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Roaring Twenties: Music By Britten Weill & Gershin / Cora Burggraaf, soprano; Calefax Reed Quintet [SACD]

Album Summary

>Whiting, Richard A. : Breezin' along with the breeze, song
>Copland, Aaron : Sentimental Melody (Slow Dance), for piano
>Britten, Benjamin : Cabaret songs (4) for Hedli Anderson, for voice & piano
>Weill, Kurt : Dreigroschensuite
>Scotto, Vincent : La petite tonkinoise (a.k.a. My Chin Chin Lou)
>Weill, Kurt : Youkali, tango habanera for voice & piano
>Gershwin, George : An American in Paris
>Weill, Kurt : Surabaya-Johnny
Performer Ensemble Composers
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Notes & Reviews:

An enthralling journey through the cultured popular music of the 1920s, featuring music by such young lions as Weill, Gershwin, and Britten, representatives of the innovative attempt to connect classical music and popular song. The program features bold and effective arrangements for voice and reed quintet by Calefax, one of today's most original and challenging young European ensembles. They are joined by Dutch mezzo-soprano Cora Burggraaf, who graduated with distinction from the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and has been the recipient of many prizes, including the 2009/2010 ECHO Rising Star Award.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Haarlem, The Netherlands, Evangelisch Lutherse Kerk (11/07/2013-11/09/2013).

There are quite a few European recordings of American popular song of the 1920s, several of which even juxtapose American songs with their European classical imitators. This release by the Dutch wind quintet Calefax has a distinct take on the idea, with sharp, spiky wind arrangements by bass clarinetist Jelte Althuis and alto saxophonist Raaf Hekkema that further emphasize the connections between the American and European repertories. The album is at its best when these arrangements are showcased: the suite from Kurt Weill's Dreigroschenoper (Threepenny Opera) and that from Gershwin's An American in Paris, both by Hekkema, are ingenious constructions that weave together highlights from each work. The voice of mezzo-soprano Cora Burggraaf, variously channeling Josephine Baker, more bombastic American song, and German singers of the day, is versatile. For this writer it did not all come together, but your mileage (or kilometers per liter) may vary. Channel Classics gets impressively clean audiophile sound out of the Evangelisch Lutherse Kerk in Haarlem. Recommended for those who like the dry Dutch attitude toward American song. ~ James Manheim



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Works Details

>Whiting, Richard A. : Breezin' along with the breeze, song
  • Performer: Cora Burggraaf (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Ensemble: Calefax
  • Running Time: 2 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1926

>Copland, Aaron : Sentimental Melody (Slow Dance), for piano
  • Ensemble: Calefax
  • Running Time: 2 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1926

>Britten, Benjamin : Cabaret songs (4) for Hedli Anderson, for voice & piano
  • Performer: Cora Burggraaf (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Ensemble: Calefax
  • Running Time: 13 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1937

>Weill, Kurt : Dreigroschensuite :: Ouverture
  • Performer: Cora Burggraaf (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Ensemble: Calefax
  • Running Time: 2 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : Dreigroschensuite :: Moritat von Mackie Messer
  • Performer: Cora Burggraaf (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Ensemble: Calefax
  • Running Time: 2 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : Dreigroschensuite :: Seeräuber Jenny
  • Performer: Cora Burggraaf (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Ensemble: Calefax
  • Running Time: 2 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : Dreigroschensuite :: Zuhälterballade
  • Performer: Cora Burggraaf (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Ensemble: Calefax
  • Running Time: 3 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : Dreigroschensuite :: Finale
  • Performer: Cora Burggraaf (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Ensemble: Calefax
  • Running Time: 6 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Scotto, Vincent : La petite tonkinoise (a.k.a. My Chin Chin Lou)
  • Performer: Cora Burggraaf (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Ensemble: Calefax
  • Running Time: 2 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1906

>Weill, Kurt : Youkali, tango habañera for voice & piano
  • Performer: Cora Burggraaf (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Ensemble: Calefax
  • Notes: Composition written: 1934.
  • Running Time: 5 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1934

>Gershwin, George : An American in Paris
  • Ensemble: Calefax
  • Notes: Composition written: 1928.
  • Running Time: 8 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1928

>Weill, Kurt : Surabaya-Johnny
  • Performer: Cora Burggraaf (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Ensemble: Calefax
  • Running Time: 5 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 06/1929-08/1929