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CLASSICAL  March 2008

CLASSICAL March 2008

Subject:

Re: Atonal Music

From:

David Lamb <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Sat, 29 Mar 2008 09:27:51 -0700

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text/plain

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Jeff Dunn, new-tune starved, calls for recommendations.  Well, there's
a lot to choose from.  For starters, I love the music of Ken Benshoof,
David Avshalomov, and Ofer Ben-Amots, all of whom are actively writing
wonderful music these days.  Ken has composed at least eight string
quartets for the Kronos, and I think they are gorgeous.  Unfortunately,
only two of them were commercially recorded by Nonesuch, and they are
available only in the 25th anniversary boxed set.  Benshoof has a website,
and I think you can find some of his music there.  Avshalomov is most
easily sampled on a disk called "Three Generations Avshalomov" on Albany
Troy 216.  He also has a website, and I think there may be some samples
to download.  He has recently written a magnificent sextet titled
"Trotzky's Train." Ben-Amots is strongly influenced by the cantorial
tradition, and his music is intensely lyrical.  The Naxos American Jewish
series has a good sampling of his work on Naxos #8.559421.  His recent
"Klezmer Concerto", commissioned by David Krakauer is an exciting work
with tunes that go straight to the heart.  It may be available through
Ofer's website, but I don't think you can buy it in the shops.  It is
worth looking for.  I would also recommend a Naxos disk of the music of
Samuel Jones: an orchestral suite called "Roundings" and a beautiful
cello sonata.  The sonata slow movement is something I would have given
almost anything to have composed.  Two months ago I heard the premiere
of a fine violin concerto by Roupen Shakarian here in Seattle.  Roupen
is the conductor of the Philharmonia Northwest, an excellent chamber
orchestra that has interesting programs that often feature NW composers.
I greatly admire Shakarian's work, and the violin concerto is the best
I have heard from him so far.  He too is a melody-driven composer who
is also a highly skilled orchestrator.  I don't know how to get recordings
of his music short of writing to him directly and begging.  Then of
course there is my own music which I always recommend to anybody who
likes tunes.  You can find some of it thanks to Dave Lampson at the
classical.net site.  For Jeff, I would especially suggest my concert
piece for horn and orchestra titled "Song & Dance."  It is performed by
the Philharmonia NW and is available for download.

I am glad that Elle Hogan brought up the richness of fiddle tunes. 
The old Kentucky tradition is a treasure trove and is plenty serious by
any standard.  I myself play the fiddle tunes of the Swedish province of
Dalarna, and I believe that some of these old melodies are as profound
as any in the world.  I too am allowed some sacrilege on account of being
a certified geezer and having composed music for well over 50 years. 
My daughter is a professional bluegrass and country fiddler, and she
has taught me a lot about that tradition.  Last summer we recorded a
CD together consisting of some 20 original Swedish-style fiddle tunes
that I composed during the last 30 years.  If anybody is interested in
this, write to me off list.

Now then: where the heck is Dove's Roost Farm?

David Lamb in Seattle (where it snowed this afternoon!)

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