin virtuoso Elmira Darvarova, New York Philharmonic hornist Howard Wall, the Face the Music Ensemble, the New York Piano Quartet, and the David Amram Quartet.


Program:

Sonata for Violin and Piano
Elmira Darvarova, violin • Tomoko Kanamaru, piano

Theme and Variations on “Red River Valley” for flute and strings
Carol Wincenc, flute • Face the Music Ensemble

Giants of the Night: A Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (version for flute and piano) – Andante
Carol Wincenc
, flute • Hsin-Chiao Liao, piano

Portraits for piano quartet
New York Piano Quartet with guest cellist Wendy Sutter

Blues and Variations for Monk for French horn
Howard Wall, horn

Five Readings from Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” for narrator(s) and jazz quartet
Ekayani ChamberlinAdira AmramDouglas Yeager, narrators • The David Amram Quartet

All works published by C.F. Peters Corporation

Recorded live September 7th, 2012 at Symphony Space, New York City

Engineered by Gene Gaudette and Howard Wall • Produced by Gene Gaudette

Total Playing Time 79:57

UAV-CD-5987

Retail release date: July 22, 2014
Available NOW exclusively from Urlicht AudioVisual

The New York Chamber Music Festival's tribite to an American original
Price(USD): $14.99

More Praise for Cuckson, Burns, and Nono

Miranda Cuckson and Christopher Burns | Luigi NonoThe Examiner‘s Stephen Smoliar relates his experience listening to the new recording of Luigi Nono’s La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura with violinist Miranda Cuckson and electronica master Richard Burns some years after having heard a live performance by Gidon Kremer:

A recent release of this composition by Urlicht has taken a rather unique approach to capturing that sense of journey. Violinist Miranda Cuckson and “projectionist” Christopher Burns made a recording after having given a performance in New York. This was a multi-track recording for playback on a 5.1 Surround Sound system, and it was released as a Blu-ray audio disc. For those who lacked the necessary technology, that disc was packaged with a more conventional stereophonic CD. As one who lacks that “necessary technology,” my own listening experience involved playing the CD with full knowledge of my previous spatial experience.

With that disclaimer I have to say that there is much to be gained from the CD in spite of its limitations. Without the spatial effects one is more inclined to attend to Nono’s motivic vocabulary. While this may make the journey less “physical,” one can still appreciate that sense of peregrination through the six sections of the piece (conveniently marked as separate tracks on the CD). Furthermore, those who understand the semantics of “madrigal” in its Renaissance context will probably be more likely to appreciate why Nono chose this noun to categorize this particular composition.

Nevertheless, the other significant disclaimer I must make is that I had the advantage of listening to this recording with the benefit of past experience. There is no doubt that this is complex music, the result of scrupulous attention to both the notations encountered on the music stands and the sounds on the recorded tracks. It is probably more than most listeners will be able to manage on first contact. Nevertheless, it does not take many exposures for mind to encounter familiarities as the performance peregrinates. The listener willing to let this music work its magic on its own terms is likely to be well rewarded.

Luigi Nono: La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura (1988-89)
Miranda Cuckson, violin / Christopher Burns, electronics

Produced by Christopher Burns and Richard Warp
Recording engineer: Richard Warp
Recorded at A Bloody Good Record Inc, Long Island City NY
Mixing engineer (stereo CD): Richard Warp
Mixing engineers (DTS 5.1 surround mix): Paul Special and Richard Warp
Assistant mixing engineer (DTS 5.1 surround mix): Dillon Pajunas
DTS 5.1 surround mix produced at Sonic Arts Center, CCNY, NYC
Produced for New Spectrum Recordings, NYC
Executive producer: Glenn Cornett

Urlicht AudioVisual UAD-5992

CD plus Blu-Ray Audio for home theater systems — available at Amazon.com.

CD plus DTS-CD for home theater systems — available here.

Patricia Leonard’s “Strangely Close, Yet Distant” Nominated for American Prize in Composition

Songs for Mahler in the Absence of WordsComposer Patricia Leonard informs us that Strangely Close, Yet Distant, her trio for viola, cello, and piano included in the New York Piano Quartet’s Songs for Mahler in the Absence of Words, has been nominated for the American Prize for Composition.

Urlicht AudioVisual congratulates Patricia along with the members of the New York Piano Quartet along with recording engineer John Baker and his team!


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ARG praises the New York Piano Quartet’s CD release of music by Marx and Korngold

Marx: Rhapsodie / Korngold: SuiteAnother rave review for the New York Piano Quartet:

“Joseph Marx’s Quartet in the Form of a Rhapsody, to give its full name, dates from 1911, the year he also wrote his superb Rhapsody, Scherzo, and Ballade for the same forces. … Marx’s control over his resources is everywhere apparent. The piece struck me as first-rate in every respect. … We need to stop thinking of Korngold as merely a skilled vendor of Hollywood bon-bons. His chamber music not only shows a deeper aspect of his personality, but in retrospect lifts the average of his entire output. Performances of both works are terrific, completely vindicating their value.
- Don O’Connor, American Record Guide, June 2013

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Elisha Abas

“Unlike any other recording of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15, you’ve ever heard”

“Abas pretty much is calling the shots here, and what he produces is unlike any other recording of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15, you’ve ever heard. You can dive in pretty much anywhere, but try the opening movement, where Abas careens through startling contrasts, imperious gestures, and generally extreme phrasing. You might object that this isn’t Brahms, but rather Liszt experimenting with a slightly more classical approach to form. Yet Abas is clearly a highly charismatic player, and there is absolutely no possibility of boredom here.”
– James Manheim, All Music Guide

Cover: Elisha Abas Plays BrahmsBrahms: Piano Concerto No.1 in d minor, Op. 15

  1. Maestoso–Poco piu moderato (22:28)
  2. Adagio (13:11)
  3. Rondo (11:59)

Elisha Abas, piano
National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba
Yoel Gamzou, conductor

Recorded December 9, 2009.
Produced and engineered by Andrea Tommasi.
Special thanks to Simona DeFeo, whose hard work and assistance made this recording possible.
Art direction: Andre Hilz
Copyright 2009, Elisha Abas. Issued by Urlicht AudioVisual under license from Elisha Abas.

UAV-5999

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