In Paul Huang’s performance, the work is transformed from a soprano aria to work for a much lower voice at the opening. It’s not until the repetition (and ornamented) repeat, that the violin part ascends into the stratosphere. It’s an interesting way of making us re-hear a work that may be sometimes so familiar that we don’t hear it at all.
In this performance, our two lutes accompany a singer in Johannes Bedyngham’s Fortune alas, a plea to Lady Fortune to be kinder. He asks why she should be wasting his life by keeping him in prison and accuses her of liking the fact that she can bring a man from success to failure in an instant.
Maxwell Davies examines the string quartet as an architectural structure on his commission by Naxos Records. He includes snippets of the nine earlier quartets in the Quartet No. 10, the final work in the project. Are you able to discover them?
The Overture is not what we would expect from the orchestral concert overtures, which always seems to be telling you a story. This overture seems to place you in the middle of the action immediately, constantly asking for your attention.
Pablo Sarasate (1844-1908) was one of the great late 19th century violinists. As a virtuoso, he was known not only for his faultless execution but also for his purity of tone. He gradually began to write his own music and in 1898 published his second volume of Spanish Dances for violin and piano.
As a modern work for flute and orchestra, Kernis' Air brings not bravura runs and trills, but a kind of central stillness that lets you appreciate the intrinsic qualities of not only the work but also the instrument.
Violinist Paul Huang’s recording with pianist Jessica Osborne captures the brilliance of his playing. In his hands, Manuel de Falla’s Danse Espagnole in the wedding scene of La vida breve become a brilliant fiery dance.
Six Dances, or as one commentator said, three dances in two blocks, was composed over a seven-year period, 1950 to 1957. Some of the dances sound like Mussorgsky and some like folk song, one is concerned with temperament and another is about rhythm. The work as a whole connects the contemporary with the Romantic.