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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Samuel Zyman, 3 Concertos, Marisa Canales, Mercedes Gomez

Some music doesn't particularly belong to a camp yet stands on its own so well it forms its own category of one. Samuel Zyman's music on 3 Concertos (Urtext 225) does that. Zyman gives us his "Concerto no 2 'De Mineria' for Flute and Orchestra", his "Concerto for Harp, Flute and Orchestra" and his "Concerto for Harp and Orchestra". The three works go especially well together. The soloists are near ideal in Marisa Canales on flute and Mercedes Gomez on harp. And the Orquesta de las Americas sounds beautifully idiomatic under conductor Benjamin Juarez Echenique.

For these works there is a pronounced Latin American feel in the music's minor mode flourish, plus perhaps a shade of Zyman's Jewish heritage. The music is thematically rich, well structured and rhythmically vibrant. Ms. Canales brings an articulately exuberant lyricism with some bite to the flute parts; Ms. Gomez plays quite beautifully with a hint of the staccato feel that comes out of traditional south-of-the-border harp music in the folk vernacular.

The music has a modern touch yet brings the thematic memorability of earlier times into play. It's almost neo-classical in its elegance of form and content, not really Stravinskian but with an appeal not unlike Igor's music in his middle phase.

It is delightful in every way. Score! Definitely recommended.

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