- String Quartet No. 1
- Serenade for viola & piano ("to Irene Jacobi")
- Sonatine, for 2 violins
- Concerto for string orchestra
- Nachtmusik, for clarinet, cello & celeste, Op. 9 ("Fisches Nachtgesang")
The ARC Ensemble (Artists of the Royal Conservatory, Toronto) presents a handful of world premiere recordings on this 2016 release in Chandos' Music in Exile series, focusing on the neglected music of Polish-American composer Jerzy Fitelberg. Once praised by Aaron Copland and Arthur Rubinstein for his cosmopolitan music, and honored with prestigious awards from the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation and the Koussevitsky Foundation, Fitelberg was all but forgotten after his death in 1951, due in part because his musical and cultural milieu had been left behind in Europe. The chamber works offered here are representative of Fitelberg's clear-headed, unsentimental style, which shows the strong influences of Igor Stravinsky and Paul Hindemith, and the economy of his ideas and the compactness of his forms produced concise, almost aphoristic statements. The two string quartets are the meatiest pieces, and their rhythmic vitality seems to stem from the mechanistic side of modernism, as well as Stravinsky's complex meters, though Fitelberg gives expression to a richly lyrical vein in his "Serenade for viola and piano," and the haunting "Nachtmusik for clarinet, cello, and celeste." Considering the rather large body of works Fitelberg composed, which included concertos, orchestral pieces, and much chamber music, this is a tantalizing introduction that warrants many more recordings to do justice to his work.