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Double Violin Concerto
     

Double Violin Concerto

5.0 1
by Mark O'Connor, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
 
For his "Double Violin Concerto" (1997) Mark O'Connor temporarily set aside his popular "Appalachian" mode (adequately represented in the last three pieces here), and turned his attention to the blues and jazz -- or at least the aspects of these genres he had absorbed and accepted as fair game for "classicizing." Considering the Texas swing and Dixieland imitations in

Overview

For his "Double Violin Concerto" (1997) Mark O'Connor temporarily set aside his popular "Appalachian" mode (adequately represented in the last three pieces here), and turned his attention to the blues and jazz -- or at least the aspects of these genres he had absorbed and accepted as fair game for "classicizing." Considering the Texas swing and Dixieland imitations in the outer movements as timid choices, it seems that O'Connor has opted to play it safe, exploring only styles that have commercial viability. To that end, the opening and closing movements are showy and entertaining -- note especially O'Connor's "cutting" sessions in the dual cadenzas with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg -- but they are superficial, emotionally shallow, and kitschy, without a breath of poetry or lyricism to redeem them. In contrast, "Midnight on the Dance Room Floor" is more ingenious, interesting, and inviting, though O'Connor's jazz inflections seem heavily borrowed from Stéphane Grappelli's hot jazz recordings, and the symphonic orchestration is not suggestive of the big band sound O'Connor wished to re-create. If judged on the performance, he and Salerno-Sonnenberg are engaging as a virtuoso duo, and Marin Alsop and the Colorado Symphony provide exuberant accompaniment in all three movements. The recording levels are fine, though on the loud side.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/14/2005
Label:
Omac
UPC:
0676519000185
catalogNumber:
8

Tracks

  1. Double Violin Concerto, for 2 violins & orchestra
  2. Appalachia Waltz, version for solo cello
  3. Johnny Appleseed Suite
  4. Amazing Grace

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Double Violin Concerto 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Playing Time - 59:33 -- Recorded at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver on two nights in November, 2003, “Double Violin Concerto” features violinists Mark O’Connor and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop. “Double Violin Concerto” was composed by O’Connor in 1997 and is his third symphonic concerto. Mark’s goal was to achieve blues, jazz, swing and big band feelings, and he shows an extraordinary ability to accomplish it as only a virtuoso can. The piece was originally composed for Nadja and was premiered with the Chicago Symphony in 1999. The third movement, “Dixieland,” give the Orchestra’s bass players and horns a good workout. Mark and Nadja also perform “Appalachia Waltz.” O’Connor’s “Johnny Appleseed Suite” is his 1994 orchestration of the children’s music he originally composed for a Garrison Keillor disc and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Children’s Recording. Friends John Jarvis (piano) and Bryan Sutton (guitar) join O’Connor and the Orchestra in a resplendent string journey. Long exquisite lines provide us with nostalgic views lost to the passing of time. The album closes with Mark’s splendid rendition of “Amazing Grace” with Orchestra. His fluid, lyrical, and emotional style is truly heartwarming. I first became familiar with Marin Alsop, the emerging superstar conductor when she was on the podium with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra. Her insight, instinct, intuition and interpretation of the music resulted in O’Connor calling her “the best friend to an American composer.” Mark’s collaboration with Nadja has spanned about six years, and he considers her to be “one the greatest violinists of not only our time but of all time.” A diverse musician who has made a considerable name for himself in many walks of life, O’Connor has a down-to-earth style which is impeccable. Salerno-Sonnenberg’s second violin is played with a more regimented classical approach. However, both have excellent command of the techniques to impressively play difficult passages and responses that complement each other. There are occasional flurries of notes and rapid-fire commentary, but the two indefatigable maestros fully understand each other. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, OR.)