Sunday, January 21, 2007

CCS premieres Taddie, readies Plain

Went to a Cleveland Chamber Symphony concert Sunday afternoon at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, and noticed that the pieces I liked were by the two composers I'd never heard of. The orchestra played Charles Ives' "Symphony No. 3," which was OK, and Tan Dun's "Concerto for Orchestra: Yi," which had a lot of colorful clangs and thuds but didn't really cohere for me as a piece. But "Amazonia II" by David Taddie was exciting and the "Concerto for Recorder & Chamber Orchestra" by Gerald Plain was beautiful. The Taddie was the world premiere of a brand new piece by a Cleveland native.

The CCS is recording the Plain concerto on Monday. Mark George, board president of the symphony and the band's piano player, says the orchestra has already recorded "The Bird of Four Hundred Voices" by the late Dennis Eberhard, a prominent Cleveland composer, for the same release, which will come out next year.

Emusic has eight Cleveland Chamber Symphony albums. I can recommend "The New American Scene III." I downloaded "New American Soloists" after the concert but haven't had time to listen to it yet.

Addendum: Jeffrey Quick weighs in with a long review. He liked the Taddie, too, wasn't so thrilled with the Plain. Like everyone else in the known universe, he likes Charles Ives better than I do.

More: Donald Rosenberg, the Plain Dealer's classical music reviewer, discusses the concert in the Tuesday paper. He's not the world's biggest fan of the Plain piece, either. If the academics and the newspaper writers don't like it, does that mean Plain's concerto is destined for immortality?

1 comment:

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