1 800 222 6872

Cohn: Symphonies no 7 Op 45 & no 2 Op 13, etc / Jordania, Slovak RSO

Album Summary

>Cohn, James : Symphony no 7, Op. 45
>Cohn, James : Symphony no 2, Op. 13
>Cohn, James : Variations on "The Wayfaring Stranger" for orchestra, Op. 34
>Cohn, James : Waltz in D major, for piano, Op. 29a
Conductors Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Celebrating his 80th birthday year in 2008, American composer James Cohn studied with Roy Harris, Wayne Barlow and Bernard Wagenaar, graduating from the Julliard School in 1950. Cohn's first love is the symphony orchestra, and the works presented on this disc are like pages from a diary. The four movements of 'Symphony No. 7' are essentially four landscape paintings in sound. 'Symphony No. 2' is a musical equivalent to four scenes from a drama. 'Variations on 'The Wayfaring Stranger'' is a memorial to two dear and generous friends who were like parents to the composer and the 'Waltz in D' is essentially a bittersweet dance in waltz tempo.



Reviews

Excellent symphonic surprises!
The symphonic output of New Yorker James Cohn is of high quality and is - perhaps - not nearly as well known as it should be. The new release on Naxos, "American Classics" series illustrates the point perfectly! Cohn's "Symphony #7" from 1967 is a gem! Opening with very attention getting woodwind solos, the motives morph into duets and propel energetically forward. There is interesting writing throughout (especially for the bassoons!) The second movement, andante cantabile, is particularly lyrical and quite pretty. Cohn's Second Symphony dates from 1948 and was actually written for his thesis at Julliard. It contains many of the same spiky syncopations and his affinity for strong attractive woodwind writing - including the use of saxophones. Cohn's studies with Roy Harris shows in his treatment of polyphony and his skill with the winds. The second movement is jaunty and propulsive - somewhat jazzy, in fact, and the third, andante con moto, contains an interesting serial structure used to create mood and line with little to no "serialism" by randomized harmonies (like Webern, for example). All the horizontal and vertical alignment's in Cohn's music are seemingly carefully thought out and tested. The final movement, as in the Symphony #7, provides excitement and drive. The two pieces that round out the disc, "Variations on 'The Wayfaring Stranger'" (1960) and the "Waltz in D" (1957) are pleasant enough pieces. The "Variations" in particular bear a bit of poignancy in so far as they are based on a tender southern spiritual and dedicated to the memory of the deaths of two of the composer's friends, a husband and wife has passed only weeks apart. The two symphonies are reason enough to get this disc, though. I only recently became aware of Jim Cohn, composer and gentleman, and have gotten into his clarinet output. This is music by an American composer whose work should be played more by orchestras looking for some truly "American" sounds while also introducing the public to a new name! The performances are of highest quality and conductor Kirk Trevor, in particular, is to be praised for bringing lesser new excellent repertory to the attention of everyone. I would personally love to play these works conducted by such a visionary one of these days!
Submitted on 07/19/10 by Dan Coombs 
Login or Create an Account to write a review
 

Also Purchased

Works Details

>Cohn, James : Symphony no 7, Op. 45
  • Conductor: Vakhtang Jordania
  • Ensemble: Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Studios 1 & 2 of the Slovak Radio, Bratislava, Slovakia (09/28/2001-10/03/2001)
  • Running Time: 27 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1967

>Cohn, James : Symphony no 2, Op. 13
  • Conductor: Kirk Trevor
  • Ensemble: Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Studios 1 & 2 of the Slovak Radio, Bratislava, Slovakia (09/28/2001-10/03/2001)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Cohn, James : Variations on "The Wayfaring Stranger" for orchestra, Op. 34
  • Conductor: Vakhtang Jordania
  • Ensemble: Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Studios 1 & 2 of the Slovak Radio, Bratislava, Slovakia (09/28/2001-10/03/2001)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1960

>Cohn, James : Waltz in D major, for piano, Op. 29a
  • Conductor: Vakhtang Jordania
  • Ensemble: Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Studios 1 & 2 of the Slovak Radio, Bratislava, Slovakia (09/28/2001-10/03/2001)
  • Running Time: 4 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1957