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Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding CD, 28 Feb. 2010
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This review is from: Martin: Petite Symphonie Concertante, Concerto For 7 Wind Instruments & 6 Monologe Aus 'Jedermann' (Audio CD)
The Swiss composer, Frank Martin, is one of the outstanding composers of the 20th century. Schoenberg's 12-note (duodecaphonic) method of composing is nearly always mentioned as a strong influence on Martin but this is very misleading - his music uses an extended tonality. The music is accessible and often very beautiful and well worth getting to know.

The three works on this disc are all masterpieces. The Petite Symphonie Concertante (1945) is a symphonic work for harpsichord, piano, harp and string orchestra. The way Martin uses the three solo instruments is often magical, creating a highly characteristic atmosphere, with silvery, nocturnal colours and transparent textures. The adagio, which begins the second half of the work, is of breathtaking beauty, with the harp picking out a slow, pizzicato theme against harpsichord arpeggios.

The 6 Monologues from 'Jedermann' is one of the most impressive orchestral song cycles since World War II. The Austrian, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, reworked a medieval morality play and Martin extracted the texts for the six songs from this. The subject is what 'everyman' must do, and not do, to be redeemed. The settings are alternately powerful, dramatic and beautiful.

The Concerto for 7 Wind Instruments (1949) is another outstanding concertante work. The invention never flags and there is, again, a lovely central slow movement.

The performance by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Armin Jordan is first rate, as is the recording. The notes on the pieces are rather brief but do include all the texts of Jedermann in English, French and the original German. The disc is altogether a bargain and a superb introduction to this important but relatively neglected composer.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Jun 2015 21:50:51 BDT
David A says:
The above review is absolutely spot on. I am convinced that the Concerto for 7 Wind instruments is indeed a masterpiece.
I would whole heartedly recommend this CD.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jun 2015 00:28:19 BDT
Thank you for your kind remarks
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