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Thursday, June 23, 2022

Victor Herbiet, Airs Dances


If you have a sort of broad understanding of  music lifeways and/or folkways you will remember Victor Herbert (1859-1924) as the composer of some well-known operettas and Tin Pan Alley popular songs. But as I get older I can sometimes not see things clearly. So when I got a new CD of the music of Victor Herbiet I misread it, then  proceeded to do a review of "Herbert." No wonder he sounded so fresh!

So thankfully the label just sent me a message that I got it wrong.

It hit me on first listen as music simultaneously in the "vernacular" and yet Neo-Classically well honed. Most of these are short miniatures of definite interest. "Troika" for example has a modern tang and a dance-redolent infectiousness. Beyond that intriguing beginning we have a Herbiet tango, a sonatina for spring, A "Trois Valses-Caprices" for alto saxophone, a three movement Sonata for alto and piano, and on from there.

The performances are very good and the music itself fits in indirectly with the inside-outside jazz influenced Classical compositions of the past 100 years and so all the better for that.

I did not know precisely what to expect when I first put this on, but after a good number of listens I am glad to get to know the music. Now that I know WHO it is it makes perfect sense and sounds good and worth hearing no matter what you know or do not! Recommended.

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