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Karim Al-Zand (b. 1970): Chamber Music / Yung-Hsiang Wang; Tali Morgulis; Brian Connelly, Eric Siu; Michelle Cheramy et al.

Audio Samples

>Al-Zand, Karim : Imaginary Scenes, for violin & piano
>Al-Zand, Karim : Variations on a theme of Bartok, for violin & piano
>Al-Zand, Karim : Capriccios for violin
>Al-Zand, Karim : Four Fables, for flute, clarinet & piano
>Al-Zand, Karim : The Art of Conversation
>     Seven Dialogues for String Quartet

Album Summary

>Al-Zand, Karim : Imaginary Scenes, for violin & piano
>Al-Zand, Karim : Variations on a theme of Bartok, for violin & piano
>Al-Zand, Karim : Capriccios for violin
>Al-Zand, Karim : Four Fables, for flute, clarinet & piano
>Al-Zand, Karim : The Art of Conversation
Performers Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The music of Canadian-American composer Karim Al-Zand (b. 1970) is wide-ranging - from settings of classical Arabic poetry to scores for dance and pieces for young audiences. His works explore connections between music and other arts, and draw inspiration from diverse sources such as 19th century graphic art, fables of the world, folksong and jazz. This second recording on Albany Records devoted to his music amply demonstrates these influences. Two of the works are inspired by literary sources (Imaginary Scenes and Four Fables); while Capriccios takes its inspiration from the Paganini 24 Capriccios and the Variations on a Theme of Bartok draws from Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra. Movements from the Art of Conversation are introduced to the audience through short, spoken dialogues performed by the string quartet, which alternate with the seven movements of the piece.

American Record Guide, September/October 2013
The earliest piece here is the Bartok Variations for viola and piano, written in 2002, based on the Intermezzo from the Concerto for Orchestra. This is a good subject, simple in concept and subtle in treatment. Al-Zand treats it with sensitivity and makes an effective piece from its material. The 2003 Fables for flute, clarinet, and piano work their way from Aesop through Perrin, Kyrov, and Ambrose Bierce. The liner notes give us the details. A similar concept is found in Imaginary Scenes for violin and piano of 2005, an unusual choice of subject matter. The four Capriccios are for solo violin, played by Siu. They are full of descriptive directions. The Art of Conversation is also abstract in subject, seven movements for string quartet that describe everything from Monologue to Non Sequitur. All of this music is highly listenable and full of amusing touches. Al-Zand's idiom is basically tonal and he writes idiomatically for all of the instruments. All of the musicians play competently and work well together and the recording blends well, despite the fact that it was made in at least three different locations in Houston, Texas.



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Works Details

>Al-Zand, Karim : Imaginary Scenes, for violin & piano
  • Performers: Tali Morgulis (Piano); Yung-Hsiang Wang (Violin)
  • Ensemble: Enso String Quartet
  • Notes: KUHF Studios, Houston, Texas (02/05/2011/05/06/2012)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2005

>Al-Zand, Karim : Variations on a theme of Bartók, for violin & piano
  • Performers: Ivo Werff (Viola); Brian Connelly (Piano)
  • Notes: Duncan Recital Hall, Rice University, Houston, TX (01/07/2007/12/12/2011)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2002

>Al-Zand, Karim : Capriccios for violin
  • Performer: Eric Siu (Violin)
  • Notes: KUHF Studios, Houston, Texas (02/05/2011/05/06/2012)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2002-2011

>Al-Zand, Karim : Four Fables, for flute, clarinet & piano
  • Performers: Michelle Cheramy (Flute); Kana Mimaki (Piano); Maiko Sasaki (Clarinet)
  • Notes: Duncan Recital Hall, Rice University, Houston, TX (01/07/2007/12/12/2011)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2003

>Al-Zand, Karim : The Art of Conversation :: Seven Dialogues for String Quartet
  • Running Time: 12 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2007