John Cerminaro: A Life of Music

John Cerminaro: A Life of Music

by John Cerminaro
     
 

When Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg launched her own boutique label, NSS Music, she did not specify whether the label's offerings would be limited to her own performances; one would assume naturally that they would be. With John Cerminaro: A Life of Music, Salerno-Sonnenberg has stepped outside the box in order to provide a generous tribute to a colleague, legendary…  See more details below

Overview

When Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg launched her own boutique label, NSS Music, she did not specify whether the label's offerings would be limited to her own performances; one would assume naturally that they would be. With John Cerminaro: A Life of Music, Salerno-Sonnenberg has stepped outside the box in order to provide a generous tribute to a colleague, legendary horn player John Cerminaro. In the process, Salerno-Sonnenberg has contributed something to the catalog for which there is genuine need and has opened a door to a seldom-explored realm of historical recording. Of course, there is a worldwide industry of persons, legally or surreptitiously, trading in historical recordings of various kinds; mostly the same "legendary" dead people -- the Furtwänglers, the Toscaninis, and so on. What about "historical" recordings of key artists who are still very much active, and whose legacy is under-represented -- will there be any demand for them? Cerminaro made his reputation as the finest horn player to hold down first chair in the New York Philharmonic in the post-World War II period. Unfortunately this was from 1969 to 1976, the last years of Leonard Bernstein's tenure, where the orchestra was busy indeed, but not doing a lot in the way of recording. Cerminaro has more than made up for it with four outstanding solo albums for Crystal, but these recordings, allegedly coming from a "shoebox" in Cerminaro's closet, predate all of the Crystal efforts, and even come before the recording Salerno-Sonnenberg made with Cerminaro of the Brahms "Horn Trio in E flat, Op. 40," in 1993 for EMI. Here we have the Glière "Horn Concerto in B flat, Op. 91," from a concert in Aspen from 1991; Richard Strauss' "Horn Concerto No. 2 in E flat" in Melbourne, Australia, in 1974; and the Mozart "Horn Concerto in E flat, K. 417." Naturally the recording quality is variable, but the restoration work by Al Swanson is very well done on all of these tracks and is easily tolerable for the average listener. There has been a debate as to just when and who began the turn back from serial-derived techniques to traditional tonality, including a televised sparring match between composers William Bolcom and Louis Andriessen. Curiously, in such context one never sees to hear mention of composer David Amram, who never joined onto the serialist camp and even worked bits of rock and jazz into his otherwise concertized pieces. Here is represented Amram's "Concerto for horn and wind symphony" from a performance given way, way back in 1967. Here even the restoration work really isn't able to do much more than "save" the distantly recorded, rather hissy tape. Nevertheless, what a wonderful piece it is, and it makes a great Cerminaro available of a work that would make for a dandy inclusion on a horn recital. Thanks be to Salerno-Sonnenberg for having the vision to extend her resources to such a worthy project as John Cerminaro: A Life of Music. If you are a horn fancier or player, this is required listening.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/27/2006
Label:
Nss Music
UPC:
0853376000323
catalogNumber:
3
Rank:
206318

Tracks

  1. Concerto for horn & orchestra in B flat major, Op. 91  - Reinhold Glière  - John Cerminaro  - Lawrence Foster  - Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg  -  Aspen Festival Orchestra
  2. Horn Concerto No. 2 in E flat major, o.Op. 132 (TrV 283, AV 132)  - Richard Strauss  - John Cerminaro  - Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg  -  Victoria Symphony Orchestra  - Gerald Brown
  3. Horn Concerto No. 2 in E flat major, K. 417  - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  - John Cerminaro  - Koichiro Harada  - Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg  -  Toho Symphony Orchestra
  4. Concerto for Horn and Wind Symphony  - David Amram  - John Cerminaro  - Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg  -  James Chambers  -  Chambers Wind Ensemble

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