Ned Rorem: Chamber Music with Flute

Ned Rorem: Chamber Music with Flute

by Fenwick Smith
     
 

The strong lyrical impulse of Ned Rorem's songs is also evident in his chamber pieces for flute, an instrument for which he wrote highly expressive music. This Naxos album features performances of "Mountain Song" (1949), "Romeo and Juliet" (1977), "Trio" (1960), and "Book of Hours" (1975), which were recorded in 1993, and "Four Prayers" (2006), which was recorded in… See more details below

Overview

The strong lyrical impulse of Ned Rorem's songs is also evident in his chamber pieces for flute, an instrument for which he wrote highly expressive music. This Naxos album features performances of "Mountain Song" (1949), "Romeo and Juliet" (1977), "Trio" (1960), and "Book of Hours" (1975), which were recorded in 1993, and "Four Prayers" (2006), which was recorded in 2008, so the program is quite representative of Rorem's output throughout his career. Whether using elements of folk music in a modal vein, as in "Mountain Song" and "Four Prayers," or using more chromatic harmonies and angular lines of modernism, as in the "Trio" and "Romeo and Juliet," Rorem still conveys a love for the soaring single line, and his attachment to a flexible tonality keeps the music close to traditional melodic shapes, even if an actual key may be hard to identify. Flutist Fenwick Smith presents Rorem's music with a round tone, clear phrasing, and polished execution, and his performances with pianist Mihae Lee, guitarist David Leisner, cellist Ronald Thomas, and harpist Ann Hobson Pilot all reflect a gentle, introspective approach to the music, which is in keeping with Rorem's pensive moods. Rorem's endorsement of the performances suggests a genuine connection was established with the musicians, who played with great sympathy and sincerity. Naxos' reproduction is good in the 1993 recordings, though the sound has more presence and richness in "Four Prayers."

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/30/2011
Label:
Naxos American
UPC:
0636943967423
catalogNumber:
8559674
Rank:
370669

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Book of Hours, pieces (8) for flute & harp  - Ned Rorem  - Ann Hobson Pilot  - Fenwick Smith
  2. Trio for flute, cello & piano  - Ned Rorem  - Mihae Lee  - Fenwick Smith  - Ronald Thomas
  3. Romeo and Juliet, for flute & guitar  - Ned Rorem  - David Leisner  - Fenwick Smith
  4. Mountain Song, for flute (or oboe or violin or cello) & piano  - Ned Rorem  - Mihae Lee  - Fenwick Smith

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