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Monday, September 24, 2012

Slices, A Cross-Section of Classical Works for Small Ensemble

Here is a good idea: a series of modern miniatures for various small chamber configurations. Slices (Navona 5874) covers seven relatively unknown composers of international provenance (Reynard Burns, Lionel Sainsbury, Hakan Sundin, Hans Bakker, Alan Beeler, Christina Rusnak and William A. Fletcher.

The music is mostly scherzo-like--lighthearted, not lightweight. I suppose you could say that many have a neo-classical post-Stravinskian feel to them. There's a short piece for solo violin (Sainsbury); a duet for flute and clarinet (Sundin); violin and clarinet (Bakker); then there are four quartets played by various combinations of instruments (two works for piano, viola, clarinet and flute by Beeler, two works by the Moravian Philharmonic Winds: flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, by Rusnak and Fletcher, respectively) and a quintet for the Moravian Philharmonic Winds--flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon and horn--by Burns).

The works fit together well, are played well, and have a rather sunny, early morning disposition for the most part. This is a disc that may be easy to miss, but it is singularly appealing.

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