Gulfstream: American Chamber Music

Album review
Gulfstream: American Chamber Music


Gulfstream: American Chamber Music

Label: Naxos
Media: CD
Genre: Classical

Three superb quartets for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano, and the Copland Sextet (adding a violin and viola). Libby Larsen’s Rodeo Queen of Heaven depicts a painting of the Madonna and Child in Western dress; it’s a wild ride, setting chants from the Mass in aggressive poses. Peter Lieuwen’s Gulfstream is both lush and restless. For me, Peter Schickele’s Quartet is the main draw: pleasanter fare than the others, but exquisitely crafted, and 100% American. The first movement smiles serenely as it plays with its harmonies. The second is raucous and bluesy with a melancholy quiet section; the third is built around simple piano octaves, with the other instruments playing a spare chorale. The last is boisterous—there’s just a touch of the Renaissance in the dance rhythms, and drunken (occasionally queasy) sections where the rum-runners set to tippling from their own cargo. The Copland is tonally in between Rodeo and his most dissonant works; it’s spiky, bracing, and interesting. Sonics are fairly close but not dry. Enhaké plays exceptionally well, with good ears for what everyone else is doing

More Info

  • conductor, Enhake
  • primary artist, American Chamber Music
  • CD

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