Music by Nicolas Flagello

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Nicolas Flagello is somewhat of a favored poster boy for neo-Romanticism; marginalized by a concert scene completely absorbed in academic serialism, Flagello pressed on as though the concert world itself didn't exist, adamantly following his muse even though the prospect of performances of his work ranged only from slim to nil. In order to conserve his energy and maximize his output, Flagello often composed in short score, creating full-scale orchestrations only when the prospect of performance was imminent. Unfortunately, illness deprived him of the ability to do so a bit earlier than Flagello planned, and as a result, a great many of his works remain in the short ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Nicolas Flagello is somewhat of a favored poster boy for neo-Romanticism; marginalized by a concert scene completely absorbed in academic serialism, Flagello pressed on as though the concert world itself didn't exist, adamantly following his muse even though the prospect of performances of his work ranged only from slim to nil. In order to conserve his energy and maximize his output, Flagello often composed in short score, creating full-scale orchestrations only when the prospect of performance was imminent. Unfortunately, illness deprived him of the ability to do so a bit earlier than Flagello planned, and as a result, a great many of his works remain in the short score only, including the magnificent "Violin Concerto" 1956 here. Exactly contemporary with the concerto written for Jascha Heifetz by Miklós Rósza, the short score for this never-performed concerto wasn't filled out until musicologist Anthony Sbordoni did so in 2003; violinist Elmar Oliveira was very happy to premiere it once it was ready. It was worth the wait; this concerto is an intensely dramatic and personal work that nonetheless contains plenty of virtuosic writing for the soloist. Sbordoni has done an excellent job with realizing Flagello's accompaniment, retaining some vestige of his tendency toward thick scoring and lushness, but never allowing it to get out of control. This Artek disc is filled out with a number of attractive, smaller works, including several excerpts taken from Flagello's operas. Orchestral excerpts represent "Mirra" 1955 and "The Sisters" 1958, and an aria from "Beyond the Horizon" 1973 is sung by soprano Susan Gonzalez, along with a selection of orchestral songs. Of these, "The Brook" 1978, a setting of Tennyson, is notable for its sheer emotionalism and operatic sweep. It sounds like nothing else written in 1978, yet it doesn't sound like 1920 verismo either; Flagello incorporated far too many modernistic details into the texture for the music to be truly reactionary, but the overall emotional effect is similar to what Puccini might have written had he lived into the 1970s. Soprano Susan Gonzalez, a graduate of the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music's oft-heralded voice department, sings these songs in a manner that would do the composer proud. The Ukraine State Radio Symphony under John McLaughlin Williams performs this never-heard music with enthusiasm and some panache, although there's a little waywardness in the string section during the violin concerto. The recording is clear and a little dark in color, but this suits Flagello's music well, which is like red wine rather than white. If one is inclined to romantic music that has an additional element of bite, Artek's Music by Nicolas Flagello will prove well worth your time.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/24/2007
  • Label: Artek
  • UPC: 661853003626
  • Catalog Number: 36
  • Sales rank: 346,948

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Symphonic Aria, for orchestra - Nicolas Flagello & Walter Simmons (5:58)
  2. 2–3 Interlude and Dance from Mirra, for orchestra - Nicolas Flagello & Walter Simmons (10:51)
  3. 3 The Sisters, opera in 2 scenes: Interludio - Nicolas Flagello & Walter Simmons (6:42)
  4. 5–7 Violin Concerto - Nicolas Flagello & Elmar Oliveira (29:30)
  5. 6 The Rainy Day, for voice & orchestra - Nicolas Flagello & Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (5:00)
  6. 7 The Brook, for voice & orchestra - Nicolas Flagello & Walter Simmons (3:25)
  7. 8 Beyond the Horizon, opera: Act 3. Ruth's Aria - Nicolas Flagello & Walter Simmons (3:09)
  8. 9 Canto, for voice & orchestra - Nicolas Flagello & Walter Simmons (5:02)
  9. 10 Polo 1, for voice & orchestra - Nicolas Flagello & Walter Simmons (2:29)
  10. 11 Polo 2, for voice & orchestra - Nicolas Flagello & Walter Simmons (2:13)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Elmar Oliveira Primary Artist
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