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Polyptique, Etudes Pour Orchestra a Cordes, Sonata Da Chiesa

Frank Martin Audio CD

Price: 18.95
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Product details

1. Polyptique: Image Des Rameaux
2. Polyptique: Image De La Chambre Haute
3. Polyptique: Image De Juda
4. Polyptique: Image De Gethsemane
5. Polyptique: Image Du Jugement
6. Polyptique: Image De La Glorification
7. Etudes For String Orchestra: Overture
8. Etudes For String Orchestra: Etude No.1
9. Etudes For String Orchestra: Etude No.2
10. Etudes For String Orchestra: Etude No.3
11. Etudes For String Orchestra: Etude No.4
12. Son De Chiesa For Viola And String Orchestra: Andante
13. Son De Chiesa For Viola And String Orchestra: Allegro Alla Francesca
14. Son De Chiesa For Viola And String Orchestra: Musette
15. Son De Chiesa For Viola And String Orchestra: Adagio

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Works at Bargain Price, including a Rare Gem 3 Jun 2000
By Nicholas A. Deutsch - Published on Amazon.com
Highly polished performances of 3 beautiful works by a 20th century master, one of them a rarity. The Sonata da Chiesa, or church sonata, was composed in 1938 for viola d'amore and organ; Martin arranged the accompaniment for strings in 1952. The one-movement piece falls into 3 sections, 2 slow meditations framing a dance-like middle portion. It's a lovely work that deserves to be heard more often: this is the 1st recording I've run across (you'll find several of the version for flute and organ), and it's a beautiful one. The Etudes for String Orchestra (1955-56) give players a chance to show their virtuosity (a bit like Britten's "Frank Bridge" Variations): a dotted-rhythm Overture precedes the 4 "studies," respectively for "linked gestures,""pizzicato,""expression & sostenuto" and "fugal style." There have been wittier performances than this -- the syncopations in the "pizzicato" study are a bit "straight" -- but this is a rhythmically alert, suavely played version. Polyptyque -- the title is spelled wrong throughout -- dates from 1973 and was composed for violinist Yehudi Menuhin & conductor Edmond de Stoutz & his Zurich Chamber Orchestra. It's one of Martin's most profound works, & it receives a fine performance here (though recent versions on MDG and ECM are my top modern picks). Only negative: the sound in the Etudes & Polyptyque, though admirably clear, is a bit dry, with traces of glassiness in the upper strings; the Sonata da Chiesa is more warmly recorded. Finally, the English-language notes make a number of errors in translating the German originals; more seriously, Martin's own thoughts on Polyptyque are translated from the German notes, not the original French, and the French notes are a back-translation of the German.
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine introduction to a fine composer 8 Mar 2014
By Mark Abel - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This CD is particularly valuable for its outstanding performance of Martin's "Sonata da Chiesa," an absolutely gorgeous, meditative work from 1938 that I first ran across over 35 years ago on a Vox LP disc featuring violist Marcus Thompson and the M.I.T. Symphony conducted by David Epstein. That is the only previous recording I'm aware of, which is pretty darned shocking, as the "Sonata" is a rare example of the principles of serialism being adapted to produce a work whose emotional profoundity can be felt be anyone. One might expect this piece to be far better-known; its obscurity has mystified me over the decades.

The performance here by soloist J. Rieber and the Munich Chamber Orchestra under Hans Stadlmair outdistances the earlier Vox version sonically, and the musicians play with more expressiveness and assurance, perhaps attributable to the fact that Martin's works have not disappeared from European concert halls. (To our shame, he never gained anything more than a toehold in the U.S.)

This recording also includes a strong performance of "Polyptique," a late work for solo violin and two small string orchestras that ranks among Martin's finest creations. Its alternately muscular and gently introspective writing provides a nice precis of what this great composer had to offer, The CD is rounded out by the "Etudes" for string orchestra, a piece more academic in character but full of fascinating twists and turns.
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