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Old 08-08-2019, 03:23 PM
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Default Edna Michell & VA - Compassion (Dedicated to Yehudi Menuhin) (2001)

Edna Michell & VA - Compassion (Dedicated to Yehudi Menuhin) (2001)
Ulf Hoelscher, Nachum Erlich, Bohuslav Matoušek, Shlomo Mintz (violins)
Allen Ginsburg, narrator; Michel Kaňka, cello; Igor Ardašev, piano
Susan Narucki, soprano; Patricia Rozario, soprano; Ludmilla Peterková, clarinet
Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Lukas Foss
Karlsruhe Ensemble, conducted by Andreas Weiss

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 353 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 182 Mb | Scans ~ 49 Mb
Classical, Contemporary | Label: Angel | # 72435 5 7179 2 4 | 01:19:13

Initially conceived as a moral and artistic response to human suffering, violinist Edna Michell's Compassion also became a touching tribute to her mentor and source of inspiration, Yehudi Menuhin, on his death in 1999. The 15 compositions commissioned by Michell for the project revolve around the themes of suffering and charity in fairly abstract or suggestive ways, with few programmatic, religious, or political points made beyond the allusive titles. As a practical matter for curious listeners, this CD is a comprehensive sampler of contemporary musical trends, and the leading lights of two generations of composers are generously represented in the CD's 80 minutes. Established figures such as Karel Husa, Lukas Foss, György Kurtág, Hans Werner Henze, Wolfgang Rihm, Philip Glass, John Tavener, Steve Reich, and Iannis Xenakis share the program with rising composers Shulamit Ran, Chen Yi, Yinam Leef, Betty Olivero, Poul Ruders, and Somei Satoh. Michell is the primary soloist, but she is joined by a long roster of vocalists and instrumentalists, poet Allen Ginsberg, and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in somber and striking performances, many of which are hauntingly beautiful and memorable. However, because the album's mood is overwhelmingly serious and darkly meditative, absorbing it in one sitting is difficult. Angel's sound quality is clear and focused.

Fifteen of the world's greatest living composers contributed works for Compassion, the musical tribute to Yehudi Menuhin and the enlightened ideals of the late violin maestro. The lineup is impressive and seemingly spans the entire spectrum of contemporary composing styles: John Tavener, Hans Werner Henze, Poul Ruders, Iannis Xenakis, Lukas Foss, Philip Glass, and numerous others. Oddly, the music they've written is, for the most part, quite similar-short, somber pieces that, not surprisingly, emphasize the violin. There are some impressive achievements, however. Somei Satoh's "Innocence" for soprano, violin, and cellos sounds a little like the "holy minimalism" of Arvo Pärt; Glass's "Echorus" features the narration of Allen Ginsberg; and Foss's "Romance" pursues a fading-Americana theme and includes an excerpt from Walt Whitman. The six-minute work for violin, string orchestra, and soprano also has a spirited mood, which is quite refreshing on this sobering disc. Violinist and Menuhin collaborator Edna Michell lovingly plays all these pieces with the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. It's a unique tribute to a unique figure in Classical music, but it's not for everyone.

Edna Michell (violin) 2, 4-5, 7-15
Ulf Hoelscher (violin) 1, 3, 5, 6, 12, 14, 15
Nachum Erlich (violin) 3, 5
Bohuslav Matoušek (violin) 12
Shlomo Mintz (violin) 6
Allen Ginsburg (narrator) 14
Igor Ardašev (piano) 4
Michel Kaňka (cello) 2, 4, 9
Ludmilla Peterková (clarinet) 6
Susan Narucki (soprano) 1
Patricia Rozario (soprano) 7, 10, 12

Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
Lukas Foss (conductor) 1-2, 6-7, 10, 12, 14

Karlsruhe Ensemble
Andreas Weiss (conductor) 3, 15

Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall, Prague - August 29 & September 2, 1999 and August 28 & 30, 2000.
American Academy of Arts of Letters, New York City - November 7, 2000.
Hochschule für Musik, Karlsruhe, Germany - February 10, 2001.


01. John Tavener - Song of the Angel (4:37)

02. Shulamit Ran - Yearning (8:08)

03. Chen Yi - Romance of Hisiao and Ch'in (3:59)

04. Hans Werner Henze - Adagio adagio (3:28)

05. Yinam Leef - T Filah (5:44)

06. Poul Ruders - Credo (5:38)

07. Somei Satoh - Innocence (7:19)

08. Wolfgang Rihm - Cantilena (3:48)

09. Iannis Xenakis - Hunem-Iduhey (3:02)

10. Lukas Foss - Romance (5:55)

11. Karel Husa - Stele (6:14)

12. Betty Olivero - Achot Ketana (6:21)

13. György Kurtág - Ligatura (2:55)

14. Philip Glass - Echorus (7:28)

15. Steve Reich - Duet (4:38)

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