LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL Archives

CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL@COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL  August 2007

CLASSICAL August 2007

Subject:

Tsontakis - Man of Sorrows

From:

Scott Morrison <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 15 Aug 2007 10:47:14 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (77 lines)

This review of mine appears at:

   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000RV0RAU/classicalnet/

Tsontakis: Man of Sorrows; Sarabesque; Schoenberg: Six Piano Pieces,
Op. 19; Webern: Variations, Op. 27; Berg: Piano Sonata, Op. 1
Stephen Hough, piano; Andrew Litton, Dallas SO
Hyperion CDA67564

5/5 stars

An Instant Classic

This CD containing George Tsontakis's 'Man of Sorrows', with Stephen
Hough, piano, and the Dallas Symphony under Andrew Litton, was released
some time ago in Europe but released only today in the US.  I had an
early copy of it from England and have been living with it for the past
month or so.  I grow more and more enamored of it each time I hear it.
The piece was premiered in Dallas in 2005 and got very good press at the
time.  Since its European release it has created immense buzz among those
in the know.  Could this be the next classical blockbuster like, say,
Henryk Gorecki's Third Symphony or Einojuhani Rautavaara's 'Cantus
Arcticus'?  Who knows?  But I wouldn't bet against that notion.

George Tsontakis is a New Yorker in his mid-50s whose music I've been
following for more than twenty-five years.  I have yet to hear anything
of his that isn't worthwhile.  I'm particularly fond of his Four Symphonic
Quartets, his piano quartets and his solo piano 'Ghost Variations', the
latter also recorded by Stephen Hough.  His style has evolved over the
years and in latter times his music has been exploring paths initiated
by Olivier Messaien.  He brings to this absolutely gorgeous manipulation
of sound a devotion to and gestural nod to masterpieces of the past.
In the present work there is direct quotation of that motif Beethoven
inscribed 'Muss es sein?  ...  Es muss sein' ('Must it be?  ...  It must
be') from his last string quartet, the Op. 135.  As well use is made
of a brief harmonic sequence from the Diabelli Variations.  'Man of
Sorrows' is partly in illustration of the religious inspiration of this
work, the passion and crucifixion of Christ, particularly as depicted
on a Byzantine ikon Tsontakis had seen in a Metropolitan Museum exhibit
in 1997.  (The striking booklet cover illustration of a crucifix is,
however, by artist Anthony Mastromatteo.)

Musically 'Man of Sorrows' is more tone poem with prominent piano obbligato
than classic piano concerto.  Much of the piano part resides in the
highest register of the instrument and there is often a birdsong-like
quality to the right hand figurations.  There is also considerable
pianistic bell sound.  All this is against a harmonically luxurious,
usually slow-moving velvety chordal orchestral backdrop. Much of the
music is pensive, but there are passionate climaxes, sometimes implying
chaotic upheaval.  There is no clear narrative thread, although the six
movements have subtitles that connote aspects of Christ's passion and
crucifixion.  The overall effect of this almost 40-minute work is one
alternately of devotion, dread, anguish, joy and acceptance.  It is
hypnotic in effect.  Stephen Hough's playing is simply magnificent and
the orchestral accompaniment shows the Dallas orchestra, one of our
finest, at its best.  Sound is demonstration quality.

The rest of the CD contains solo piano music played by Hough.  He
gives us a non-romanticized performance of the Berg Sonata, one with
plenty of backbone.  And we get two other brief classics from the Second
Viennese School: Schoenberg's Sechs kleine Klavierstuecke, Op. 19 (1911)
and Webern's Variations for Piano, Op. 27 (1935-6) in exemplary
performances.

The CD concludes with a six-minute bijou by Tsontakis, his 'Sarabesque'
(named for its dedicatee, Houston pianist Sarah Rothenberg, and previously
recorded by her).  Hough gives this delicate bagatelle a pellucid reading.

Most urgently recommended!

Scott Morrison

             ***********************************************
The CLASSICAL mailing list is powered by L-Soft's renowned LISTSERV(R)
list management software together with L-Soft's HDMail High Deliverability
Mailer for reliable, lightning fast mail delivery.  For more information,
go to:  http://www.lsoft.com/LISTSERV-powered.html

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
July 1997

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager