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American Chamber Music - Barber: String Quartet; Bernstein: Piano Trio; Carter: Elegy; Copland: Violin Sonata; Ives: Largo / James Ehnes, violin

Album Summary

>Copland, Aaron : Sonata for violin & piano
>Ives, Charles : Largo, for violin, clarinet & piano, S. 73 (K. 2B8)
>Bernstein, Leonard : Piano Trio
>Carter, Elliott : Elegy, for viola (or cello) & piano
>Barber, Samuel : Quartet for Strings in B major, Op. 11
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

James Ehnes and friends from the Seattle Chamber Music Society hit the road on a fascinating journey through chamber music by some of the giants of 20th- century American classical music. Aaron Copland's masterful Violin Sonata, Leonard Bernstein's youthful and vibrant Piano Trio, and Samuel Barber's B minor String Quartet with its famous Adagio slow movement (known the world over as Barber's Adagio) are joined by Elliott Carter's haunting Elegy from early in his long career and the otherworldly Largo by that great maverick Charles Ives.

The Telegraph, 23rd September 2014
Ehnes and Orion Weiss give a healthy, characterful, rhythmically buoyant account of Copland's Violin Sonata...an outstandingly played disc that offers a fascinating snapshot of what American composers were doing in realms of chamber music during the Thirties and Forties.

Gramophone Magazine, October 2014
The Copland Sonata gets a thoroughly efficient and rewarding performance from Ehnes and Orion Weiss, and Carter's early - and uncomplicated - Elegy highlights Richard O'Neill's mellifluous viola sound...the Barber Quartet confirms the excellence of the Seattle musicians in every way.

BBC Music Magazine, November 2014
Ehnes is brilliant and incisive in the faster music, but his consistently intense vibrato seems at odds with Copland's moments of plain-speaking simplicity; pianist Orion Weiss is a model of clarity...These are accomplished performances on a disc that's imaginatively planned and ultimately rewarding.

MusicWeb International, 5th November 2014
On this showing it comes as no surprise that James Ehnes' star is in the ascendant; his colleagues are equally impressive. This is a disc of great music and is extremely well recorded and played by all concerned.

The Strad, December 2014
[An] eminently refreshing programme ... with violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti employing an unadorned tone that ideally captures the often nanve simplicity of Ives ... Elliot Carter's Elegy for viola and piano... [is] given a tender and lyrical reading by violinist Richard O'Neil ... This is an excellently recorded anthology that can be strongly recommended.

James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, January 2015
An outstanding performance by violinist James Ehnes and pianist Orion Weiss of Copland's rarely-heard Violin Sonata. Both performers find a tender simplicity in the central slow movement, and a light, sprightly approach in the jolly final Allegretto.

American Record Guide, January/February 2015
Violinist Erin Keefe, cellist Amit Peled, and pianist Adam Neiman give the impression of a young Leonard bursting with musical ideas and influences trying to stuff every last bit of what he has to say into three traditionally shaped movements. The musicians present the piece as it is, with all its quirky, energetic, and brilliant adolescent charms.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, Benaroya Hall, Sea (07/2013).



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Works Details

>Copland, Aaron : Sonata for violin & piano
  • Performers: James Ehnes (Violin); Orion Weiss (Piano)
  • Conductor: James Ehnes
  • Ensemble: Seattle Chamber Music Society
  • Running Time: 18 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1942-1943

>Ives, Charles : Largo, for violin, clarinet & piano, S. 73 (K. 2B8)
  • Performers: Ricardo Morales (Clarinet); Amy Moretti (Violin); Anna Polonsky (Piano)
  • Conductor: James Ehnes
  • Running Time: 5 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1934

>Bernstein, Leonard : Piano Trio
  • Performers: Erin Keefe (Violin); Adam Neiman (Piano); Amit Peled (Cello)
  • Conductor: James Ehnes
  • Running Time: 15 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1937

>Carter, Elliott : Elegy, for viola (or cello) & piano
  • Performers: Richard O'Neill (Viola); Anna Polonsky (Piano)
  • Conductor: James Ehnes
  • Running Time: 4 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1943

>Barber, Samuel : Quartet for Strings in B major, Op. 11
  • Performers: Robert deMaine (Cello); James Ehnes (Violin); Amy Moretti (Violin); Richard O'Neill (Viola)
  • Conductor: James Ehnes
  • Running Time: 17 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1936